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On-line version ISSN 2304-8557
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FERREIRA, R.; DU PREEZ, C.S.  and  ARCHER, E.. The potential value of family rituals in children's processes of meaning making. Koers (Online) [online]. 2008, vol.73, n.2, pp.247-264. ISSN 2304-8557.

This article reports on the findings of a qualitative study that explored family rituals as potential asset in children's processes of giving meaning. As such, the purpose of the study was firstly to identify the dimensions of family rituals in one family that participated; and secondly, to explore potential ways in which the participation in family rituals could influence children's processes of meaning making. The study was embedded in the interpretivist paradigm, rested on an instrumental case study design, and deployed educational psychological assessment, informal conversations, semi-structured interviews, reflective journals, visual data, observation and field notes as data collection and documentation methods. Two Afrikaans-speaking primary school children (a brother and sister) and their parents were purposefully selected as participants. During the study, the five basic dimensions of family rituals (structure, meaning, persistence and commitment, adaptability and gender relations) could be identified in the rituals practised by the participating family. In addition, six other dimensions were prominent, namely task completion, communication, roles, affective management, affective involvement and behaviour management. Based on the positive effect of family rituals on the meanings given by the participating children it is concluded that family rituals may serve as an asset within the family context and as such be employed during family intervention initiatives.

Keywords : asset-based approach; giving of meaning; family ritual.

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