Review by Choice Review
In this latest addition to the "Current Perspectives in Psychology" series, Fiese (psychology, Syracuse Univ.) explores the evolution of family routines and rituals, showing how meanings created through these rituals continue to be important for today's busy families. The author looks at changes from a cultural and historical perspective and also from a developmental life-course orientation. The life-course discussion is especially interesting because Fiese shows how the relative importance of various routines and rituals changes across the life span. For example, transition events such as marriage and parenthood provide opportunities for blending and adapting family-of-origin practices to create new and potentially unique family rituals. Indeed, the rituals themselves may serve to ease some of the stressors associated with the life-cycle transitions as families and individuals seek means of accommodating to new in order to develop into an organized system over time. Fiese also draws on her own studies to show how family routines and rituals influence physical and mental health and may even be used therapeutically to enhance parenting competence, child adjustment, and relational well-being. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All readers; all levels. R. B. Stewart Jr. Oakland University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.