Chinese parenting in Hong Kong: links among goals, beliefs and styles

S. M. Chan, J. Bowes, S. Wyver

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    62 Citations (Scopus)


    The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among parental goals, parental beliefs and parenting styles. Questionnaires were completed during interviews with 189 Hong Kong-Chinese mothers of children aged six to eight years. Results indicated that these mothers embraced Chinese parental beliefs (guan) and Chinese parental goals of filial piety and harmonious social relationships. In contrast to other studies on Chinese parenting, this study examined Chinese mothers' adoption of psychological control in addition to authoritarian and authoritative parenting. Participants' main styles were found to be authoritative and psychologically controlling rather than authoritarian as reported in previous research. Parental goals were found to mediate the effect of parental beliefs on adoption of parenting styles. Mothers who embraced guan and filial piety reported either an authoritarian or a psychologically controlling parenting style, while those who embraced guan and harmonious social relationships adopted an authoritative parenting style.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)849-862
    Number of pages14
    JournalEarly Child Development and Care
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


    • Chinese parenting
    • filial piety
    • guan
    • parental beliefs
    • parental goals
    • psychological control


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