H.V. Verzhibok  pp. 75-95

Abstract. The paper analyzes family values among student youth with reference to their future marriage and family life. The state of the institution of marriage which is rather controversial nowadays is closely connected with the fundamental changes in the life cycle of people and in their marital and family relations. The duality of the current situation is based on the contradiction between the consistent departure from traditional value systems and the claim that cultural traditions remain stable. Family and marriage today acquire new functions, meanings and characteristics that deviate from tradition, and it alters / modifies social interactions, as well as demographic and family behavior Changes in family patterns form a matrix which reflects the psychological improvement of family members. Dynamism of social and private life determines the necessity to study young people’s opinions concerning their values in their environments through systemic approach with the help of the theory of social conceptions. The aim of the research is to work out and reveal the totality of ideas and notions about the key concepts within this field. As a result, we have singled out the following most important units of analysis: family as value (family, marriage and love); marriage as a guiding line for a future family (ideal, interrelations and roles) and parenthood as evaluation of maternity and paternity. To verify the results, we have used psychological analysis and poling, as well as data processing. Essays were subjected to content analysis which included / covered three components of the students’ idea of a family. The array slice is represented by 415 first and second-year students at several Belorussian higher educational institutions (Minsk, Vitebsk and Gomel’), with special attention paid to gender and time context (2004, 2011, 2014). It has been found out that the ideas concerning family values and judgments about family life among the youth, have a complicated multi-stage character and are closely connected with the wish to cognize themselves and other people, the desire to reflect over the meaning of values and the sense of life, as well as with striving to get and assimilate information about their future matrimony and parenthood. The image of an ideal family is formed along the following parameters: marriage age (23–25 years old), equal rights for both husband and wife, children, a separate apartment and financial independence from parents. Some results of the research under analysis prove the rightness of the authors who analyze similar problems. However, their conclusions about a high level of pragmatism in marriage motivation and marriage partner among student youth have not been corroborated. This fact allows to state that it is necessary to research the problem in every detail.

Key words: family, marriage, matrimony, parenthood, maternity, paternity, love, ideal, roles, relationships.