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Access a Parent Element With JavaScript or jQuery

    Adam Roberts

    Often you’ll want your JavaScript functions to access parent elements in the DOM.

    To accomplish this in JavaScript, try element.parentNode.

    To do the same in jQuery, try element.parent().

    Here’s a JavaScript example.


    <ul id="tabs">
    <li class="firsttab"><a href="#">one</a></li>
    <li class="secondtab"><a href="#">two</a></li>


    function init() {
      var tablinks = document.getElementById('tabs').getElementsByTagName('a');
      for (var i = 0, j = tablinks.length; i < j; i++) {
        tablinks[i].onclick = doit;
    function doit() {
    window.onload = init;