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Adolescent satisfaction in family rituals and psychosocial development: A developmental systems theory perspective

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Abstract

Adolescent satisfaction in family rituals and psychosocial development (E. Greenberger & A. B. Sorenson, 1974) were explored in the context of adolescent personality characteristics (International Personality Item Pool, 1999) and family environment characteristics (S. M. Gavazzi, M. J. Reese, & R. M. Sabatelli, 1998; D. H. Olson et al., 1983). Data were collected from 159 female undergraduates with the Adolescent Satisfaction in Family Rituals Scale (D. G. Eaker & L. H. Walters, 1999). Family ritual satisfaction was positively related to late adolescent psychosocial development and mediated the relation between family boundaries and psychosocial development. Furthermore, the relation between personality (measured as discontentedness, an aspect of neuroticism) and satisfaction with family rituals was found to be mediated by family boundaries in preliminary analyses. These results suggest that the relevance of family ritual experiences to adolescent psychosocial development is in part a function of an individual's personality and the family environment.

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... Finally, another aspect of literature surrounding familial stability focuses on the relational aspect of family interaction. These familial characteristics range from marital satisfaction or discord (Emery & O'Leary, 1982;Goldberg & Easterbrooks, 1984;Long & Forehand, 1987;Webster-Stratton, 1988), family cohesion or bonding (Cashwell & Vacc, 1996;Cooper, Holman, & Braithwaite, 1983;Lucia & Breslau, 2006;Olson, 2000), or family rituals/routines (Eaker & Walters, 2002;Kiser, Bennett, Heston, & Paavola, 2005;Schuck & Bucy, 1997). The purpose of this review is to determine if there is a consensus throughout the literature on what family stability is, to synthesize this information to help better understand the concept of family stability, and to determine which aspects of family stability are the strongest predictors of later childhood behavioral outcomes. ...
... These rituals or routines can be daily routines such as meals together, or they can be something classified as a tradition, such as celebrations or holidays. Research points to the idea that engagement in and development of constant, predictable routines and rituals within a family lead to better social development and overall happiness (Eaker & Walters, 2002). Families who take part in family activities, or "quality time," together at an early onset in the child's life create a much more stable and much safer environment for the child to develop in. ...
... This is why this review, unlike others, has taken into account some of the most frequently researched aspects of the relational variables surrounding family functioning. To continue the definition (as deduced from the findings of this review) of what a true stable family is, the definition should include children from a home in which there is a high level of marital/relationship satisfaction between partners (Emery & O'Leary, 1982;Goldburg & Easterbrooks, 1984;Long & Forehand, 1987;Wang & Crane, 2001;Webster-Stratton, 1988), in which there are children with high levels of cohesion and closeness with their caregiver(s) (Cashwell & Vacc, 1996;Cooper et al., 1983;Lucia & Breslau, 2006), and in which children take part in regular, predictable routines or rituals within their family unit (Eaker & Walters, 2002;Kiser et al., 2005;Schuck & Bucy, 1997;Viere, 2001). It is extremely unlikely to have a family that fits into the criteria described above. ...
Article
As the definition of what is considered a family changes in our society, the family unit itself continues to undergo changes. These changes can sometimes lead to decreased stability within the family unit. One of the greatest challenges facing those researching this phenomenon is the lack of consistency within the existing body of research surrounding what familial instability actually is (the definition). This critical review of the literature examines the current body of literature in order to identify what is known about family stability and its impact on adolescent behavior, as well as what gaps currently exist. This review focuses on definitions of family stability, current factors surrounding the stability of the family unit, and addresses the implications that the current body of literature presents.
... Ouers se beroeps-en lewenstylveranderinge kan ook implikasies hê in hierdie proses (Imber-Black et al., 1988). Gedurende hierdie ontwikkelingsfase bestaan daar 'n tekort aan betekenisvolle gesinsaktiwiteite, naamlik gesinsrituele (Eaker & Walters, 2002). Wanneer transisie en verandering problematies raak, probeer ouers dikwels herhaaldelik dieselfde taktiek. ...
... Gesinsrituele is bruikbare wyses waarop individue en gesinne bygestaan kan word tydens lewenstransisies, insluitend adolessensie (Van der Hart, 1983). Gesinsrituele kan veral in oorgangsfases, soos tydens adolessensie, 'n atmosfeer skep waarbinne hegter verhoudings gevorm kan word om sodoende die adolessent se selfbeeld en identiteitsontwikkeling te fassiliteer (Parker, 1999; Eaker & Walters, 2002). ...
... Die viering van persoonlike karaktereienskappe en sterkpunte kan veral voordelig wees tydens adolessente oorgangsfases in die gesin, en in die voorsiening van nuwe rolle wanneer kinders groei en verander (Parker,1999). Sistemiese ontwikkelingsteoretici meen dat 'n individu moontlik sy of haar omgewing verskillend beleef wanneer hy of sy ontwikkelingsveranderinge ondergaan (Eaker & Walters, 2002). Daarom kan die aanname gemaak word dat die adolessent se ervarings van gesinsrituele verskillend mag wees van soortgelyke rituele ervarings tydens die kinderjare (Eaker & Walters, 2002). ...
Article
Thesis (M.A. Psychology)--University of Johannesburg, 2005. Bibliographical references: leaves 101-107.
... Along with building a shared family identity, rituals promote a positive sense of belonging to the family as a group (Fiese, 1992; Wolin & Bennett, 1984), a process which resembles the dynamic of family cohesion, defined as an emotional bonding among family members (Olson, Russell, & Sprenkle, 1983 ). Research has found positive crosssectional associations among meaning of family rituals (Fiese & Kline, 1993), satisfaction with these events (Eaker & Walters, 2002), and perceptions of family cohesion. However, to our knowledge, no study to date has examined the link between family rituals and family cohesion/ belonging over time. ...
