Defining the family: The role of personal values and personal acquaintance

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Abstract

Applying Schwartz’s values theory and Allport’s contact theory, this study examines the role of personal values and personal acquaintance with non-traditional families as mediators of the association between socio-demographic variables (SES) and family concept. In the first known study of its kind on the Jewish-Israeli family, a sample of 1518 adult respondents took part in a panel survey. The main findings underline the strong contribution of personal acquaintance with non-traditional families and the values of Conservation, and Self-Transcendence as mediators of the association between SES and family definition. In addition, women, the better-educated, and secular respondents are more inclusive in the types of relationships sanctioned as family. These findings shed light on the complex mechanisms by which personal variables, SES and individual values, and the environmental variable of personal contact with non-traditional families underpin the definition of family, and further support the utility of Allport and Schwartz’s theories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-62
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Family Studies
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016

Keywords

  • Family
  • Jewish-Israeli families
  • Personal acquaintance with non-traditional families
  • Personal values

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