Family ties: constructing family time in low-income families.
"Family time" is reflected in the process of building and fortifying family relationships. Whereas such time, free of obligatory work, school, and family maintenance activities, is purchased by many families using discretionary income, we explore how low-income mothers make time for and give meaning to focused engagement and relationship development with their children within time constraints idiosyncratic to being poor and relying on welfare. Longitudinal ethnographic data from 61 low-income African American, European American, and Latina American mothers were analyzed to understand how mothers construct family time during daily activities such as talking, play, and meals. We also identify unique cultural factors that shape family time for low-income families, such as changing temporal orientations, centrality of television time, and emotional burdens due to poverty. Implications for family therapy are also discussed.
Tubbs, CY; Roy, KM; Burton, LM
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