Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Family Rituals

  • Kelsey T. ChunEmail author
  • Beth Chung
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_350

Name of Intervention

Family Rituals


In 1950, Bossard and Boll conducted an extensive qualitative study on family rituals. Through detailed analyses of diaries, interviews, and family memorabilia, this preliminary work on family rituals deemed rituals to be powerful organizers of family life, which provide stability during stressful times and transitions. Much of the literature on rituals distinguishes between family routines and rituals, such that routines communicate what needs to be done, whereas family rituals convey a sense of identity and membership to the family as a group (Fiese et al. 2002). Further, routine involves a momentary commitment, while rituals usually involve a more enduring and affective experience. Routines are often directly observable behaviors repeated over time, and rituals carry a meaning that extends over time (possibly generations) and is repeated by insiders. Disruption to routines is a hassle; disruption to rituals can threaten group...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Molly F. Gasbarrini
    • 1
  1. 1.Alliant International UniversityLos AngelesUSA