Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Department name when degree awarded

Family and Human Development


Jay D. Schvaneveldt


In 1950 Bossard and Boll published their pioneering work on family rituals entitled Ritual in Family Living. Since then, numerous researchers have examined family rituals using various research designs. This study was done in the tradition of Bossard and Boll by closely examining the personal written accounts of 493 college-age students from a western university. Comparisons were made between the current sample and the sample of Bossard and Boll. Numerous changes in family rituals were identified. Christmas was found to be the most discussed ritual, but Christmas Eve rituals were more often discussed than Christmas Day rituals. The importance of family rituals from the perspective of respondents was discussed as well as the meaning behind them.