Familial Thinking Patterns: Rational and Irrational Beliefs During a Life Transition

Nira Shmueli, Shahar Bitton, Ruth Malkinson, Rivka Tuval-Mashiach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Despite the increase in research on shared issues among family members, less is known about familial thinking patterns and potential changes when a family undergoes a transition. The present longitudinal study aimed to examine whether family members share common thinking patterns, specifically regarding rational and irrational beliefs, and whether such a style is sustained in the face of a child’s leaving home and enlisting in military service. A total of 390 Israeli family triads (mother, father, soldier) participated in this study. Participants filled out the questionnaire four months before and six months after recruitment. Thinking patterns were assessed via use of the Attitudes and Belief Scale 2-Abbreviated Version. Rational and irrational beliefs across family and time dimensions were tested. Structural models were built, applying a multiple group comparison framework to assess the extent to which these dimensions were consistent. Specifically, as this study aimed to establish rational and irrational belief perceptions, measurement models were compared across family members and over time. Results showed a mutual structure between mothers’ and children's and common family levels of rational and irrational beliefs was found both before and after enlistment. Yet we cannot suggest a consistent triadic or over time structure in rational and irrational beliefs when the family structure changes. These findings indicate that families have common thinking patterns that change as the family structure changes while the central figures seem to be the mothers. These findings shed light on the contribution of parents to their offspring's rational and irrational beliefs system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-102
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Rational - Emotive and Cognitive - Behavior Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the Medical Corps of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) and Ministry of Defense.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


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