Understanding family legacy in family health concerns

Karen A. Plager

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Family legacy stories recover an understanding of family health that has become marginalized in the predominant ways that family health is studied in the family disciplines. This article describes what family legacy means for family and family member health concerns, activities, and practices in their everyday life. Six families with school-age children took part in an interpretive study of health practices and concerns in families. Five to six in-depth family group interviews were conducted with each family using semistructured, open-ended questions. All families had meaningful family legacy stories that set up health concerns and shaped health practices, activities, and habits. A paradigm case exemplifies how a family may extend, flee from, and/or reshape family-of-origin legacies in their family of progeny. Exploring and acknowledging family legacy recognizes a rich part of family life and can enhance the nurse's and family's understanding of family health and related practices, activities, and habits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-71
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Family Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Family Practice


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