... Fiese, 2006). Rituals also have the potential to be a vehicle for the renegotiation of the roles of young people in the family (Eaker & Walters, 2002). For instance, the gradual taking over of more responsibilities in organizing family celebrations (such as birthdays or Christmas) by the younger generation (Cheal, 1988) allows parents and adolescents to transform their relationship, setting the stage for less hierarchical interactions when children reach adulthood (Laursen & Collins, 2009). ...
... We predicted that the longitudinal links between family ritual meaning (parents' perceptions) and family cohesion (both parents' and young people's perceptions) would be positive and bidirectional (H1). A concurrent positive association between family ritual meaning and cohesion has been documented in the literature (Eaker & Walters, 2002; Fiese & Kline, 1993; Fiese et al., 2002), but the possible bidirectional relationship across time has not been examined thus far. Our hypothesis derives from the systemic perspective that conceives of family processes as interdependent (Minuchin, 1985). ...
Article
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This research examined the longitudinal links between perceptions of family rituals, family cohesion, and adolescents' well-being in 713 adolescent-parent/caregiver dyads in New Zealand. Parents (86% mothers) assessed family ritual meaning and family cohesion, and adolescents (10 to 16 years old at Time 1) reported on family cohesion and well-being at two times of measurement with a 1-year interval. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to assess stability coefficients, cross-lagged effects, and to test a multistep mediation model. Results showed longitudinal bidirectional effects between perceptions of family ritual meaning and family cohesion (for parents), and between perceptions of family cohesion from parents/caregivers and adolescents. In addition, family ritual meaning was found to be linked to adolescents' well-being indirectly via parents' and adolescents' family cohesion. Results support and expand previous research on the direct and indirect effects of family rituals in family and individual positive outcomes.
... Participation in customary family rituals leads to a healthy development of identity and positive behaviors (Eaker & Walters, 2002). Family rituals also assist in developing a sense of belonging for family members (Viere, 2001). ...
... These rituals or routines can be daily (such as meals together), or they can be special traditions that occur on a predictable, but not daily, basis (such as birthday celebrations or holidays at grandparents' homes). Referring to Table 1.1, research suggests that when parents create and implement constant and predictable routines or rituals within a family, children have better social and emotional outcomes (Eaker & Walters, 2002). Families who take part in joint activities, or "quality time," together create a much more stable environment in which the child can develop his or her social and emotional skills. ...
... Although learning through intent to participate is seen more frequently in cultural communities where children are involved in adult activities on a regular daily basis, it also is an important socialization mechanism in those communities where children are segregated in formal school settings. And finally, those who study rituals and routines have noted that more psychosocially mature adolescents feel more closely connected to family rituals (Eaker & Walters 2002) and that there is less conflict between fathers and adolescents in families where the members spend more time eating together, watching television, and sharing activities and places visited (Dubas & Gerris 2002). Additionally, Grusec et al. (1996) found that the performance of household work that benefited others and was done on a routine basis predicted children's spontaneous prosocial behavior, whereas work done for the self or only when requested did not. ...
Article
Children learn moral values and social conventions through a process of socialization, much of which involves parenting. The process is bidirectional and involves a complex interplay between evolutionary predispositions and genetic and socio-cultural factors. Children's perception of, or assignment of meaning to, parenting interventions is central. Socialization occurs in different domains marked by different aspects of the parent-child relationship and different underlying mechanisms. Each domain requires different parenting actions that must be matched to the domain in which the child is operating and that result in different outcomes for the child. The domains include protection, mutual reciprocity, control, guided learning, and group participation, and are assumed to be operative in all cultures. The review concludes that children need to experience their parents as supportive and understanding, that they need structure, and that they need to feel they have some degree of control over their own actions.
... Four conditions must be met to demonstrate mediation (Baron & Kenny, 1986; Eaker & Walters, 2002; Holmbeck, 1997; Kraemer et al., 2001): (a) The independent variable (family SES) must be significantly associated with the criterion measures of interest (i.e., inhibition, cognitive flexibility and working memory), (b) the hypothesized mediator must be significantly associated with the criterion of interest, (c) the independent variable must be significantly associated with the hypothesized mediator, and (d) the association between independent variable and outcome must be reduced once the hypothesized mediator is controlled. In light of the above criteria, HOME total scores partially mediated association between SES and inhibitory control but not cognitive flexibility or working memory (model II,Table 5). ...
Article
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The association between family socioeconomic status (SES) and child executive functions is well-documented. However, few studies have examined the role of potential mediators and moderators. We studied the independent and interactive associations between family SES and single parenthood to predict child executive functions of inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and working memory and examined child expressive language abilities and family home environment as potential mediators of these associations. Sixty families from diverse SES backgrounds with a school-age target child (mean [SD] age = 9.9 [0.96] years) were evaluated. Child executive functioning was measured using a brief battery. The quality of the home environment was evaluated using the Home Observation for the Measurement of the Environment inventory. Family SES predicted the three child executive functions under study. Single parent and family SES were interactively associated with children's inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility; such that children from low SES families who were living with one parent performed less well on executive function tests than children from similarly low SES who were living with two parents. Parental responsivity, enrichment activities and family companionship mediated the association between family SES and child inhibitory control and working memory. This study demonstrates that family SES inequalities are associated with inequalities in home environments and with inequalities in child executive functions. The impact of these disparities as they unfold in the lives of typically developing children merits further investigation and understanding.
