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21-12-2014 | Original Paper | Uitgave 10/2015

Journal of Child and Family Studies 10/2015

How do Adolescents Benefit from Family Rituals? Links to Social Connectedness, Depression and Anxiety

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 10/2015
Auteurs:
Sara Malaquias, Carla Crespo, Rita Francisco

Abstract

Adolescence is a sensitive period for the development of depressive-anxious symptomatology. The practice of family rituals and perceived social connectedness have been indicated as protective factors for adolescents´ adjustment, however the existing empirical research is still scarce. The present research examined the relationships among family ritual meaning, social connectedness, anxiety and depression among Portuguese students. A total of 248 students (52.8 % female) aged between 15 and 20 years old (M = 16.27, SD = 1.22) participated in this study. The participants completed self-report measures (Family Ritual Questionnaire, Social Connectedness Scale—Revised, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale). Results showed that family ritual meaning was positively related to social connectedness and negatively related to depression. Social connectedness was negatively associated with anxiety and depression. Gender was only associated with anxiety, and age wasn’t significantly correlated with any of the variables. Mediation analysis demonstrated that family ritual meaning was negatively linked to both depression (indirect effect = −.07; CI = −.13/−.02) and anxiety symptoms (indirect effect = −.06; CI = −.11/−.01) via social connectedness. These results clarified one of the possible paths through which family ritual meaning influences depressive-anxious symptomatology in adolescence. Taking into account the protective role of family ritual meaning and social connectedness, future interventions can be designed in order to reduce and prevent anxiety and depression in this particular developmental stage. Contributions and limitations of this study are presented along with suggestions for further investigation.

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