Filial Responsibility Expectation Item-Scale

Filial Responsibility Expectation Item-Scale (Filiale Zorg Verwachtingen Schaal)

LASA filenames:

Contact: Theo van Tilburg


The filial responsibility expectation scale is an adjusted version of the Hamon ‘filial responsibility expectations’ 16-item scale (Hamon & Blieszner, 1990). Two items were excluded from the Hamon scale: children who live at a distance should write their parents once a week; older parents should be able to live with one of their adult children. Results of the study by Hamon and Blieszner (1990) showed that these items are deemed less important by both older parents and adult children. Two new items were added to the scale. First, an item directed towards communication: it is important to learn whether filial responsibility expectations encompass children to phone their parents on a regular basis (item 5). Second, an item in context of an ever-changing health care system: it is important to know whether filial responsibility expectations include the adult overseeing the quality of the professional services received by parents (item 14). The scale was used in a self-administered questionnaire. The scale consists of 16 items, all positively formulated. The items are preceded by an introduction. The item scores were collected by means of a written questionnaire.

The scale was included in the written questionnaire at the LASA D- and E-wave. Along with the reform of long term care policies after 2007 and in particular in 2015, there was an increasing appeal for informal care by policymakers. This might have impacted also on the filial expectations of older adults in general. In order to be able to compare trends in filial expectations over time, we decided to include the scale in the J-wave again.

Measurement instruments in LASA

The scale items
(in English; see LASA132_quest_nl for Dutch)

In the written questionnaire in LASA-D, E, and J, respondents were asked about their expectations and opinions about (their) children.They were presented 16 statements, indicating on a 5-point scale whether they completely disagreed or completely agreed. The statements were the following:

  1. Children should live close to their parents.
  2. Children should take care of their sick parents.
  3. Children should give their parents financial support.
  4. Children who live nearby should visit their parent at least once a week.
  5. Children should phone their parents on a regular basis.
  6. Children should feel responsible for their parents.
  7. Children and parents should be together on special occasions, like Christmas and weddings.
  8. Parents should be able to talk to their children about matters of personal importance, which have influence on their lives.
  9. Children should give emotional support to their parents.
  10. Children should be willing to give up free time for their parents.
  11. In emergencies children should make room for their parents in their home.
  12. Children should offer advice to their parents.
  13. Children should adjust their work situation in order to help their parents, e.g., by working less overtime or temporarily working less hours.
  14. Children should monitor the quality of care given to their parents.
  15. Children should adjust their situation at home in order to help their parents, e.g., assign activities to others or put activities aside temporarily.
  16. Children should familiarise their parents with health care services.

Frequenties of the item scores

The results of the computation of the item scores can be found here for LASA-D.

Psychometric properties</em
LASA-E: LoevingersH= .39; Reliability rho = .90

Scale score

Computation of the scale score from the item scores (SPSS) for LASA-D can be found here.

Frequency of the scale score
Distribution of Filial Responsibility Expectations item-scale scores for LASA-D.

N = 1622; Range = 16 – 80; Mean = 50.1; SD = 11.5; Skewness = -.114; Kurtosis = .048


LASAD132 / LASAE132 / LASAJ132 (self-administered questionnaire: in Dutch)

Interim measurement:

LASEs818 (self-administered questionnaire: in Dutch)

Variable information

LASAD132 / LASAE132 / LASAJ132;
LASAD332 / LASAE332 / LASAJ332 (scale values)

Interim measurement:


Availability of information per observation


Filial Responsibility Expectation


¹ More information about the LASA data collection waves is available here.

*  IM=interim measurement between E and F (first cohort only);
2B=baseline second cohort;
3B=baseline third cohort;
MB=migrants: baseline first cohort;
K=not available yet

Sa=data collected in self-administered questionnaire

Use in LASA

Peer reviewed journal articles

  1. Van der Pas, S., Van Tilburg, T.G. (2010). The influence of family structure on the contact between older parents and their adult biological children and stepchildren in the Netherlands. Journal of Gerontology; Social Sciences, 65B, 2, 236-245
  2. van der Pas, S., van Tilburg, T.G., & Knipscheer, C.P.M. (2005). Measuring older adults’ filial responsibility expectations: Exploring the application of a vignette technique and an item scale. Measuring older adults’ filial responsibility expectations: Exploring the application of a vignette technique and an item scale.Educational and Psychological Measurement, 65, 1026-1045. doi:10.1177/0013164405278559
  3. van der Pas, S., van Tilburg, T.G. and Silverstein, M. (2013), Stepfamilies in Later Life. Fam Relat, 75: 1065-1069. doi:10.1111/jomf.12054
  4. Van Tilburg, T.G., Van der Pas, S. (2008). The intergenerational care potential of Dutch older adults in 1992 and 2002. In C. Saraceno (Ed.). Families, ageing and social policy: Generational solidarity in European welfare states (pp. 217-235). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar. ISBN 978-1-84720-648-0; ISBN 978-1-84844-514-7.
  5. Van der Pas, S., Van Tilburg, T.G., Knipscheer, C.P.M. (2007).  Changes in contact and support within intergenerational relationships in the Netherlands: A cohort and time-sequential perspective. In T. Owens & J.J. Suitor (Eds.), Advances in life course research: Interpersonal relations across the life course (Vol. 12; pp. 243-274). London: Elsevier Science. ISSN 1040-2608; ISBN-13: 978-0-7623-1292-4; ISBN-10: 0-7623-1292-0.
  6. Van der Pas, S., Van Tilburg, T.G., Knipscheer, C.P.M. (2005). Measuring older adults’ filial responsibility expectations: Exploring the application of a vignette technique and an item scale. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 65, 6, 1026-1045.

Articles in Dutch

  1. Broese van Groenou, M.I., Van der Pas, S., Deeg, D.J.H. (2000). Zorg voor ouderen: Verwachtingen en werkelijkheid. Gerõn (Tijdschrift voor Sociale Gerontologie), 2, 3, 24-29.
  2. Van der Pas, S., Suanet, B.A. (2013). Families, van traditioneel naar samengesteld. Gerõn, Tijdschrift over ouder worden & samenleving, 15(3), 34-36.


  1. Hamon, R.R. & Blieszner, R. (1990). Filial responsibility expectations among adult child – older parent pairs. Journal of Gerontology, 45, P110-P112.

Date of last update: April 21, 2020