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Family routines can provide an ongoing context for strengthening the parent-child relationship by providing regular opportunities for parent and child to come together around a common goal and develop patterns of interaction that are adaptive and likely to enhance development. This report begins with a brief discussion of caregiving interactions that form a basis for early moral development in the context of family routines. We then go on to discuss our early efforts to assess variation in the practice of family routines with our Caretaking Routines Interview (Kubicek and Emde, 1998) and the potential benefits of such practices on child outcomes, particularly with regard to the basic features of morality (i.e., rules, reciprocity, empathy, and the internalization of standards). Given these potential benefits, we argue that the study of routines warrants more attention from researchers and clinicians alike.


  • family routines
  • toddlers
  • moral development
Frédérique Le Houezec-Jacquemain
Lorraine F. Kubicek
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