Abstract of Family Intimacy and Affection: Sweden and the U.S.A. Paper presented at a conference of the International Sociological Association (ISA), 1982.

Family Intimacy and Affection: Sweden and the U.S.A.

Reviewed & compared is research on family intimacy & affection in the US & Sweden. The sociocultural context within which the family functions in the two societies is compared, arriving at some conclusions as to why the family cultures &, hence, patterns of family intimacy & affection, can be expected to differ. Matched samples of Swedish & Scandinavian-American (primarily Swedish-American) youth are compared, based on responses to a Likert-type intimacy-affection questionnaire developed & tested for the first time here. Data on the Swedish sample were collected in June 1981 & Feb 1982. Data on the matching Scandinavian-American sample were collected in Nov 1981 & Feb 1982. Major differences between the two samples involve: (1) authority patterns in the family, (2) the acceptance of physical contact between parents & children, & (3) the extent to which family members bathe or take saunas together.

Floyd M. Martinson