Family routines during the adjustment and adaptation process of the transition to parenthood

De Goede, Christine (2012-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The family life cycle perspective (McGoldrick & Carter, 2003) recognises that one normative life stressor for families is the transition to parenthood. Still, the Resiliency Model of Family Stress, Adjustment and Adaptation (McCubbin & McCubbin, 1996) holds that one protective resource that could help the family in the face of a stressor is family routines. Even though the Ecological-cultural Niche Model (Gallimore, Goldenberg & Weisner, 1993) gives us some understanding of the family routine as a psychological construct, many gaps exist in the literature. The aim of this qualitative grounded theory study was to better understand family routines as a resilience resource during the transition to parenthood. This aim was broken down into five research questions: (1) What do daily routines look like in the lives of firsttime parents? (2) Why are these family routines important to first-time parents? (3) What challenges do first-time parents face in sustaining their daily routines? (4) What assists firsttime parents in maintaining their daily routines? (5) What accommodations do first-time parents make to adapt to the arrival of their first child? In terms of methodology, ten Coloured couples whose first child was between one and four years of age and who resided in one northern suburb of Cape Town took part in semi-structured interviews. In terms of research question one, the data analysis revealed that family routines look like a sequence of unfolding activities and that this sequence is situated within a temporal structure; that the specific sequence and temporal structure are designed by the family to be functional; but that there also is temporal incongruence in the sequence of routines. Related to question two, the participants felt that their routines were important because a family routine is an opportunity to spend time together, and it is an opportunity for improving child development. For question three, the data analysis revealed that the challenges first-time parents face in sustaining their routines are extra-familial and intra-familial barriers that increase the task and temporal complexity of routines. The analysis of question four revealed that what assists parents in maintaining routines are extra-familial and intra-familial resources that decrease the task and temporal complexity of routines. Lastly, themes related to research question five showed that the accommodations that parents make in routines that help them adapt are temporal accommodations and idiosyncratic accommodations. In future, researchers and theorists should not only investigate an individual family routine in isolation (e.g. just dinnertime or just bedtime), but also look at the structure of the entire daily schedule, the scheduling process, and how the functionality of this daily schedule affects the experience of individual routines. Greater emphasis should also be placed on diverse samples from many ecological and cultural contexts in order to identify more extra-familial and intra-familial barriers and resources that affect the maintenance of a satisfying daily schedule.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die gesinslewensiklusraamwerk (McGoldrick & Carter, 2003) beklemtoon dat een normatiewe lewenstressor vir gesinne die oorgang na ouerskap is. Tog dui die Resiliency Model of Family Stress, Adjustment and Adaptation (McCubbin & McCubbin, 1996) aan dat gesinsroetines een bron van beskerming is wat die gesin tydens ’n groot lewensstressor kan help. Al bied die Ekologies-kulturele Nismodel (Gallimore, Goldenberg & Weisner, 1993) ons ’n sekere mate van begrip van gesinsroetine as ‘n sielkundige konstruk, is daar steeds leemtes in die literatuur. Die doel van hierdie kwalitatiewe gegronde-teorie navorsing was om beter begrip te ontwikkel van gesinsroetines as ’n veerkragtigheidsfaktor tydens die oorgang na ouerskap. Hierdie doel is in vyf navorsingsvrae verdeel: (1) Hoe lyk daaglikse gesinsroetines in die lewens van nuwe ouers? (2) Hoekom is hierdie gesinsroetines belangrik vir nuwe ouers? (3) Watter uitdagings staar nuwe ouers in die gesig wanneer hulle daaglikse roetines probeer volhou? (4) Wat help nuwe ouers om met hul daaglikse roetines vol te hou? en (5) Watter akkommodasies maak nuwe ouers om aan te pas by die koms van hul eerste kind? Wat metodologie betref het tien bruin ouerpare wat se eerste kind tussen die ouderdom van een en vier jaar was en wat in ’n noordelike voorstad van Kaapstad woon aan semigestruktureerde onderhoude deelgeneem. Wat die eerste navorsingsvraag betref, het die dataontleding onthul dat gesinsroetines ’n reeks opeenvolgende aktiwiteite is wat een na die ander ontvou. Hierdie reeks van roetines is geleë binne ’n tydsraamwerk; dit word deur die gesin ontwerp om funksioneel te wees; maar daar bestaan ook tyd-inkongruensies in die reeks roetines. In verband met vraag twee het die deelnemers gevoel roetines is belangrik omdat dit hulle die geleentheid bied om tyd saam deur te bring en dit verskaf ook ’n geleentheid om die ontwikkeling van die kind te bevorder. Op grond van die derde navorsingsvraag het die dataontleding getoon dat die uitdagings wat nuwe ouers in die gesig staar wanneer hulle probeer om hulle gesinsroetines te volhou, buite-gesins en binne-gesins hindernisse is wat take bemoeilik en tyd-kompleksiteit verhoog. Ontledings na aanleiding van vraag vier het getoon dat dit buite-gesins en binne-gesins bronne is wat help om take makliker te maak en tydskompleksiteid te verminder sodat nuwe ouers met roetines kan volhou. Laastens, temas wat na vore gekom het na aanleiding van die vyfde navorsingsvraag toon dat dit tyd- en idiosinkratiese akkommodasies is wat ouers help om aan te pas. In die toekoms moet navorsers en teoretici nie net ‘n individuele gesinsroetine in isolasie bestudeer nie (bv. net ’n aandete-roetine of net ’n slapenstyd-roetine), maar ook kyk na die struktuur van die hele daaglikse skedule, skeduleringsprosesse, en hoe die funksionaliteit van hierdie daaglikse skedule die ervaring van individuele roetines beïnvloed. Meer klem moet ook geplaas word op steekproewe vanuit ekologies en kultureel diverse kontekste ten einde meer buite-gesins en binne-gesins hindernisse en bronne wat die instandhouding van bevredigende skedules beïnvloed, te identifiseer. Kernwoorde: gesinsroetines, oorgang na ouerskap, gesinsveerkragtigheid, gesinslewenssiklus, Ekologies-kulturele nis.

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