Title

Exploring families’ perceptions of family health

Location

Merritt Room

Start Time

2-10-2015 9:00 AM

End Time

2-10-2015 11:00 AM

Session Type

Research Paper

Abstract

Statement of purpose: Vital to positive child outcomes is the “health” of the family or family health, as the family is the most important context for child development (Fiese, Rhodes, & Beardslee, 2013). To date, investigation of family health has been limited to studies investigating discrete factors of family life such as family interaction, family functioning, parenting stress, and parenting styles (Carr, & Springer, 2010;Kremer-Sadlik & Paugh, 2007). Yet, dissecting a construct into components does not account for the complexities of a phenomenon that has conceptual influences from biological, psychological, ecological, and social health perspectives (Denham, 2003; Fiese, 2007). Given critical associations between components of family health and child development, inquiry into explicating the experience of family health is warranted to reveal indicators for robust family health to strengthen current models of interventions aimed to support positive health outcomes for the family and child.

Description of methods (participants, data collection, analysis): Constructivist grounded theory methods were used to explore the experience of family health in families with typically developing children. Ten families were recruited and interviewed, including 17 parents and 15 children. A team of four analysts convened weekly for eight weeks to triangulate analyses, along with family input, for collaborative development of a family health model.

Report of results: These results informed the development of a preliminary family health model to frame families’ experiences of family health. The model captures family health being constructed of a sense of connectedness and family identity through shared purpose. Positive mediating factors on family health included conscious engagement in family occupation and intentional time use. Individual or family stressors of having a baby, losing a job, or experiencing poor physical health negatively mediated the overall family’s health. Indirect influences of family communication, emotional safety, healthy food choices, and physical exercise contributed to the formation of healthy habits families attributed to robust family health.

Discussion/implications as related to occupational science: Revealing family occupation in families with typically developing children and its relationship to family health provides another step in refining the construct of family occupation and provides a portal through which occupational scientists can investigate the integrity of occupation at a systems level. This study exposes occupational processes that can be explored and provides a platform for discussion for occupational science to be translatable to models of service delivery.

Word Count: 400

Key Words: Family Health, Family Occupation, Grounded Theory

Learning Objectives for Session:

1. Participants will understand constructs of family health and mediating factors supporting and inhibiting robust family health from the perspective of families raising typically developing children.

2. Participants will discuss implications of these findings for practice, research, and potential translation to service delivery.

References

Carr, D., & Springer, K. W. (2010). Advances in Families and Health Research in the 21st Century. Journal of Marriage & Family, 72(3), 743-761. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2010.00728.x

Denham, S.A. (2003). Relationships between family rituals, family routines, and health. Journal of Family Nursing, 9(3), 305-330.

Fiese, B. (2007). Routines and rituals: Opportunities for participation in family health. OTJR: Occupation, Participation, and Health, 27, 41S-49S.

Fiese, B., Rhodes, H.G., & Beardslee, W.R. (2013). Rapid changes in American family life: Consequences for child health and pediatric practice. Pediatrics, 132(3), 552-558.

Kremer-Sadlik, T. & Paugh, A.L. (2007). Everyday moments: Finding "quality time" in American working families. Time & Society, 16, 287-308.

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Oct 2nd, 9:00 AM Oct 2nd, 11:00 AM

Exploring families’ perceptions of family health

Merritt Room

Statement of purpose: Vital to positive child outcomes is the “health” of the family or family health, as the family is the most important context for child development (Fiese, Rhodes, & Beardslee, 2013). To date, investigation of family health has been limited to studies investigating discrete factors of family life such as family interaction, family functioning, parenting stress, and parenting styles (Carr, & Springer, 2010;Kremer-Sadlik & Paugh, 2007). Yet, dissecting a construct into components does not account for the complexities of a phenomenon that has conceptual influences from biological, psychological, ecological, and social health perspectives (Denham, 2003; Fiese, 2007). Given critical associations between components of family health and child development, inquiry into explicating the experience of family health is warranted to reveal indicators for robust family health to strengthen current models of interventions aimed to support positive health outcomes for the family and child.

Description of methods (participants, data collection, analysis): Constructivist grounded theory methods were used to explore the experience of family health in families with typically developing children. Ten families were recruited and interviewed, including 17 parents and 15 children. A team of four analysts convened weekly for eight weeks to triangulate analyses, along with family input, for collaborative development of a family health model.

Report of results: These results informed the development of a preliminary family health model to frame families’ experiences of family health. The model captures family health being constructed of a sense of connectedness and family identity through shared purpose. Positive mediating factors on family health included conscious engagement in family occupation and intentional time use. Individual or family stressors of having a baby, losing a job, or experiencing poor physical health negatively mediated the overall family’s health. Indirect influences of family communication, emotional safety, healthy food choices, and physical exercise contributed to the formation of healthy habits families attributed to robust family health.

Discussion/implications as related to occupational science: Revealing family occupation in families with typically developing children and its relationship to family health provides another step in refining the construct of family occupation and provides a portal through which occupational scientists can investigate the integrity of occupation at a systems level. This study exposes occupational processes that can be explored and provides a platform for discussion for occupational science to be translatable to models of service delivery.

Word Count: 400

Key Words: Family Health, Family Occupation, Grounded Theory

Learning Objectives for Session:

1. Participants will understand constructs of family health and mediating factors supporting and inhibiting robust family health from the perspective of families raising typically developing children.

2. Participants will discuss implications of these findings for practice, research, and potential translation to service delivery.