Attitudes and Sense of Responsibility of University Students toward Their Aging Parents in Japan and Korea

  •  Dongqing Chen    
  •  Yoko Hosoe    


The purpose of this study was to clarify the relationship between industrialization and attitudes of students toward their aging parents in two different cultures. The self administered questionnaires were given to students in summer 1986 and 1998, 1999. The 1986 sample consisted of 567 students from 7 universities in Tokyo, 511 students from 8 universities in Seoul. The 1999 sample consisted of 731 students from 7 universities in Tokyo, and in 1998 415 students from 5 universities Seoul.
Though Japan and Korea made a rapid growth of economy, these countries have the common tradition of Confucianism, social norms and cultural values concerning to their aging parents.
The attitudes toward financial and physical support are related to personal experiences in 1986 and 1998, 1999. In Japan, those who were satisfied with family relations showed more willingness to support their parents financially or physically if they became dependent. But in Korea those who had often been told to provide filial piety tended to show favorable attitudes toward filial piety, and willingness to give financial support and care for the bed-ridden parents.
The favorable attitude toward filial piety was significantly associated with the willingness to provide financial and physical support to the parents. However, it is difficult to say which is the cause and which is the effect. Those who are favorable toward filial piety tend to show a strong sense of responsibility toward their parents, but in turn, those who have a strong sense of filial responsibility will show favorable attitude toward filial piety.

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