The present study was carried out with the aim to analize the importance of family routines and rituals which are assumed as specific indicators of psychosocial risk. Specifically, symbolic, communicative and regulatory aspects of these routines and rituals where analized. The sample comprises a total of 135 preadolescent divided into two groups: one of secondary school students (control group) and the second composed of subjects defined "at risk" (experimental group). The subjects filled in two questionnaires testing 28 family routines and 7 family rituals. The main results concern the identification of types of routines and rituals that qualify the family environment of the two groups and that can function as protective factors even in conditions characterized by a low degree of family communication.