... Eating together "as a family" may be meaningful to individuals in the family (DeVault, 1994). Family mealtimes increase family connections (Fiese, 2006) and create a sense of family identity and group membership (Eaker & Walters, 2002;Leon & Jacobvitz, 2003). Engaging in family mealtimes has been associated with fewer internalizing symptoms (Fiese, Winter, Wamboldt, Anbar, & Wamboldt, 2010), greater academic success (Spagnola & Fiese, 2007), and fewer adolescent high-risk behaviors (Fulkerson et al., 2006;Sen, 2010). ...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the extent to which family dinnertime rituals serve a protective role for families experiencing high levels of stress. Using data from a longitudinal study of working-class couples, the role of dinnertime rituals as a moderator of mothers' and fathers' parenting stress and child psychosocial outcomes was investigated. Greater dinnertime rituals reported by fathers moderated the effect of parenting stress on internalizing problems for girls, but not for boys. Fathers' reports of dinnertime rituals were related to fewer behavioral symptoms, internalizing problems and externalizing problems, and greater adaptive skills for girls. No significant interaction effects for mothers' parenting stress or rituals were found, but there were significant main effects of mothers' parenting stress and dinnertime rituals on child outcomes. These findings suggest that dinnertime rituals can potentially moderate the effects of parenting stress on child outcomes and fathers and daughters showed the greatest benefits of these family practices.
... Rituals serve a variety of functions in marital and family relationships. They promote satisfaction and stability (Bruess & Pearson, 2002;Fiese & Tomcho, 2001), ease role transition such as the transition to parenthood (Fiese, Hooker, Kotary, & Schwagler, 1993;Kalmijn, 2010), contribute to a sense of marital and family identity (Braithwaite & Baxter, 1995;Crespo et al., 2008;Doherty, 2001), help transmit family values and beliefs (Friedman & Weissbrod, 2004), and strengthen relationships during times of transition and crisis (Barnett & Youngberg, 2004;Eaker & Walters, 2002). In addition to the benefits provided to marital and family relationships, Campbell and Ponzetti (2007) found that rituals enhance commitment for individuals in premarital relationships. ...
Article
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This study provides an understanding of rituals enacted in unmarried couple relationships. One hundred and twenty-nine individuals involved in unmarried relationships reported on their rituals in an online, open-ended questionnaire. A typology of 16 ritual types was developed. Twelve of the rituals have been shown to be common in marital relationships. Four new ritual categories, unique to unmarried relationships, emerged from the data. The new categories were gift-giving, helping each other/being supportive, future planning/daydreaming about the future, and family involvement. Implications for future research on couple rituals are suggested.
... Specifically, caring for a child with a behavioral disorder stresses a family system (Gyamfi, 2004), and may result in an already stressed family system decompensating further, thus further impacting child behavior. Additionally, parents and children both play important roles in family cohesion (Eakers & Walters, 2002). ...
Article
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The following commentary serves as a response to the article, “Family Stability and Childhood Behavioral Outcomes: A Critical Review of the Literature.” The review article provides a good overview into family factors affecting children, but falls short in discussing how modifying family factors could change specific child behavioral outcomes. The next step in this field of research is a unified definition of family stability, a standardized measure of family stability, and discussion of how child behavior affects family stability, and how changes in family stability could affect child behavior.
... Wielu autorów podkreśla istotną funkcję rytuałów dla procesu kształtowania się tożsamości (m.in. Fiese, 1992;Goettler, Walters, 2002), jak również dla procesu nabywania autonomii i separacji od rodziny pochodzenia (m.in. Bossard, Boll, 1950;Shipman, 1982). ...
Article
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The article concerns issues relating to family rituals, discussing them from the perspective of theoretical findings, results of research and psychological functions, as well as therapeutic applications. After discussing the present-day scope of the concept of ritual, the authors present an overview of the over 60-year-old history of psychological research on family rituals in the world, mostly in the US, and the status of such research in Poland. Existing definitions, classifications and attempts of operationalization of family rituals, as well as research methods, including the structure of rituals and experiences gained from participation, are discussed. In the final part the authors deal with psychological functions of family rituals. Artykuł porusza zagadnienia odnoszące się do rytuałów rodzinnych, omawiając je zarówno od strony ustaleń teoretycznych, jak i wyników badań oraz funkcji psychologicznych, w tym zastosowań terapeutycznych. Po omówieniu współczesnego zakresu pojęcia rytuału, prezentowana jest ponad 60-letnia historia badań psychologicznych nad rytuałami rodzinnymi na świecie, głównie w Stanach Zjednoczonych, oraz stan takich badań w Polsce. Omówione są definicje, klasyfikacje i próby operacjonalizacji rytuałów rodzinnych, jak też metody badań, w tym dotyczące struktury rytuałów i doświadczeń płynących z uczestnictwa. W części końcowej autorki zajmują się funkcjami psychologicznymi rytuałów rodzinnych.
Article
This article offers a comment on the special research section on Family Routines and Rituals from the point of view of a family therapist who has made the use of rituals a specialty in clinical practice. Ways that the research usefully informs clinicians seeking to use rituals in therapy are highlighted. A critique of the articles, particularly in the area of ritual definition, is offered. The comment concludes with several suggestions for future research.
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This diverse collection of papers highlights routines and rituals in family life. Just as individual family members bring unique styles and perspectives to the family table, to be incorporated into a family framework, so do each of these papers present rich and varied research questions, designs, and measurement strategies that enrich our understanding of family routine behavior patterns and ritual meanings. This series adds to our conceptualization of family routines and rituals within a systems perspective highlighting: 1) families are comprised of multiple levels that operate individually; interact with each other; and as a whole, reveal properties distinct from separate parts; 2) families tend toward stability in meaningful patterns of functioning; and 3) family functioning has meaning for individual outcomes.
