Does It All Stay in the (Normative) Family? Attitudes About Family Among Female Jewish and Muslim Health-Profession Students in Israel

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Abstract

Family individualization occurs, if at all, at a different pace and to a different extent in various societies and in various parts of society. Its impact has led to new scholarship in the social and caring professions, for which the concept of family is central in both professional education and practice. It is assumed that attitudes toward changing marital norms, family forms, and family relationships affect professionals’ performance. This study, conducted in Israel in 2014 with 157 female health-profession students—102 (65%) Jews and 55 (35%) Muslim Arabs—focuses on attitudes about the family. Three patterns of attitudes emerged: individualized traditionalism—a mix of traditional and individualized attitudes, present among both the Jewish and the Muslim students; individualized autonomy, present mostly among the Jewish students; and classic traditionalism, present mostly among the Muslim students. Implications of these findings for the education and practice of health care professionals are also discussed.

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