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Lecture 8

FNF 100 Lecture 8: The Family Life Cycle

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Family Studies
FNF 100
Dan Mahoney

Life Course Perspective What is meant by “life course” perspective? • Orientation for the study of patterns of lives as they unfold across time: Patterns of health, illness, and behaviours across life span “Life course” perspective… Recognizes the importance of early child development and the temporal dimension of health and aging Recognizes that past and present experiences are shaped by wider social, economic, and cultural context “Life course” perspective… • Interdisciplinary perspective: looks at interaction between social change, history, individual psychological development, and aging • Used to study health and health behaviour across the life span in many disciplines: child development, public health, medicine, nutrition, sociology, education Key Life Course Concepts • Trajectories • Transitions • Turning points • Cultural and contextual influences • Timing in lives • Linked lives • Adaptive strategies ▯1 The Family Life Cycle: Intergenerational Connectedness • The aim of the Family Life Cycle is to provide a developmental approach of the life cycles in families • It also proposes to present a point of view of the life cycles in terms of inter- generational connectedness… Some Context… • the model is based on a traditional, heterosexual, multi-generational family context • identifies changing patterns of the family over time • used as a normative comparison Family Life Cycle (Carter & McGoldrick, 1998) The Stages of the Intact Family Life Cycle • The process of change required of families at each stage of the transition – Phase I – Leaving home – Phase II – The New Couple – Phase III – Families with Young Children – Phase IV – Families withAdolescents – Phase V – Launching Children – Phase VI – Families in Later Life Developmental Stages • these life stages are transitional points • as the family system move through the cycle, the family changes, alters, and/or regroups • entries and exits • new members enter the cycle or existing members exit the system The Family Life Cycle is understood in relation to three aspects…. • Predictability • Changing Patterns • Clinical Perspective Predictability • Stages of “normal” family development • These stages have predictable patterns of family development • Stages evolve over the life course Changing Patterns... • Changing patterns of family life over the life course • Understanding these changing patterns over time against what is considered normal or expected ▯2 • Identifies typical “fallout” when families have trouble negotiating these transitions or patterns Clinical Perspective • Aclinical perspective that understands family life as a developmental process • View symptoms and dysfunction in relation to normal functioning over time • Used as a diagnostic tool to identify developmental issues • Symptoms appear when there is an interruptions or dislocations in the unfolding life cycle This therapeutic perspective helps families who have become derailed in the developmental process to get back on track, or re-establish the family’s developmental momentum Framing Developmental Issues • Frames issues within the family life course – past, present and future • Understanding the historical life course of the family; the tasks it is trying to master, and the future toward which it is moving The individual life cycle takes place within the Family Life Cycle… • This perspective is crucial to understanding the emotional issues and life circumstances that people develop as they move through life Emotional Systems…. • Emotional system of three or four generations • Understands generational relationship
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