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The Social Action by Youth (SAY) project provided participants with an opportunity to explore their hopes, celebrate their social identity and address their community concerns by creating participant designed and participant-led community-building and social action projects. The researcher worked in partnership with a community agency in a socially disadvantaged area of Melbourne. An appreciative inquiry approach to action research was taken with three local youth groups who became active co-operative inquirers. The first group of 16 year old school students designed and successfully undertook community-building projects in community arts, including: a drug-free underage dance party, a community theatre group, a student battle of the bands, children's activities in a cultural festival for refugees and designing an Aboriginal public garden. The group of same-sex attracted youth in a social setting chose to address heterosexism in the local community by the workshops and performances of their own drama scenarios at a teachers' forum on same-sex attracted friendly environments in schools. The third group, recently arrived refugee youth from the Horn of Africa in an educational bridging program, organised a celebratory day on their recent educational achievements with food, music and dancing. Participants reported alienation from their local neighbourhoods at the beginning of the research. However, through the process of appreciating their identity and successfully creating community projects, the participants in each group reported feelings of positive identity affirmation and being able to make a difference in their communities. Participants began a social transformation process of developing new positive narratives for an improved sense of community connectedness.
Article
This brief introduction to the special section on family routines and rituals highlights several key points that cut across the collected articles. Taken together, the articles point out that families engage in regular and predictable routines that promote close and healthy relationships. Second, these studies exemplify the potential to bridge individual and systemic levels in family research. Third, there are direct applications to clinical work providing avenues for assessment and interventions with diverse groups of families.
Article
In this study we examined college students' assessment of the personal meaningfulness of their families' rituals and their desire to initiate family rituals in the future. Participants were 46 male and 49 female never-married, primarily European American undergraduates at a private east coast university. It was found that women were more likely than men to see themselves initiating future family rituals. The amount of ritual initiation undertaken by participants' same-sex parents and participants' communality were significant predictors of reported likelihood of future ritual initiation. A caring parenting style was the only significant predictor of the meaningfulness of rituals. The relationships of respondents' religious and ethnic background and their parents' marital status to their attitudes toward rituals were also examined.
Article
This cross-sectional study explored the relationships among family ritual meaning, cohesion, conflict, and health-related quality of life (both specific to chronic health conditions and in general), and the emotional and behavioral problems reported by youths with asthma. Participants included 149 Portuguese children and adolescents between the ages of 8 and 18 who had been diagnosed with asthma and attended outpatient services at three public hospitals. The results showed that stronger family ritual meaning predicted a more positive family environment (i.e., higher cohesion levels and lower conflict levels), better health-related quality of life, and fewer emotional and behavior problems in youths. Furthermore, family cohesion and conflict mediated the links between family ritual meaning and health-related quality of life, and emotional and behavioral problems. These results did not change after controlling for participant age, gender, and asthma severity. The findings of this study suggest that family ritual meaning contributes to the adaptation of youths with asthma via its positive association with the family environment. The implications for multicontextual interventions with families are briefly discussed with regard to the positive role of family rituals and of their potential as a modifiable factor in families with increased health challenges.
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Rituals promote commitment in marital and family relationships. However, the salience of rituals to commitment in premarital involvements has not been investigated. This study examined if rituals were related to commitment, and to what extent rituals moderated the association between investment model variables (i.e., satisfaction level, investment size, and alternatives) and commitment. University students (N = 100) who were in a couple relationship volunteered to participate. Findings indicated that rituals were significant predictors of commitment; however, no unique variance was accounted for once investment model variables were taken into consideration. Rituals significantly moderated the relationship between alternatives and investments, and commitment. Implications for future research are discussed.
Article
To explore changes in family‐based nature activities (FBNA) across five developmental stages and investigate whether frequency and type of FBNA across the early life course is associated with greater family relationship quality in emerging adulthood. Retrospective survey data was collected from 451 undergraduate students who primarily identified as Asian American (44.9%) and Latinx (42.7%). Multilevel models showed that participants who showed greater stability in FBNA across the early life course reported more positive family relationship quality in emerging adulthood. Higher income participants' FBNA declined more rapidly as they aged, whereas lower income participants showed greater stability across five developmental stages. Greater participation in social, physical, nature, and travel types of outdoor family activities were associated with more positive family relationship quality in emerging adulthood, whereas sports and entertainment were not significantly associated. Findings support the FBNA framework, suggesting that continued participation in outdoor family rituals across the early life course is associated with positive family relationship outcomes in adulthood. Results are discussed in relation to the importance of studying outdoor family leisure rituals in the field of human development and family studies.
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This work investigated, in an exploratory way, the adolescents' perception of their family meetings. It was applied a qualitative methodology called focal group. Eleven adolescents, from 12 to 15 years old, of low-income population in the city of Belém, participated in this research. The place chosen was a public day care. The research procedure was divided in five steps: participants' selection, appreciation of the research ethic committee, collection of parents' permission, application of the focal group technique, and data analysis. The results indicated that the union, the sense of belonging to the family group, the happiness perceived in the environment, the sharing of experiences, the exchange of positive feelings and the absence of conflicts contribute to the adolescents' perceptions of family meetings as a satisfactory experience.
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The purpose of this analysis was to examine the contribution of shared family time to family resilience following divorce. Based on interviews with parents, adolescents and stepparents from 51 families, shared family time served three overarching adaptive functions: (1) communal coping; (2) relationship maintenance; and (3) as a context for growth-oriented change. Study participants emphasized how relatively enjoyable shared family activities were critical to their efforts to jointly cope with immediate Stressors and to maintain or rebuild a sense of family following changes in their family structure.
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This study examines the construct validity of the Goldberg International Personality Item Pool (IPIP) measure by comparing it to a well-developed measure of the five-factor model, the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI). A sample of 353 diverse students from a large U.S. university completed both measures. Structural equation modeling was used to conduct the multitrait-multimethod, multiple-group, and latent mean analyses. A model with five correlated trait factors and two method factors provided the best fit to the data. Support for convergent and discriminant validity was also found. Racial and gender differences were relatively small for both instruments. These results support the construct validity of the IPIP. However, neither the NEO-FFI nor the IPIP produced a very good fit when analyzing item-level data, suggesting considerable room for improvement.
