The IMFC is undertaking groundbreaking Canadian research and probing the nature of family strengths in Canada, starting with a small pilot study.
Using a modified version of the American Family Strengths Inventory, the IMFC initiated a pilot study late in the spring of 2008 to explore the presence of family assets through a questionnaire posed to a small sample. The American Family Strengths Inventory is a self-reporting instrument measuring family strengths according to six general qualities: commitment, appreciation and affection, positive communication, time together, spiritual well-being, and the ability to cope with stress and crisis.
The overwhelming majority of Canadian participants rated the presence of the strengths in their families. First, over four out of five respondents (82.4 per cent) indicated that their families embodied a global estimate of family strengths; this means that most of the individuals in this small sample see their family as loving, satisfying, happy, and strong. In addition, an even higher percentage (88.1 per cent) of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statements that “all things considered” their family encompasses many of the critical elements related to the six categories of family strengths.
The more than 60 families represented in this sample rated the strength of making time for and sharing life with each other (96 per cent stated they “agreed” or “strongly agreed”) higher than the strengths of effective communication (92 per cent), looking at challenges as opportunities for growth (90.4 per cent), caring for each other (88 per cent), and valuing each other and demonstrating commitment (85.6 per cent). Greater still was the prominence of the final family strength – spirituality – with over 97 per cent agreeing or strongly agreeing that spiritual connections enhanced their family’s wellbeing.
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