Tuesday, July 15, 2008

jQuery isChildOf - is element a child of / ancestor of element - plugin

If anyone knows of an existing jQuery method of determining whether an element is a child of another element, please feel free to post. I couldn't find one, so I developed the plugin below:

(function($) {
isChildOf: function( filter_string ) {

var parents = $(this).parents().get();

for ( j = 0; j < parents.length; j++ ) {
if ( $(parents[j]).is(filter_string) ) {
return true;

return false;

The usage is:


where filter_string is any of the expr values that can be passed to JQuery's is() function. You can get more information here


<div id="parent2">
<div id="parent1">
<div id="child">

Alerts "true":

alert( $('#child').isChildOf('#parent1') );

Alerts "true":

alert( $('#child').isChildOf('#parent2') );

Alerts "false"

alert( $('#child').isChildOf('#notaparent') );


Haineault said...

Nice code, byt why not simply extend selectors ? ;)


Anonymous said...


Shouldn't it be enough to check for

if (parents.length > 0)

in your code without the need to run throug the for loop?


Jim Keller said...

>Nice code, byt why not simply extend selectors ? ;)

I worked with selectors a bit and couldn't come up with anything that would accomplish what I Was looking for. I wanted to close a popup window if anywhere *other* than the window (or its children) were clicked, and I couldn't come up with a selector that would let me say "is the element that triggered the event a child, direct or indirect, of x container?". It's quite possible I'm just not well versed enough in selectors to know the syntax, but I've yet to come across it.

>Shouldn't it be enough to check for
>if (parents.length > 0)

I needed to check whether the element was a descendant of the given parent, not just a direct descendant, so I needed to go through the loop until all parents were exhausted.

kazhar said...

er... parents().filter(expr) ?

Tsvetomir said...

This should work too:


Diego A. said...

how about...

$.fn.isChildOf = function(exp){
return $(child).parents().filter(exp).length>0;

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