Background: Filial piety is a virtue of respect for and honoring of one's parents. It is considered as the fundamental element to practice in Chinese families. Some studies showed that warm and supporting parenting reinforced children’s filial piety beliefs which in turn enhanced their psychological well-being (Chen, 2014), which implies that family has an impact on children’s psychological well-being (e.g., gratitude) through filial piety. Thus, this study hypothesized that filial piety played a mediating role in the relationship between family interaction and gratitude, using the Dual Filial Piety model (authoritarian vs reciprocal).
Methods: This pilot study collected online survey responses from 86 (74% female) university students in Macau. Each participant completed a series of questions of family interaction styles, filial piety and gratitude.
Results: Authoritarian filial piety was significantly associated with family interaction but not gratitude. Reciprocal filial piety fully mediated the relationship between each type of family interaction (communication, mutuality, conflict and harmony) and gratitude.
Conclusions: This study denotes that reciprocal filial piety plays a mediating role in the relationship between family interaction and gratitude. Therefore, parent-child interaction with warmth and support are important to promote and enhance filial practices, which further strengthens children’s gratitude.