Families that ride together, stay together

Do families that play together actually have better relationships?  Apparently yes.  Recent social science research shows that spending recreation time together fosters a healthy family environment.

A study published in the July 2001 issue of Family Relations explored how two types of family leisure activities, core and balance activities, influenced family members’ perspectives on emotional bonding (cohesiveness) and flexibility in roles and rules (adaptability) within the family.
For the study, researchers surveyed 138 college students about their families. The study asked the students about two kinds of activities. Core activitiesbalance pattern activities were defined as more “novel” experiences that were less frequent and often away from home, such as a family vacation. The researchers found that both core and balance activities are positively correlated with family cohesiveness and adaptability. In fact, the strongest association was between core activities, which families do with consistency and familiarity, and perceptions of family cohesiveness, the emotional attachment aspect of familial relationships. were defined as “common, everyday” activities, such as watching TV or playing sports in the backyard. In contrast, balance pattern activities were defined as more “novel” experiences that were less frequent and often away from home, such as a family vacation. The researchers found that both core and balance activities are positively correlated with family cohesiveness and adaptability. In fact, the strongest association was between core activities, which families do with consistency and familiarity, and perceptions of family cohesiveness, the emotional attachment aspect of familial relationships.

Thanks to the Kerr-Vanderslice family for showing me proof of this study.

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