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Research Article  |   September 2004
The Meaning of Family Routines in a Homeless Shelter
Author Affiliations
  • Winifred Schultz-Krohn, PhD, OTR, BCP, FAOTA, Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapy Department, San Jose State University, One Washington Square, San Jose, California 95192-0059; winifred@email.sjsu.edu
Article Information
Complementary/Alternative Approaches / Families and Occupations
Research Article   |   September 2004
The Meaning of Family Routines in a Homeless Shelter
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2004, Vol. 58, 531-542. doi:10.5014/ajot.58.5.531
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2004, Vol. 58, 531-542. doi:10.5014/ajot.58.5.531
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. This exploratory investigation sought to understand what meaning parents, living in a home less shelter, attribute to family routines and the nature of those routines.

METHOD. In-depth interviews were conducted with 12 parents living in a homeless shelter. Thematic analysis was employed to develop descriptive codes and themes from transcribed data and field notes.

RESULTS. Parents described family routines focused on three features: promoting intimacy, maintaining or developing a legacy, and connections with the community. These routines seemed to preserve family integrity while homeless and to provide hope for the family to continue into the future.

CONCLUSIONS. Homeless parents, in this investigation, seemed to expend a substantial amount of energy to create or maintain family routines while living in a homeless shelter. Findings suggest that occupational therapy services may help support homeless parents as they exercise their role as the organizer of family routines.