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Adolescence is a sensitive period for the development of depressive-anxious symptomatology. The practice of family rituals and perceived social connectedness have been indicated as protective factors for adolescents´ adjustment, however the existing empirical research is still scarce. The present research examined the relationships among family ritual meaning, social connectedness, anxiety and depression among Portuguese students. A total of 248 students (52.8 % female) aged between 15 and 20 years old (M = 16.27, SD = 1.22) participated in this study. The participants completed self-report measures (Family Ritual Questionnaire, Social Connectedness Scale—Revised, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale). Results showed that family ritual meaning was positively related to social connectedness and negatively related to depression. Social connectedness was negatively associated with anxiety and depression. Gender was only associated with anxiety, and age wasn’t significantly correlated with any of the variables. Mediation analysis demonstrated that family ritual meaning was negatively linked to both depression (indirect effect = −.07; CI = −.13/−.02) and anxiety symptoms (indirect effect = −.06; CI = −.11/−.01) via social connectedness. These results clarified one of the possible paths through which family ritual meaning influences depressive-anxious symptomatology in adolescence. Taking into account the protective role of family ritual meaning and social connectedness, future interventions can be designed in order to reduce and prevent anxiety and depression in this particular developmental stage. Contributions and limitations of this study are presented along with suggestions for further investigation.
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Among teenage Latinas in the United States, suicide attempts occur at alarming rates, sometimes twice as high as other youth. For decades clinicians in mostly urban centers with large Hispanic populations witnessed the puzzling phenomenon of young Latinas who had attempted suicide. It was not until the 1990s when national surveys confirmed what clinicians were seeing in their practices. But the mystery of why some Latinas attempted when other Latinas with similar social and psychological profiles did not remained. Through the retelling of the history of research into this life-threatening act and the many factors that contribute it, this book begins to unravel the mystery of suicide attempts by young Latinas. Beginning with a description of the U.S. Hispanic population and the characteristics of the Hispanic family-its values, beliefs, norms, child-rearing-the book goes on to look at the development of young Latinas, girls straddling two cultures and struggling to reconcile them. Drawing on developmental, cultural and family psychology, acculturation and immigration theory and research, and the traditional and modern socialization of U.S. Hispanic girls, the book sets the stage for an in-depth look at the suicide attempts by Latinas. The book presents case studies and data collected from over 120 girls who attempted suicide and more than 110 who had not. It illustrates with the girls' own words, and those of their parents, how social, psychological, family and cultural factors come together to a flashpoint. This book presents the anatomy of the experiences before, during and after the suicide attempt, suggests new ways of understanding suicide attempts, and offers ideas for prevention and treatment to save young Latinas.
Article
This brief introduction to the special section on family routines and rituals highlights several key points that cut across the collected articles. Taken together, the articles point out that families engage in regular and predictable routines that promote close and healthy relationships. Second, these studies exemplify the potential to bridge individual and systemic levels in family research. Third, there are direct applications to clinical work providing avenues for assessment and interventions with diverse groups of families.
Article
The articles in this special section represent cutting edge research on family routines and rituals. This comment discusses how this work may inform and be informed by other family research. This includes studying how routines develop, are maintained, and reorganize as well as how they influence individual outcomes through effects on socialization, security, and adaptation to stress. Applications of research on family routines to enhance prevention and treatment are also discussed. New directions for the study of family rituals are discussed, including how ritual events may have long-term effects on family interaction through discontinuous changes in relationship expectations of family members.
Article
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This study identified unmarried men and women’s dating ritual experience and elements of dating ritual. It also examined the effects of perceived dating ritual on couple relations satisfaction and investigated whether dating ritual satisfaction mediates the effects of dating ritual on the satisfaction with couple relations. For this study, a survey was conducted with 300 unmarried couples in their twenties and thirties in Seoul area. Data were analyzed by means of descriptive statistics, factor analysis, and hierarchical regression analysis. The major findings of this study are as follows: First, unmarried men and women showed generally high levels of dating ritual experiences. In addition, the perceived dating ritual comprised ‘couple-time・activity sharing and communication ritual,’ ‘sexual intimacy ritual’, and ‘we-ness ritual.’ Second, hierarchical regression analyses revealed that couple-time・ activity sharing and communication ritual was positively related to perceived satisfaction in relationship. Specifically, however, ‘sexual intimacy ritual’ and ‘we-ness ritual’ did not influence perceived relational satisfaction. Third, regression analysis indicated that ‘satisfaction with couple-time・activity sharing and communication ritual’ partially mediated the relation between ‘couple-time・activity sharing and communication ritual’ and satisfaction in relationships. In conclusion, the higher the level of ‘couple-time activity sharing and communication ritual’, the higher the level of ‘couple-time activity sharing and communication ritual satisfaction’ and subsequently the higher the level of satisfaction with couple relationship.
Article
This study examined the family functions and satisfaction of life according to the types of family rituals and investigated the effects of family rituals on family function and satisfaction of life. The survey questionnaire was administered to 136 married women. SPSS Win program with MANOVA and Multiple Regression Analysis was used for data analysis. The main study findings were as follows. (1)The types of family rituals were significantly different according to age and satisfaction of life was significantly different according to the levels of family economy. (2)The influence of family ritual on family functions differed according to the subtype of family rituals. (3)The influence of family ritual on satisfaction of life differed according to the subtype of family rituals. This study indicated that it is necessary to develop affect, routine, and deliberateness for increasing family function and life satisfaction in married women.
