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On-line version ISSN 2304-8557
Print version ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.73 n.2 Pretoria  2008


Die potensiële waarde van gesinsrituele vir betekenisgewing deur kinders


The potential value of family rituals in children's processes of meaning making



R. Ferreira, C.S. du Preez; E. Archer

Departement Opvoedkundige Sielkunde, Universiteit van Pretoria, Pretoria. E-pos:




Hierdie artikel doen verslag oordie bevindings van 'n kwalitatiewe studie waartydens gesinsrituele as moontlike bate tydens betekenisgewing deur kinders verken is. Die doel van die studie was eerstens om die dimensies van geselekteerde gesinsrituele te identifiseer. Tweedens is moontlike wyses ondersoek waarop die beoefening van gesinsrituele kinders se betekenisgewing kan beïnvloed asook watter bategebaseerde uitkomste die beoefening van gesinsrituele moontlik kan oplewer. Die navorsing is vanuit die interpretivistiese paradigma onderneem, het op 'n instrumentele gevallestudie as navorsingsontwerp gesteun en opvoedkundig-sielkundige assesserings, informele gesprekvoering, semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude, reflektiewe joernale, visuele data, observasie en veldnotas as data-insamelings- en -vasleggingstegnieke benut. Twee Afrikaanssprekende laerskoolkinders ('n broer en suster) en hulle ouers is doelgerig as deelnemers geselekteer. Gedurende die studie kon die vyf basiese dimensies van gesinsrituele (struktuur, betekenis, volharding en toewyding, aanpasbaarheid en geslagsverhoudings) geïdentifiseerword in die rituele wat die deelnemende gesin beoefen het. Hierbenewens het ses ander dimensies prominent na vore getree, naamlik taakvoltooiing, kommunikasie, rolle, affektiewe bestuur, affektiewe betrokkenheid en gedragsbeheer. Op grond van die positiewe uitkoms van gesinsrituele op die betekenisgewing deur die deelnemende kinders aan hulself en ook die rituele waaraan hulle deelneem, word die gevolgtrekking gemaak dat gesinsrituele as moontlike bate aangewend kan word binne die konteks van die gesin. Dit volg verder dat gesinsrituele moontlik geïmplementeer kan word tydens gesinsintervensie-inisiatiewe.

Kernbegrippe: bategebaseerde benadering; betekenisgewing; gesinsritueel


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.

Key concepts: asset-based approach; giving of meaning; family ritual



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