Formal care institutions are unable to meet care demands. As a result, informal caregivers (friends, family, neighbors) are called upon to fulfill this need. Adult children make up the majority of these informal caregivers. Adult children vary with respect to whether or not they provide care, and the amount of care provided. Filial obligation and attachment are positive predictors of these care behaviors. A better understanding of how these factors emerge and invoke caregiving behaviors is crucial. The primary hypothesis of this study was that anxiety attachment dimension score would positively relate to baseline filial obligation, and that avoid attachment dimension scores would negatively relate to filial obligation at baseline. The second hypothesis was that participants randomized to the experimental group (filial challenge task, requiring administration of a living will to their parents) would experience greater change in filial obligation pre- to post-task than would those randomized to the control group (autobiographical questionnaire). The third hypothesis was that anxious and avoid attachment dimension scores would moderate the (filial obligation) response to the filial challenge task (living will), whereby those with higher anxious attachment dimension scores would experience greater increases in filial obligation and those with higher avoid attachment dimension scores will experience greater decreases in filial obligation. Overall, hypotheses were not supported, though post-hoc analyses suggest an empirical basis for future research. Empirical and theoretical implications of these findings are discussed. Future work may examine complementary experimental paradigms for studying the development of filial responsibility.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Sciences
Psychology; Clinical Psychology
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)
Bassett, Rachel, "Development of Filial Obligation in Young Adults: An Examination of Crisis and Lifespan Theory" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 6445.