Article
The far-reaching impact of events such as HIV/AIDS and divorce on family structures, together with the prevalence of violence in South Africa, necessitate a new look at the significance of family rituals. Family rituals can be seen as uniquely meaningful family interactions that transmit the family's enduring beliefs, values, attitudes and goals, and provide the family with a sense of stability and a means of socialisation. Family rituals play a role in the establishment of accessible family relationships. They facilitate the development of the identities and emotional security of family members. Rituals are repetitive, are highly valued and have symbolic meanings. They add meaning to family life and can support a family's stability during turbulent times and transition. Healthy rituals in family life may buffer families from the negative effects of environmental stress and serve as a protective factor. Young adults between 19 and 22 years were invited to participate in the research and to describe the types of rituals occurring in their core families, together with their symbolic meanings. Written data were collected and a qualitative data analysis method was applied. The findings indicated that religious activities, family meals, anniversaries, television and family outings were identified as typical rituals. The high incidence of rituals pertaining to religious activities was surprising. It may be due to the fact that the participants were students studying at a traditional, value-driven university. Family meals played an important role in family integration. The physical space in which the meal takes place fostered emotional intimacy between family members. The young adults in this group described annual celebrations and anniversaries as one of the rituals present in their families; with birthdays and Christmas being events that were especially celebrated. Watching television was also seen as an important family ritual. Family outings such as shopping, picnics or going on an outing were also considered significant family rituals. Family outings can have the important function of bonding. The variety of rituals that were identified suggests that the extent of interpersonal contact exists on a continuum. Some rituals, such as watching television together, required little personal interaction, while visits and sharing meals were based on intimate interpersonal interactions. It was clear, however, that the type of ritual performed gained its significance from the symbolic value attached to that ritual. This research found that family members' bonds were strengthened and maintained through family rituals and that a unique identity was developed with which family members could identify. Within their safe family boundaries, family members were given opportunities to develop interpersonal skills. These skills were evident in mutually respectful relationships that benefited the family as a socialisation unit, and were also transferred to the broader context of society. The repetitive nature of rituals contributed to the establishment of a safe and predictable environment, which protected the boundaries of the family and its members so that the various family functions could take place. Forming an identity and developing interpersonal skills such as empathy, respect and an awareness of other people were critical for functioning in any human context. From this research it became clear that family rituals linked different generations to each other, strengthened relationships, emphasised the uniqueness of families and supplied a mutually supportive structure. They also created a predictable environment that gave family members a sense of belonging, and that nurtured self-confidence. Where family rituals were lacking, descriptions were typified by antagonistic and mechanistic interpersonal contact, and little emotional content could be discerned. The lack of emotional content was particularly apparent in family structures characterised by changes such as divorce. The findings of this research have far-reaching implications for upcoming new family structures such as child-headed households and single-parent families.
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The articles in this special section represent cutting edge research on family routines and rituals. This comment discusses how this work may inform and be informed by other family research. This includes studying how routines develop, are maintained, and reorganize as well as how they influence individual outcomes through effects on socialization, security, and adaptation to stress. Applications of research on family routines to enhance prevention and treatment are also discussed. New directions for the study of family rituals are discussed, including how ritual events may have long-term effects on family interaction through discontinuous changes in relationship expectations of family members.
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The purpose of this study was to develop a causal model to examine the ways in which familial and social variables influence identity development in late adolescence. Four hundred and ten 18-to 21-year-old male and female college students at a large Midwestern university completed a questionnaire assessing familial security, familial and social relations, and three dimensions of identity. The resulting causal models indicated that security in familial relations enhanced identity development directly, and also indirectly by initially enhancing adolescents' social confidence and degree of interpersonal affiliation. However, the pattern of interaction among these variables varied with sex and with the specific identity measure used. It is suggested that security in familial relations may provide the support for meaningful exploration and experimentation, and enhance aspects of adolescents' sociability, which, when taken together, may enhance the identity formation process.
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In this article, we attempt to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables at a number of levels. First, we seek to make theorists and researchers aware of the importance of not using the terms moderator and mediator interchangeably by carefully elaborating, both conceptually and strategically, the many ways in which moderators and mediators differ. We then go beyond this largely pedagogical function and delineate the conceptual and strategic implications of making use of such distinctions with regard to a wide range of phenomena, including control and stress, attitudes, and personality traits. We also provide a specific compendium of analytic procedures appropriate for making the most effective use of the moderator and mediator distinction, both separately and in terms of a broader causal system that includes both moderators and mediators.
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Organization of the family system at two points in early parenthood was examined through the study of family rituals. Fifty-four couples whose oldest child was 12 months of age or less and sixty-one couples whose oldest child was between 24 and 66 months of age participated in the study. Family rituals were assessed through the Family Ritual Questionnaire and couple interviews. Marital satisfaction was assessed through the Dyadic Adjustment Scale. As predicted, the preschool family group reported the practice of more family rituals and ascribed more meaning to their family rituals than did the infant family group. Significant main effects for group and family ritual meaning were found for mothers' and fathers' marital satisfaction. The protective function of family rituals for marital satisfaction was examined through cluster analyses. Preschool families who reported more meaningful family rituals also reported more marital satisfaction.
Article
The report of meaningful family rituals relative to being raised in an alcoholic or nonalcoholic household and the possible role of family rituals were examined. Data were collected from 241 adolescents, 114 of their mothers, and 104 of their fathers. COAs and non-COAs differed on their report of the meaning associated with family rituals. A significant interaction was found between father-adolescent family ritual scores and adolescent health-related anxiety symptoms. Inconsistent results were found for adolescent problem drinking.
Article
This study examines distance regulation styles through use of the differentiation construct. Differentiation is defined as the family system's tolerance for individuality and its tolerance for intimacy. The usefulness of examining levels of family differentiation (high, moderate, low) as predictors of presenting problems in a clinical sample of adolescents and their families is explored. Findings indicate that family differentiation levels serve as significant predictors of all presenting problem categories utilized in this study.
