An exploratory model of family resilience processes and functioning: a cultural perspective of the Semai indigenous communities in Perak, Malaysia

Chua, R.Y., Kadirvelu, A., Yasin, S. and Park, M.S.-A. ORCID: 0000-0002-1269-6856, 2021. An exploratory model of family resilience processes and functioning: a cultural perspective of the Semai indigenous communities in Perak, Malaysia. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. ISSN 0022-0221

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Abstract

Given the challenges experienced by the Semai indigenous communities in Perak, Malaysia and their distinct cultural beliefs, it is important to understand the role of the social and cultural networks in their resilience processes. In particular, further attention needs to be paid to how their families function and shape their beliefs about their lives, as there might be key mechanisms and processes that differ from existing general conceptualizations of family. This grounded theory analysis of 23 Semai Orang Asli (indigenous) community members established a model of the Semai’s family conceptualization and functioning. Findings revealed that the Semai’s concept of family encompasses an extensive network of individuals with their shared relationship with nyenang (spirit ancestors) and cultural heritage, which in turn leads them to have a deep sense of shared family identity and connectedness. This worldview guided the Semai’s family processes and functioning, captured by the following five dimensions: sharing obligations and responsibilities, making collective decisions, prioritizing community’s welfare, sharing of knowledge and resources and willingness to work with everyone. These factors facilitate a conducive and supportive environment aimed at maintaining existing family relationships. This model can guide the development of culturally specific programmes that promote and strengthen indigenous family relationships and resilience.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Creators: Chua, R.Y., Kadirvelu, A., Yasin, S. and Park, M.S.-A.
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Date: 2 July 2021
ISSN: 0022-0221
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1177/00220221211028297DOI
1449952Other
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 07 Jul 2021 11:27
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2021 11:27
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/43352

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