Familism refers to core values of a family type which emphasizes commitment to the
family as a unit. Staying together for the sake of the children would be an indication of
Familism refers to a model of social organization, based on the prevalence of the
family group and its well-being placed against the interests and necessities of each one
of its members.
Familism is part of a traditional view of society that highlights loyalty, trust,
and cooperative attitudes within the family group.
Familism is found in the bourgeois family and reflects the cultural
belief that it is the family that is the foundation of society and the source of human
identification and moral discipline.
The modern conjugal family, by contrast, is typically described as having a
central value of individualism that de-emphasizes the importance of the family unit.
Familism is a cluster of attitudes that emphasizes the relevance of the family for
personal and social life, the development of a feeling of duty among the members of the
family group, and the belief that to have children is a requirement for personal and
social realization (Popenoe 1988; Gundelach and Riis 1994).
In familism three main orientations can be distinguished:
a classical social position;
a sociopolitical formulation; and
a psychological re-elaboration.
The main antecedents of these orientations are, respectively, the disappearance of
the Old Regime, the changes that have taken place around World War II, and the development
of a culture of service characteristic of the postindustrial societies.
Familism as a form of system justification: A cross-cultural study of the
USA and Italy
Pacilli, Maria Giuseppina. and Jost, John.
Abstract: The present study investigated the relations among familism, system
justification, and family justification, that is, between familism and the rationalization
of the large-scale social system and of the family as a small-scale social system.
Familism is a cultural value that describes a strong attachment and loyalty to ones
family; it has been shown to include two main types of value orientations: (a) perceptions
of relatives as behavioral referents (family norms), and (b) reliance on relatives for
emotional help (family support). Familism as the justification of family norms fits Jost
and Banajis (1994) definition of system justification insofar as familistic rules
apply not only to the family as a system but also to the family as an institution that is
linked to the broader society. In a familistic culture, the norms and traditions of the
family are transmitted to the younger generation: this can happen only if people perceive
these norms to be fair and legitimate. We hypothesized that the stronger the familism, the
greater the tendency to endorse system justification. Two hundred and forty-three students
(129 American and 114 Italian) completed a system justification scale, a family
justification scale, and a familism scale. As hypothesized, American participants with
high system justification scores perceived family norms to be especially strong, but no
relationship emerged with respect to the perceived importance of family support. A
different pattern emerged in the Italian context, where a stronger perception of family
norms was related to a greater tendency to engage in family justification.
A New Familism Scale for Use with Latino Populations
Angel G. Lugo Steidel, Josefina M. Contreras, Kent State University
The goal of this study was to develop an attitudinal familism scale that can be used with
relatively less acculturated Latinos and that assesses all relevant aspects of the
construct. An 18-item scale composed of original items and adapted items from previous
scales was tested on a sample of 124 Latino adults. An exploratory factor analysis
revealed the following four factors, accounting for 51.23% of the total variance: Familial
Support, Familial Interconnectedness, Familial Honor, and Subjugation of Self for Family.
Cronbachs alpha for the scale was found to be .83. Validity analyses revealed
significant negative correlations between some aspects of familism and acculturation
scores and indicators of exposure to the U.S. culture, confirming previous findings on the
In his 1958 book The Moral Basis of a Backward Society, Edward Banfield used the term
Amoral Familism to describe what he saw as the tendency of poor rural Italians to concern
themselves only with the condition of their own family members to the exclusion of
outsiders. This, he believed, led to a society in which people were unable to work
together for the common good.
Managers Dilemma: Institutions, Familism, and Trust in Chinas Private
Businesses - Ma, Li.
Abstract: The classical principal-agent problem finds more complications in private
businesses in transitional China. Incremental processes of
deinstitutionalizationpartial privatization, delayed legitimization of private
property right, and informal consent allowing private wealth accumulationresulted in
a high level of uncertainty for private businesses. Relaxation of ideological taboo
against wealth accumulation stirred up enormous private initiatives and reinvigorated the
Chinese entrepreneurial spirit. However, policy ambiguity put them in an embarrassing
positionmarket activities are encouraged but private property rights are not
legitimized. They still face overt discriminatory policies in terms of accessing financial
capital in an economy where financial institutions are strictly regulated by the state.
Most private businesses started up by pooling resources through kinship networks. Familism
gains stronger hold in the normative system in the private sector. In these relatively
closed systems, managers and owners undergo psychological processes similar to players in
a prisoners dilemma game. With both intra-organizational and inter-organizational
uncertainty, a vicious cycle of distrust come into being. This phenomenon, as I termed as
managers dilemma, the dilemma between choices of trust or distrust, is
particular to an economy where strong institutional inertia, organizational memory and
familism values interplay and contradict with each other.
