Mother- and daughter-in-law relationship within a South African context: Influence of family systems

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 27, issue 6, 2017 , pages: 537–540
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2017.1375211
Author(s): Tebogo Rosina NganaseDepartment of Psychology, South Africa, Wilna BassonDepartment of Psychology, South Africa


This study explored family system influences on mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationships in a South African setting. A convenience sample of 20 mothers-in-law (age range from 40 to 86) and 20 daughters-in-law (age range from 20 to 60) were informants. They had been in a mother- and daughter-in-law relationship for at least six months. The participants completed open-ended interviews on their relational experiences in the context of family. Data were analysed applying Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Five family system relational context themes emerged: positive mother- and daughter-in-law relationship, conflicted the mother-son relationship, historic experience of the mother-in-law with her own mother-in-law, and partnership in upbringing of grandchildren.

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