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Family Rituals in the Early Stages of Parenthood

Barbara H. Fiese, Karen A. Hooker, Lisa Kotary and Janet Schwagler
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 55, No. 3 (Aug., 1993), pp. 633-642
DOI: 10.2307/353344
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353344
Page Count: 10
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Family Rituals in the Early Stages of Parenthood
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Abstract

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.

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