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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF) (Grant No. 1935/15).
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
- parent/child relationship
- parental love
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Sociology and Political Science