Parenting in Hong Kong: Traditional Chinese Cultural Roots and Contemporary Phenomena

  • Daniel T. L. ShekEmail author
  • Rachel C. F. Sun
Part of the Science Across Cultures: The History of Non-Western Science book series (SACH, volume 7)


In this chapter, traditional Hong Kong Chinese parenting characteristics are presented. These include focus on family harmony, well-defined parental and children roles, limited personal space for children, strict parental control, emphasis on continuity of family name, parental differences in socialization for boys and girls, and emphasis on filial piety. These attributes are revealed in traditional parenting literature such as family instruction books. With specific reference to contemporary parenting in Hong Kong, while traditional parenting characteristics persist (such as emphasis on academic excellence of children), there are gradual changes, such as the changing roles of fathers and mothers. There are parent-child discrepancies in perceived parenting attributes and parenting is less positive in vulnerable groups than in the non-vulnerable groups. There are also worrying trends in parenting and a severe lack of evidence-based parenting programs in Hong Kong.



The authorship of this work is equally shared between the first author and second author. This work was financially supported by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. Address all correspondence to Daniel T. L. Shek, Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hunghom, Kowloon, Hong Kong (e-mail address:


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied Social SciencesThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHong KongChina
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationThe University of Hong KongHong KongChina

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