Article
In this article we first review theoretical controversies and methodological issues centering around tests of Olson's circumplex model, Beaver's system theory, and social support theory. We then derive hypotheses about the effects of cohesion and adaptability on family members' psychological functioning, behavior, and perceptions of family relationships. The dependent variables are depression, anxiety, identity diffusion, individuation, self-esteem, deviance, school misconduct, grades, marital agreement, and parent-child communication. Using random-digit-dial screening, we obtained a sample of 699 families in a large northeastern city. Instead of a curvilinear effect, as predicted by both Olson and Beavers, we find that cohesion has a direct linear relationship to positive outcomes, a finding consistent with social support theory. Consistent with Beavers' theory, we find that the more adaptability, the better the outcomes for girls, but not for other family members. The results are discussed in light of recent questions about the validity of the FACES III scale.
Article
This article describes the conduct and results of an empirical analysis of the construct validity of the circumplex model of family functioning developed by Olson and Associates. The FACES-I1 and the Index of Family Relations were administered to 253 family members, and several hypotheses derived from the circumplex model tested. The results suggest that the circumplex model lacks construct validity. Clinical and research implications of these findings are discussed.
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This article reports on the conceptual development and empirical use of the Family Intrusiveness Scale (FIS), an instrument designed to reflect levels of intrusiveness in the family system. The development of the FIS and initial data regarding its psychometric properties are presented. Furthermore, use of this instrument in published studies is reviewed as evidence of the scale's reliability and validity. Finally, consideration is given to the use of the FIS as a practical and effective tool in future research efforts that focus on adolescents and families.
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This is a study of the relationships among family system dynamics, peer network characteristics and adolescent personal adjustment. Specific characteristics of both the family system and the peer network are thought to have a significant impact on the adolescent's ability to master certain developmental tasks and therefore contribute to the adolescent's ongoing growth and development. Apart from the separate influences of these factors, the study attempts to explore the combined influence offamily system and peer network characteristics through the use of interaction terms. Results indicate that adolescents 'psychosocial maturity levels are significantly predicted by both family support and peer conformity pressure, as well as the interaction term of Family Support x Peer Support. The results also indicate that severity levels of adolescents 'problematic behaviors are significantly predicted by family support and parental intrusiveness, as well as the interaction term of Parental Intrusiveness x Peer Support.
Article
The ritual Christmas gift giving in Middletown involves virtually the entire population and is governed by elaborate unwritten rules that are remarkably well enforced without obvious means of enforcement. Most gifts are scaled to the formal relationship between giver and receiver. It is proposed that ritualized gift giving in this society, as in others, is a way of reinforcing relationships that are highly valued but insecure.
Article
The tolerance for individuality, intimacy, and interpersonal differences within the family's relational system were assessed as indicators of family system differentiation. These indicators of differentiation within the parent/adolescent and marital relationships were examined, through adolescent reports, aspredictors ofpsychosocial maturity in a sample of late adolescents. The research also examined gender of adolescent and gender ofparent as independent and interactive moderators of developmental maturity. The hypothesis, that adolescents who perceived high levels of differentiation within the parent/adolescent and marital relationships would report higher levels ofpsychosocial maturity than would adolescents who perceive those relationships as less differentiated, was confirmed. In addition, interactions of gender and family system were found in which, most notably, the lowestpsychosocial maturity scores were reportedformalesfromfamilies characterized by less differentiated manrital subsystems and a problematic mother/son relationship.
Article
In a longitudinal study of the influence of gender and family factors on young adult romantic intimacy, we assessed at Time 1 (T1) family cohesion, flexible family control, respect for privacy and parents' marital satisfaction. Six years later, at Time 2 (T2), intimacy was assessed by 3 self-report measures: happiness in love, problems of insufficient intimacy, and romantic attachment style. Participants (n = 122; 60 men, 62 women) and their families were surveyed twice: T1 when youth were between ages 13 and 18 years, and T2 was 6 years later when they were between ages 19 and 25. Men reported more problems of insufficient intimacy than women, regardless of family dynamics. In regressions and discriminant analyses, flexible control, and to a lesser extent cohesion, predicted young adults' intimacy as did mothers' marital satisfaction. There were also gender-differentiated antecedents to intimacy, with family influences stronger for women than for men. Specifically, family respect for privacy predicted happiness in love for women, but had opposite effects for men, and flexible family control predicted romantic attachment style for women but not for men. Family influences on intimacy were interpreted in terms of their potential to counterbalance traditional gender roles.
Article
An overview of the Family Socialization and Developmental Competence longitudinal program of research (FSP) is followed by a presentation of the hypotheses and findings pertaining to family patterns as determinants of adolescent competence, and of types of adolescent substance users. Data include clusters derived from comprehensive ratings of parents and their children completed independently within- and across-time periods at ages 4, 9, and 15 years. At Time 3 (T3), the sample included 139 adolescents and their parents from a predominantly affluent, well-educated, Caucasian population. Parenting types were identified that differ on the bases of commitment and balance of demandingness and responsiveness. Authoritative parents who are highly demanding and highly responsive were remarkably successful in protecting their adolescents from problem drug use, and in generating competence. Authoritative upbringing, although sufficient, is not a necessary condition to produce competent children. Casual recreational drug use was not associated with pathological attributes, either precursive or concurrent, although nonusers showed an increment in competence from Time 2 (T2) to Time 3 (T3).
