Considering How Filial Piety and Collectivism Affect Second Generation Chinese American Adult Attachment in Familial Relationships

Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Lavita Nadkarni

Second Advisor

Carrie Landin

Third Advisor

Brian Beaumund


Attachment, Chinese American, Filial piety, Collectivism


Second generation Chinese Americans fit in a unique overlap between cultures that attachment research commonly overlooks. Attachment theory, though valuable and useful to understand individuals’ relational patterns, neglects valuable cultural factors and has been critiqued for its Western-centric views on healthy connection. Factors including family history, immigration stories, and acculturation are rarely considered when discussing attachment. Because second generation Chinese Americans exist between two cultures, clinicians who are familiar with the Chinese values of collectivism and filial piety may better work with and understand familial attachment in this population. This paper evaluates the use of attachment theory in East Asian cultures, specifically exploring how filial piety and collectivism interact with mainstream Western culture and the impact on Chinese American adult attachment. The paper then details a clinical case example that illustrates both the successes and struggles in working with a second generation Chinese American adult client. Lastly, this paper presents examples on how to tailor conceptualization and treatment to consider filial piety and collectivism when working with this population.

Copyright Date


Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.

Rights Holder

Kelly Ye


Received from author

File Format



English (eng)


38 pgs

File Size

285 KB

This document is currently not available here.