The Meaning of a Healthy Family in Sub-Saharan Africa: Perspectives of Two-Parent Families in Urban Malawi

  • Author / Creator
    Lazaro, Mayeso C.
  • To explore how healthy family functioning is conceptualized by families in sub-Saharan Africa, 10 mothers and 9 fathers participated in in-depth interviews and discussed the meaning of a healthy family for them, and described the practices they engage in to support having a healthy family. Analyses revealed that participants described a healthy family holistically, captured under four major themes: physical health, relationship health, spiritual health, and mental health. Participants described a range of practices or family processes that they intentionally engaged in to ensure that the physical, relationship, spiritual, and mental health needs of their family were met. Participants’ conceptualizations of what it means to have a healthy family were compared to North American scholarly models of family functioning highlighting the need to consider culture when conceptualizing or measuring family functioning. Implications of the findings for policy, programming and services for families in sub-Saharan Africa are discussed.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2013
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Family Ecology and Practice
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Williamson, Deanna (Human Ecology)
    • Dashora, Pushpanjali (Human Ecology)
    • Kushner, Kaysi (Faculty of Nursing)
    • Skrypnek, Berna (Human Ecology)