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Family Development: Continuity and Change

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on 23 June 2016

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Transcript of Family Development: Continuity and Change

Family Development: Continuity and Change
Family Life Cycle
evolves in stages as opposed to a smooth and orderly flow of growth

Families can expect periods of transition and change followed by relative stability and then change once again

Members attempt to cope with changing life circumstances and demands.

Generations of families have life-shaping impacts on each other as they move through family life cycle stages.
Changing Families, Changing Relationships
Each stage is precipitated by a particular life event, a
family stage marker

As the family proceeds through the life cycle, relationships among and between its members undergo transitions.

Presented stages include: single adults leaving home, marrying, having children, etc.
The Family Life-Cycle Framework
Developmental tasks
refer to activities or experiences undertaken by families to overcome conflicts that need to be mastered at various stages in the family life cycle.

Enable the family to move to the next developmental stage.

Developmental tasks define role expectations throughout the life cycle.
Identifying Developmental Tasks
Continuity and Change
Stages of Family Development
The generalizations presented should be seen within the context of a particular class, culture, and historical period.

Family migration history, gender roles, intergenerational hierarchies, child-rearing attitudes/patterns, religion, spirituality,and the role of the elderly are relevant.

Most transitions occur over years and mastery of a life-cycle transition requires changes in the family system, not rearrangements.
Preliminary Cautions
A Family Life Cycle Stage Model
Developmental Sequences in Other Families
Presented By: Kristen Caccimelio & Mandi Ginsburg
Becoming an Adult: Emerging and Young Adulthood
Developmental Stages
Middle Adulthood
Late Adulthood
Family Transitions and Symptomatic Behavior
Structural position
Families can become fixated at a particular phase of development, therefore not making the transition at the appropriate time
Symptoms are evidence that the immediate task has not been mastered
Multidimensional, Multicultural, and Multigenerational Perspective
The family life-cycle perspective is viewed as the natural context within which individual identities and developmental experiences are framed.
Intergenerational view of multiple stresses on a families' ability to navigate transitions.
Critique of the Stage Model
The concept is descriptive rather than exploratory

This approach fails to take into account individual differences in the timing of nodal events

This approach does not place enough importance on transitions between stages, which are key periods of change

Defining the specific number, types, and timing of stages perpetuates the assumption of universality

The Life cycle approach is biased toward a single generation and fails to attend to intergenerational and interactional complexities of families
Single-Parent-Led Families
Remarried Families
Gay and Lesbian Families
Let's Discuss
What other families can you think of that were not mentioned in the chapter, but which warrant discussion?

What multicultural considerations might you consider when working with families that differ from your own life experiences?
Infancy to Preschool
Attachment to caregiver(s)


Differentiation of self from environment

Self-control and compliance
Middle Childhood
School adjustment

Academic achievement

Getting along with peers

Rule-governed conduct
Successful transition to secondary schooling

Academic achievement

Involvement in extracurricular activities

Forming close friendships within and across genders

Forming a cohesive sense of self
Is the family flexible enough to allow new interactive patterns to emerge to meet the developmental needs of its members?
Family characteristics of the previous period are carried over into the next stage of development
Example: fears of separation
Changes can be continuous or discontinuous
Individual life cycles take place within the family cycle and the interplay between the two affects what takes place in each.

The family must be flexible to sustain changes between members while also supporting member's own efforts for personal development
Emerging Adulthood
A period in life that bridges adolescence and adulthood
Generally spans the ages


Characterized by an increased sense of responsibility and the sense that decisions need to be made about questions raised during the teen years
Three types:
Low integrated sense of self and competence
Competence combined with an integrated and authentic self
Acting competent with low self-authority
Young Adulthood
Generally spans from a person's
to his or her
Determined by the assumption of certain responsibilities
Become less self-focused and look more broadly and widely toward the outer world
"Coupling" and Preparing for Parenthood
The average age at which people, both men and women, marry has increased.

A couple's move from independence to interdependence is referred to as
Commitment to the partnership is essential to managing the transition of a new cohesive pair

Creating a family, "we" and "I"

Beginning a family
Need to decide which family rituals and traditions to retain from their pasts, as well as the ones the couple wish to generate on their own
The Arrival of Children
Changes in structure
Distribution of labor and duties

Vertical realignment for the new family and the extended family.
Task for new parents is to integrate new relationships to the child with the existing relationship with one another


Leaving Home
"launching children and moving on"
Reorganizing Generational Boundaries
Parents reassess their relationship with one another with the children no longer in the home
Strengths and strains

Parents shifting to grandparent positions

Enduring the loss of friends and family

Changes brought with retirement, widowhood, grandparenthood, and care giving/ illness
Major adaptational challenges for the entire family system

Role of the caregiver
Carl Jung (1931/1960)
People confront the unfulfilled parts of themselves and integrate them with their more fully developed aspects
Erik Erikson (1982)
Midlife stage
People confront a crisis between generativity and stagnation

Age 65
Erik Erikson (1982)
Identified a conflict for most people between integrity and despair
A time when life decisions come together to support a sense of wisdom
Single life is short-lived for most divorced persons

Stepfamilies would be the most prevalent family form in twenty-first century America.

Remarriage involves transition from a former household to an integrated stepfamily household.

Most stepfamilies have several distinctive problems
One-parent households represent one in four families with children under the age of 18.

Most are the product of divorce, although there has been an increase due to the social acceptance of single unmarried women

Discrepancy in economic well-being is the most glaring difference between two-parent families and one-parent families

Joint legal custody and the binuclear family
Gay and Lesbian families face similar demands from a life-cycle perspective with stress that accompanies living in a stigmatizing society
Varied and diverse in family makeup

Children of gay and/or lesbian couples may attempt to distance themselves from their parent(s) during adolescence

Identified stress in families due to the role of the parent(s)

Working with gay and lesbian couples
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