‘All in all … it begins with love’: The meanings of parental love in the context of child risk and protection among Israeli Ultra-Orthodox Jewish parents

Yochay Nadan, Dafna Tener, Netanel Gemara, Rivka Keesing, Carmit Katz, Dorit Roer-Strier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Parental love is often regarded as central to a child's well-being, although the culture-informed and context-informed scholarship on this topic has been surprisingly limited. The present study was designed to highlight the concept of parental love from the unique perspective of Israeli Ultra-Orthodox Jewish parents. It is based on a secondary qualitative thematic analysis of 27 interviews with parents that explore the constructions, experiences and meanings they associate with the concept of parental love. The interviews were selected from a study of Ultra-Orthodox Jewish parents in Israel who were asked about child risk and protection. According to the findings, love was often contrasted to risk; it was viewed as having an immunizing effect and as being core to child well-being, belonging and faith. Three major themes related to ‘love’ emerged: (1) the responsibility of loving your children, (2) the nature of love (or lack thereof) and (3) the religious and spiritual aspects of love. The study also stresses the importance of cultural and contextual analysis of core constructs such as ‘parental love’ and considers the implications of its findings for interventions with families.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)236-245
Number of pages10
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • Ultra-Orthodox
  • love
  • parent/child relationship
  • parental love
  • qualitative

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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