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Fam Process. 1992 Dec;31(4):421-31.

The California Family Health Project: V. Family problem solving and adult health.

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Department of Family and Community Medicine (AC-9), University of California, San Francisco 94143.


This article explores the relationship between family Problem Solving and the Health of adults in a community-based sample of 225 families. Family Problem Solving refers to the ways in which the family conducts itself to resolve a shared problem. Sixteen observer ratings of family Problem-Solving behavior during a 30-minute task were developed, based on the Simulated Family Activity Measure (SIM-FAM), and good interrater agreement was achieved. Principal Components Analysis (PCA) yielded a set of three well-constructed, interpretable dimensions: Problem-Solving Effectiveness, Problem-Solving Style, and Sociomotor Activity. Multidimensional scaling analyses (MDS) suggested that family problem-solving behavior involved an organized, means-end sequence of family behaviors in which aspects of style served problem-solving effectiveness. All 16 Problem-Solving variables were analyzed with a set of 14 health variables, for husbands and wives separately, using canonical correlation. No subset of Problem-Solving variables was significantly associated with a subset of Health variables for either husbands or wives, although there was a significant association between the two sets of variables when taken as a whole. Given previous research on family Problem Solving, we conclude that the absence of significant associations between particular aspects of family Problem Solving and Health may be due to our use of a community-based rather than a stressed or clinical sample. Associations between Family Problem Solving and Health might best be viewed in the context of other family variables.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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