Confucian Filial Piety and Altruism and Family Financial Support in the 21st Century

Through a cross-country and cross-generational lens


  • Caitlin Ang Newton South High School
  • Dieu Anh TH School
  • Matthew Wilson Newton South Highschool
  • Leo Atwood



Confucianism, Confucius, Philosophy, Asia, East Asia, Vietnam, China, Family, Piety, Altruism, Reciprocity


Described as one of the most influential philosophies of East Asia, Confucianism concepts of social order have permeated throughout the region. Its moral teachings have influenced East Asia as a whole, and still his teachings remain in some families to this day. In particular, Confucius’ views on filial piety, respect for one’s parents, and altruism, caring for others, have been taught in families as a moral model. 

The surveys used in this article analyzed Asian families across the United States and Vietnam, asking them about their demographic, respect and acts of service for family, as well as acts for others. A total of 258 people responded, majority females, centralized mainly within Hanoi and Massachusetts. For statements surrounding filial piety, Vietnam respondents tended to have a higher positive/neutral response rate, with its percentage at 47.6%. This remains true for altruism as well. Those in Vietnam had a high response rate compared to the US, having over 25% of their responses listed as “most positive”, while 50% of US respondents chose the “disagree-strongly disagree” options. 

We cross analyzed these two points of data, filial piety and altruism, and compared it to their financial situations and how much participants were willing to give to their parents. We also analyzed older generations versus youth, and found that those in the older generations were willing to give more than the younger. 


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Author Biography

Matthew Wilson, Newton South Highschool

English Teacher at Newton South Highschool for about 6 years. Currently teaches Asian American Literature to 12th graders, focusing on themes of identity.

References or Bibliography

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How to Cite

Ang, C., Nguyen, D. A., Wilson, M., & Atwood, L. (2022). Confucian Filial Piety and Altruism and Family Financial Support in the 21st Century: Through a cross-country and cross-generational lens. Journal of Student Research, 11(4).



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