Evaluating extant family paradigms: Pacific perspectives - a critical interpretative synthesis

Masters Thesis

Forrest, Lee-Ann N.. 2019. Evaluating extant family paradigms: Pacific perspectives - a critical interpretative synthesis. Masters Thesis Master of Science (Research). University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/492e-q927

Evaluating extant family paradigms: Pacific perspectives -
a critical interpretative synthesis

TypeMasters Thesis
AuthorForrest, Lee-Ann N.
Supervisordu Preez, Jan
Brownlow, Charlotte
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameMaster of Science (Research)
Number of Pages190
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/492e-q927

Models that conceptualise family are widely used today in areas such as psychology, as well as by governments, legislators, and policy-makers to inform professional practice and to formulate public policy. However, these models are notably Western-centric, having been designed in, and for, a Western cultural context. Given the cultural diversity of today’s globalised world, it is timely to question whether such models can represent populations within their ambit. No known literature to date has attempted to evaluate whether the models can represent non-Western family perspectives. Hence, a critical interpretative synthesis was implemented to address this gap. The scope was confined to the Pacific region, with particular consideration given to the perspectives of the iTaukei (i.e., indigenous Fijians), Tongan, and Māori peoples. The research objectives aimed to identify extant models that elucidate family structure and family processes, and to investigate how well models perform from the perspective of these Pacific peoples. It was concluded that extant models are inadequate for representing Pacific family arrangements. This finding has important implications as it questions the reliability of previous data and may precipitate a reassessment of the value of such research. Moreover, it mandates the development of a culturally sensitive model. To this end, key family-related metaphors common among Pacific peoples have been incorporated to conceptualise one potential alternative. This is briefly presented. Several critical-issue implications of the current research are also offered. It is hoped that this study accomplished significant groundwork for future research. In that sense, this was groundbreaking work, with the potential to stimulate research in the quest for a model that is able to represent cultural diversity.

Keywordsfamily models, family paradigms, family processes, family structure, kinship systems, non-western family structure, Pacific families
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020520599. Social and personality psychology not elsewhere classified
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Psychology and Counselling
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Family: Pacific perspectives
Forrest, Lee-Ann, du Preez, Jan and Brownlow, Charlotte. 2021. "Family: Pacific perspectives." Journal of Family Theory and Review. 13 (4), pp. 428-446. https://doi.org/10.1111/jftr.12433