Measuring Amoral Familism: A Tentative Approach - Stefano Morandini
Abstract: This paper focuses on amoral familism in public institutions and suggests a way
to measure it. Amoral familism may be discussed in terms of its association with public
sector corruption or of misallocation of human capital. Here I describe a tentative
methodological approach to estimate familism that I call amoral familism rate. However,
the measurement of familism involves several uncertainties concerning the data collection
and how to obtain useful indications about the efficiency and the integrity of the public
Workplace Familism and Psychological Contract Breach in the Philippines
Restubog, Simon Lloyd D.; Bordia, Prashant
Source: Applied Psychology An International Review, Volume 55, Number 4, October 2006
Abstract: The present study addresses the call for theory-based investigations on
workplace familism. It contributes to the literature by proposing and testing the
moderating role of workplace familism between psychological contract breach and civic
virtue behaviour. We surveyed 267 full-time employees and found main effects of both types
of workplace familism (i.e. workplace organisational and workplace supervisor familism)
and breach of relational obligations on civic virtue behaviour. Workplace supervisor
familism also moderated the relationship between breach and civic virtue behaviour, with
the negative relationship between breach and civic virtue behaviour stronger when
workplace supervisor familism was high. This suggests that employees with a high level of
workplace supervisor familism may feel a sense of betrayal and, therefore, respond more
negatively to contract breach. Implications for practice and directions for future
research are discussed.
The role of attitudinal familism in academic outcomes: a study of urban, Latino
high school seniors. Esparza, Patricia, Sánchez, Bernadette
Abstract: The aim of this study was to examine the role of attitudinal familism on Latino
high school students' academic grades, effort, motivation, and truancy. Results in this
study reveal that having high attitudinal familism predicts fewer classes missed and
greater academic effort. Also, when mothers' educational level is low, attitudinal
familism is positively associated to students' academic grades. This study underscores the
need for additional research on cultural measures that can help us better understand
Latino adolescents' educational experiences.
Hispanic college students' adjustment: The influence of familism, acculturation, and social support - Regina Jean-Van
Hell, Boston College
Abstract: Hispanic college students' value of familism, acculturation, and social support
were examined in relation to these students' adjustment to college. Ninety-one Hispanic
college students completed a questionnaire that included demographics, two scales of
familism (Valenzuela & Dornbusch questionnaire) and the Bardis Familism Scale (BFS),
the Bidimensional Acculturation Scale (BAS), the Social Provisions Scale (SPS), and the
College Adjustment Scale (CAS). The questionnaires were coded and the data were entered in
SPSS. The analyses of the data revealed that familism attitudes of Hispanic college
students were not related to their college adjustment, which was contrary to the
expectations of previous research. Acculturation to the Anglo culture was found to be
related to college adjustment. Levels of familism were not related to acculturation to the
Anglo culture or to the Hispanic culture. Consequently, it was not demonstrated whether
familism remains constant or changes as individuals become more acculturated to the Anglo
culture. The majority of the sample were acculturated to the Anglo culture (94.4 percent);
only 76.7 percent were acculturated to the Hispanic culture. The sample contained 63
participants who were bicultural and 27 participants who were not bicultural. Thus, these
findings show that acculturation is resolved multidimensionally and is the result of the
individual's context, personality, and abilities, as has been previously discussed. This
study found that familism in Hispanic college students is not related to social support,
as it was expected since the value of familism implies social support. Thus, questions are
raised regarding familism and social support among different generations because familism
incorporates respect for elders and obedience to parents. Relationships among familism,
income, and education were investigated. The findings revealed slight relationships
between familism, income and education. Income and father's and mother's education were
moderately correlated; father's and mother's education were also moderately correlated.
Gender differences in familism were not found.
Acculturation, familism, and alcohol use among Latino adolescent males:
Longitudinal relations - Andres G. Gil, Eric F. Wagner, William A. Vega
Abstract: This article advances our understanding of factors associated with patterns and
consequences of early alcohol involvement among Latino teens, with an emphasis on how
nativity may influence longitudinal relations among variables including acculturation,
familism, and alcohol involvement. Following a comparative presentation of alcohol use
prevalence rates, the current study offers a culturally founded theoretical model of early
adolescent drinking. Specifically, this article extends existing models such as gateway
theory and esteem enhancement theory and explores the effects of acculturation and
acculturative stress on the intensity of alcohol use among immigrant (n= 1,051) and
U.S.-born (n= 968) Latino males attending middle school in South Florida. Results from
structural equation modeling suggest acculturation and acculturative stress influence
alcohol use primarily through the deterioration of Latino family values, attitudes, and
familistic behaviors. However, the relationship between acculturative stress and alcohol
use differs in important ways depending on the adolescent's birthplace. The article
concludes with a discussion of the implications of our findings for education, prevention,
treatment, and research with Latino adolescents. © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.