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J Genet Psychol. 2013 Sep-Dec;174(5-6):557-81.

Autonomy, filial piety, and parental authority: a two-year longitudinal investigation.

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institute of Education, National Chiao Tung University, 1001 University Road, HsinChu, 300 Taiwan.


A 2-year longitudinal study was conducted to test 3 causal models about adolescent autonomy, filial piety, beliefs about parental authority, and obedience in terms of personal, prudential, and multifaceted issues. Four hundred and thirty-six students from 10 junior and senior high schools in Taiwan (boys, n = 223; senior high school, n = 211) participated in the study. Hypothesis I predicted that autonomy (individuating autonomy vs. relating autonomy) would positively correlate with beliefs about authority legitimacy and obligation to obey, but was not supported. Hypothesis 2 predicted that filial piety (authoritarian piety vs. reciprocal piety) would positively associate with authority beliefs, and was partially supported. Authoritarian piety showed the positive relation with authority beliefs. Hypothesis 3 predicted that beliefs about authority legitimacy and obligation to obey would positively associate with obedience, and was supported. Hypothesis 4 predicted that age might moderate the structure models across domains, but the results indicated that age did not moderate the structural model in the prudential and multifaceted domains. The overall findings of this study reveal that adolescent beliefs about authority serve as a mediator between authoritarian piety and obedience, suggesting that traditional piety still has an influence on parent-child interaction in today's society.

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