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Filial Responsibility

Why Is The Issue Pertinent?, Filial Responsibility Laws, Filial Responsibility Expectations, Filial Responsible Behavior


Filial responsibility describes the sense of personal obligation or duty that adult children feel for protecting, caring for, and supporting their aging parents (Schorr 1980). Filial responsibility is evident in both attitudes and behaviors of adult children, frequently finding expression in assistance with household tasks and shopping, maintenance of personal contact, provision of affection and emotional support, shared living arrangements, and help in meeting daily needs. Although typically considered aresponse to immediate demands or crises, filial responsibility also entails an important preventative dimension that promotes independence among older adults. As such, the filial adult child empowers older parents by enabling them to perform the tasks that they are capable of doing for themselves, discouraging premature dependence. This aspect of filial responsibility is enacted when adult children help their parents to acquire new skills, seek novel and enriching life experiences, and disregard negative stereotypes about aging, and also allow their parents to speak for themselves, and respect their parents' self-determination in making decisions that affect their own lives (Seelbach 1984).


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Marriage and Family EncyclopediaPregnancy & Parenthood