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Keywords:

  • nuclear family;
  • health maintenance and promotion;
  • qualitative study;
  • coping;
  • social networks

Family health in everyday life: a qualitative study on well-being in families with children¶This article describes the subjective health views of young Finnish families with children. The data were collected in unstructured focused interviews with 19 families, most of whom were interviewed twice. Set within a phenomenological-hermeneutic framework, the study applies a qualitative method in order to uncover the meanings attached by the families to different facets of their everyday life. Health is an integral part of the everyday life of families with children, comprising various dimensions of experienced well-being and unwell-being, security and different life-habits. Social networks are crucial to family health: they can either strengthen or undermine experienced health. Professionals working with families in the health care system need to have at least a basic knowledge of the different dimensions of family health: this helps to identify and understand the individual ways in which families work to promote their health and well-being. This knowledge of family health is also important for research purposes. Health care professionals also need to know more about how families cope with their everyday problems and about how client families can be supported. More research is needed on the concepts of family health and on how those concepts are applied to practice in different health care sectors and in education.