Title

Sacrifice and Self‐Care as Relational Processes in Religious Families: The Connections and Tensions

Keywords

interdependence theory, qualitative, sacrifice, self-care, tension

Abstract

Objective: This study seeks to explore ways that members of religious families (of Abrahamic faiths) struggle with and address the relational processes of sacrifice and self‐care.

Background: Sacrifice and self‐care influence human relationships, and as such, every human has to learn how to engage in them. Families are one of the many communities in which one must address sacrifice and self‐care.

Method: This study provides a qualitative exploration of sacrifice and self‐care among a sample of 198 highly religious (Abrahamic faiths) families. In‐depth analyses explored motivations, types, and related family processes among family relationships.

Results: A conceptual model illustrates sacrifice and self‐care in family life using an interdependence theory approach. Five themes from the data about how families perceived and addressed these relational processes are discussed: (a) tensions between sacrifice and self‐care, (b) motivations for sacrifice and self‐care, (c) types of sacrifice, (d) types of self‐care, and (e) processes in faith and family relationships.

Discussion: Religious beliefs may shape how sacrifice and self‐care processes are perceived and potential tensions are addressed through either positive or negative ways. We suggest that engaging in sacrifice and self‐care with equal quality, not quantity, might be a positive way to address the emergent tensions between these processes.

Implications: Through an increased understanding of the connections and tensions between sacrifice and self‐care, researchers and practitioners will be able to better recognize how families positively address these tensions and collaboratively build resources to help family members harmonize engagement in sacrifice and self‐care to benefit relationships.

Original Publication Citation

Pippert, H. D., Dollahite, D. C., & Marks, L. D. (2019). Sacrifice and self-care as relational processes in religious families: The connections and tensions. Family Relations, 68, 534-548.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2019-10-09

Publisher

Family Relations

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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