The California Family Health Project: IV. Family Structure/Organization and Adult Health


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26 Scopus citations


This research explores the relationships between each of four “domains” of family life and the health of husbands and wives in a community‐based sample of 225 families. In this article we report the association between Family Structure/Organization and adult Health. This family domain refers to the architecture of the family or the structural frame of roles and rules within which the family operates. Interrelationships among 13 self‐reported, family Structure/Organization scales are described, using principle components analysis (PCA) and multidimensional scaling analysis (MDS). Derived, joint‐spouse or couple Structure/Organization variables also were created using inter‐battery factor analysis. The PCA yielded a poor solution, whereas the MDS yielded a good two‐dimensional solution, which roughly displayed the scales in a circular pattern for both husbands and wives. The analyses indicated that no single dimension or set of separate subdimensions adequately described the Structure/Organization variables. All 13 scales then were associated with a battery of 14 adult health scales for husbands and wives separately, using canonical correlation. Different aspects of family Structure/Organization were correlated with health for husbands and wives: Organized Cohesiveness, Sex Role Traditionalism, Role Flexibility and Shared Roles for husbands; and Organized Cohesiveness and Differentiated Sharing for wives. Different patterns of health scores also emerged by gender, with behavioral indicators, such as Smoking and Drinking, more salient for husbands, and mood indicators, such as Anxiety and Depression, more salient for wives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-419
Number of pages21
JournalFamily process
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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