Advertisement

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

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

Abstract

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.

Notes

Acknowledgement

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: daniel.shek@polyu.edu.hk).

References

  1. Bracey, G., Montie, J. E., Xiang, Z. P., & Schweinhart, L. J. (2007). The IEA preliminary study: Findings and policy implications. Ypsilanti: High/Scope Educational Research Foundation.Google Scholar
  2. Chao, R. K. (1994). Beyond parental control and authoritarian parenting style: Understanding Chinese parenting through the cultural notion of training. Child Development, 65, 1111–1119.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Cheng, C. K. (1944). Familism: The foundation of Chinese social organization. Social Forces, 23, 50–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chua, H. W., Wong, A. K. W., & Shek, D. T. L. (2010). Social development in Hong Kong: Development issues identified by Social Development Index (SDI). Social Indicators Research, 95(3), 535–551.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Darling, N., & Steinberg, L. (1993). Parenting style as context: An integrative model. Psychological Bulletin, 113(3), 487–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Freedman, M. (1961). The family in China, past and present. Pacific Affairs, 34, 323–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Han, X. Y., & Shek, D. T. L. (2012a). Perceived parental control and psychological control in Chinese adolescents in Shanghai. International Journal on Disability and Human Development, 11(2), 107–112.Google Scholar
  8. Han, X. Y., & Shek, D. T. L. (2012b). Perceived parent-child relational qualities and parental control in Chinese adolescent in Shanghai. International Journal on Disability and Human Development, 11(1), 61–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ho, D. Y. F. (1986). Chinese patterns of socialization: A critical review. In M. H. Bond (Ed.), The psychology of the Chinese people (pp. 1–37). Hong Kong: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Ho, D. Y. F. (1987). Fatherhood in Chinese culture. In M. E. Lamb (Ed.), The father’s role: Cross-cultural perspective (pp. 227–245). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  11. Leung, C. M., Sanders, M. R., Leung, S., Mak, R., & Lau, J. (2003). An outcome evaluation of an implementation of the triple p-positive parenting program in Hong Kong. Family Process, 42(4), 531–544.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Leung, C. M., Tsang, S., & Dean, S. (2011). Outcome evaluation of the Hands-On Parent Empowerment (HOPE) program. Research on Social Work Practice, 21(5), 549–561.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Leung, J. T. Y., & Shek, D. T. L. (2012). Parental differences in family processes in Chinese families experiencing economic disadvantage. Multidisciplinary Journal of Gender Studies, 1(3), 271–299. doi: 10.4471/generos.2012.13.Google Scholar
  14. Shek, D. T. L. (2001). Chinese adolescents and their parents’ views on a happy family: Implications for family therapy. Family Therapy, 28(2), 73–104.Google Scholar
  15. Shek, D. T. L. (2005). Perceived parental control and parent-child relational qualities in Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong. Sex Roles, 53(9–10), 635–646.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Shek, D. T. L. (2006a). Assessment of perceived parental psychological control in Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong. Research on Social Work Practice, 16(4), 382–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Shek, D. T. L. (2006b). Chinese family research: Puzzles, progress, paradigms, and policy implications. Journal of Family Issues, 27(3), 275–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Shek, D. T. L. (2007a). A longitudinal study of perceived differences in parental control and parent-child relational qualities in Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong. Journal of Adolescent Research, 22(2), 156–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Shek, D. T. L. (2007b). Family life quality and emotional quality of life in Chinese adolescents with and without economic disadvantage. Social Indicators Research, 80(2), 393–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Shek, D. T. L. (2007c). Intact and non-intact families in Hong Kong: Differences in perceived parental control processes, parent-child relational qualities, and adolescent psychological well-being. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 47(1–2), 157–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Shek, D. T. L. (2007d). Perceived parental control based on indigenous Chinese parental control concepts in adolescents in Hong Kong. American Journal of Family Therapy, 35(2), 123–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Shek, D. T. L. (2008a). Economic disadvantage, perceived family life quality, and emotional well-being in Chinese adolescents: A longitudinal study. Social Indicators Research, 85(2), 169–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Shek, D. T. L. (2008b). Perceived parental control processes, parent-child relational qualities, and adolescent psychological well-being in intact and non-intact families: Longitudinal findings in the Chinese culture. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 49(1–2), 171–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Shek, D. T. L., & Chan, L. K. (1999). Hong Kong Chinese parents’ perceptions of the ideal child. Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied, 133(3), 291–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Shek, D. T. L., & Lai, M. F. (2000). Conceptions of an ideal family in Confucian thoughts: Implications for individual and family counseling. Asian Journal of Counselling, 7(2), 85–104.Google Scholar
  26. Shek, D. T. L., & Lee, T. Y. (2007). Parental behavioral control in academic and non-academic domains: A three-year longitudinal study in the Chinese culture. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 19(4), 529–537.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Shek, D. T. L., & Yu, L. (2011). A review of validated youth prevention and positive youth development programs in Asia. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 23(4), 317–324.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Shek, D. T. L., Yu, L., & Fu, X. (2013). Confucian virtues and Chinese adolescent development: A conceptual review. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 27, 1–10.Google Scholar
  29. Shon, S. P., & Ja, D. Y. (1982). Asian families. In M. McGoldrick, J. K. Pearce, & J. Giordano (Eds.), Ethnicity and family therapy (pp. 208–220). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  30. Strom, R. D., Strom, S. K., & Xie, Q. (1996). Parent expectations in China. International Journal of Sociology of the Family, 26, 37–49.Google Scholar
  31. Topley, M. (1969). The role of savings and wealth among Hong Kong Chinese. In I. C. Jarvie & J. Agassi (Eds.), A society in transition (pp. 167–227). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  32. Union Bank of Switzerland. (2006). Prices and earnings: A comparison of purchasing power around the World. Zurich: Union Bank of Switzerland.Google Scholar
  33. Wilson, R. W. (1974). The moral state: A study of the political socialization of Chinese and American children. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  34. Yang, K. S. (1981). The formation and change of Chinese personality: A cultural-ecological perspective. Acta Psychologica Taiwanica, 23, 39–55.Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations