Adaptation and resiliency in Swedish families

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A longitudinal research project began in 1993 of Norwegian, Swedish and American mothers' perception of her family's dynamics and adaptation during childbearing and childrearing. Results indicated that Swedish mothers adapted better than other mothers. In 2003, a mixed design study was conducted with original Swedish mothers that aimed to describe the experience of motherhood, the meaning mothers attached to events in their lives that made adaptation necessary, and ways in which they achieved adaptation. Fourteen mothers completed quantitative instruments and 13 of those mothers were interviewed. Audiotaped interviews were transcribed and analysed for themes using a protocol based on a model of family resiliency. Quantitative findings revealed statistically significant findings in areas of children, mother's work outside the home and families in which a major illness had occurred. Qualitative findings revealed that protective factors far outweighed vulnerability and risk factors. Mothers' satisfaction with life manifested itself in love of home, contentment with employment, fulfillment from an active and healthy life and support from a society that provides a wide range of social benefits for the family. Vulnerability occurred primarily when mothers were tired, lacked personal time or someone in the family was experiencing a serious illness. Results of this study enhance the scholarly scientific knowledge about the uniqueness of Swedish mothers, and increased understanding of family dynamics and adaptation. Many of the findings relate in some way to overall social benefits and supports available for families.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nursing


  • Sweden, families, adaptation, resiliency
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-337
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Division of Nursing (Closed 2012) (013065000)