Holding on and letting go: Views about filial piety among adult children living in New Zealand

Jed Montayre, Padmapriya Saravanakumar, Ivy Zhao, Eleanor Holroyd, Jeffery Adams, Stephen Neville

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Aims and Objectives: The study aimed to explore the perspectives of adult children about late-life living and care arrangements for their ageing immigrant parents living in New Zealand. Background: Older immigrants’ well-being is closely associated with filial relations and is often reliant on families as a main source of social, financial and emotional support. Research among migrant Asian adults has reported mixed findings regarding intergenerational perspectives of filial practices. Design: Qualitative design using focused ethnographic lens. Methods: Semi-structured individual interviews were undertaken with 45 adult children of older immigrants living in New Zealand to explore their views about filial piety. The CoREQ checklist was used in reporting methods and findings. Results: Two major themes were identified in this study of adult children's view of filial piety and late-life care for their ageing parents. The first theme, ‘holding on—reconfiguring values’, referred to a process described by the participants as upholding the core values and cultural familial expectations, looking after their ageing parents, yet modifying the ways in which they provide care. The second major theme ‘letting go—reconfigured expectations’, described participants’ views of aged care for themselves, which meant they no longer held traditional values that needed to be enacted by their children. Conclusions: Adult children from immigrant families were positioned as intermediaries of these shifting values of their own and within younger generations. The adult children's shift of thinking and acceptance of reconfigured expression of filial duties impact care and living arrangements of older people from immigrant and culturally diverse backgrounds, which also influences health and well-being in later life. Relevance to clinical practice: Healthcare professionals including nurses working in the ageing and aged care sector need to accommodate the changing generational perspectives about filial piety to cater to the unique late-life care requirements and health needs of older people and their families.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Early online dateOct 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Oct 2021


  • aged care
  • Asian
  • culturally diverse
  • filial piety
  • late-life care
  • New Zealand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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