What Makes Families Strong?
In the past, most of the research on families focused on what was wrong with them, rather than what was right. Today, the research field is shifting and beginning to examine what makes a family strong.
What is a strong family?
A strong family has deep meaningful relationships with each other and in their community. These relationships are mutually respectful, guided by expectations, dependable, and support the positive growth of individuals, the family, and the community. What a strong family looks like varies from family to family, and sometimes even from situation to situation. Search Institute’s framework of Family Assets names 21 specific, dynamic qualities that strengthen families. Based on extensive research, the framework identifies and documents positive dimensions of day-to-day family life that allow families and their members to flourish. Parenting adults, youth, other family members, and people who support families all play roles in nurturing and sustaining these strengths.
The American Family Assets Study, a national study conducted by Search Institute, reveals a clear association between the number of Family Assets a family has and positive health, psychosocial, civic, and academic well-being for teens and parenting adults. For example:
Research tells us that parents are most effective when they adopt the loving, firm authoritative style of parenting.2,3,4
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