Article
Genes do not by themselves produce structural or functional characteristics. Variables within the organism (e.g., cells, tissues) and extraorganism contextual variables reciprocally interact with genes, making changing organism–context relations the basic process of development. This conception of basic process raises 2 sets of conceptual and methodological alterations for developmental psychology, especially for research pertinent to humans. First, research questions must be formulated that involve intra- and extraorganism contextual relations and that are necessarily multidisciplinary in scope. Second, greater research sensitivity must exist to issues of contextual variability, to diversity in human life and development, and to interindividual differences in the timing of organism–context interactions. Scholars must develop empirically generative models that link integratively developing people with their changing contexts. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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In a cross-sequential study spanning 5th-12th grade, 220 White working-and middle-class youth provided reports on their experience at 16,477 random moments in their lives. Amount of time spent with family was found to decrease from 35% to 14% of waking hours across this age period, indicating disengagement. However, transformation and continued connection were evident in stability across age in time talking and alone with parents; an age increase in family conversation about interpersonal issues, particularly for girls; and with age, adolescents' more frequent perception of themselves as leading interactions. After a decrease in early adolescence, older teens reported more favorable affect in themselves and others during family interactions. Last, the age decline in family time was found to be mediated not by internal family conflict but by opportunities and pulls an adolescent experiences from outside the family. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This paper updates the theoretical work on the Circumplex Model and provides revised and new hypotheses. Similarities and contrasts to the Beavers Systems Model are made along with comments regarding Beavers and Voeller's critique. FACES II, a newly revised assessment tool, provides both “perceived” and “ideal” family assessment that is useful empirically and clinically.
Article
This study examined the impact of family differentiation and peer differentiation levels on adolescent problematic behaviors and psychosocial maturity. Differentiation levels were assessed dyadically in both the family and peer systems. Results revealed family differentiation to be the sole predictor of adolescent problematic behavior. Additional regression analysis indicated that peer differentiation was a significant predictor of psychosocial maturity, along with the significant impact of adolescent gender and age. Family X Peer interaction terms were not significant predictors of either adolescent personal adjustment variable. Results, whichdisplay both consistencies and variations with the findings of previous research, are discussed in terms of their clinical implications.
Article
There have been relatively few attempts to identify environmental factors in the transmission of alcoholism across generations. Using the framework of family systems theory, the authors examined the extent of change in family rituals in 25 families in which at least 1 parent was or had been an alcoholic. They found that families whose rituals were altered during the period of heaviest parental drinking were more likely to evidence transmission of an alcohol problem to the children's generation than families whose rituals remianed intact.
Article
Family rituals are considered part of a generational process that fosters a sense of identity for individual members and is reflective of the family's shared belief system. The symbolic significance attached to family rituals is considered central to the force of family rituals. Three questions were addressed in the study: (1) Are the dimensions of family rituals viewed similarly across generations?; (2) Is level of ritualization related to adolescent identity?; (3) If there is disagreement about the relative level of ritualization in a family, is there a negative relation to adolescent identity? A total of 77 families with an adolescent member completed the Family Ritual Questionnaire, and the adolescents completed a measure of self-esteem. Results of a factor analysis demonstrated shared representation of family rituals across two generations, with one factor loading on the symbolic qualities of family rituals and the second factor loading on the routine aspects of family rituals. Positive relations were found between adolescent identity and the family's report of symbolic significance and affect associated with family rituals. A negative relation was found between mother-adolescent disagreement about family rituals and adolescent feelings of belonging. Distinguishing between meaning and routine aspects of family rituals is discussed as well as clinical implications.
Article
Family rituals, consisting of celebrations, traditions, and patterned family interactions, are defined and illustrated in this paper. The power of ritual practice in families is explained by three underlying processes — transformation, communication, and stabilization — concepts whose roots lie in anthropology and ethology. We propose that all families struggle with finding a suitable role for rituals in their collective lives but their actual achievement varies greatly. Commitment to ritual and adaptability of ritual practice throughout the family life cycle are important considerations. The utility of these concepts in the assessment and treatment of families is discussed.
Article
This paper updates the theoretical work on the Circumplex Model and provides revised and new hypotheses. Similarities and contrasts to the Beavers Systems Model are made along with comments regarding Beavers and Voeller's critique. FACES II, a newly revised assessment tool, provides both "perceived" and "ideal" family assessment that is useful empirically and clinically.
Article
When one or both parents in a family are alcoholics, their children are more likely to become alcoholics if family rituals--surrounding dinner time, evenings, holidays, weekends, vacations and visitors--are disrupted during the period of heaviest parental drinking.
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This article analyzes the concepts of "enmeshment" and "cohesion" and their entanglement in the field of family therapy. Early theories in this area were concerned primarily with processes of self/other differentiation. More recent theories have favored spatial metaphors that emphasize closeness-distance. We contend that self/ other differentiation and closeness-distance are different classes of behavior and that their linkage in the literature has obscured useful distinctions. Our analysis reveals two separate dimensions that clinicians and researchers should consider: Intrusiveness (including coercive control, separation anxiety, possessiveness/jealousy, emotional reactivity, and projective mystification); and Closeness-Caregiving (including warmth, time together, nurturance, physical intimacy, and consistency). We give definitions of these constructs and briefly examine their clinical and gender-related implications.
Article
The purpose of the present study was to examine Baumrind's T3 conceptual framework using a multiple informant design and an older adolescent population. With 178 college students and their families as participants, the present study found many of the predicted relations between parents' child-rearing style (Authoritative, Democratic, Nondirective, Nonauthoritarian-Directive, Authoritarian-Directive, and Unengaged) and their adolescent children's behavior in the 4 domains assessed: personality, adjustment, academic achievement, and substance use. The differences between parenting types on the criterion measures were not as large as reported in Baumrind's study, and significant effects were predominantly due to the poor scores from children with Unengaged and Authoritarian-Directive parents. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for the Authoritative parenting type, the utility of using a typology, and areas for future research.
Article
Although work experience has been widely recommended as beneficial to adolescent development, there is little empirical support for this recommendation. The Youth Conservation Corps (YCC), combining as it does some of the best features of both paid work and unpaid community service, offers an opportunity to explore the developmental impact of work experience. However, the need to pay as much attention to the problems of measurement as to the programs themselves dictates simultaneous evaluation of both programs and measures.