Perceived parental sacrifice, filial piety and hopelessness among Chinese adolescents: A cross-lagged panel study

Janet T.Y. Leung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: There is a dearth of research on examining the longitudinal effects of cultural family processes on adolescent hopelessness, and the mechanisms through which the effects happen. Hence, the present study examined the relationship among parental (paternal and maternal) sacrifices, filial piety and adolescent hopelessness in the Chinese context. Methods: The study was based on a three-wave longitudinal data from a sample of 1569 Chinese adolescents (Time 1: mean age = 13.15 ± .92 years; 50.8% girls). The adolescents were invited to fill out a questionnaire containing measurements of studied variables thrice, at an interval of one year. Results: The results of cross-lagged panel analysis indicated that maternal sacrifice was associated with filial piety, which in turn was linked with hopelessness among Chinese adolescents. Moreover, there was bidirectional effects of adolescent hopelessness at earlier time point on paternal and maternal sacrifice at later time point via filial piety. Conclusions: The study showed that maternal sacrifice serves as a protective factor that reduces adolescents’ sense of hopelessness via the development of filial piety. At the same time, the bidirectional indirect effects of filial piety on the relationship between parental sacrifice and adolescent hopelessness also alert family researchers and youth practitioners on the child effects on parental behavior in Chinese families. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-51
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent hopelessness
  • Chinese
  • Cross-lagged panel analysis
  • Filial piety
  • Longitudinal study
  • Parental sacrifice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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