Family Developmental Theory

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family Developmental Theory evolved in three phases
          Phase I – Theorists Focused on The Family Life Cycle         Process of birth, growth, maintenance, shrinkage and death  
Phase II - contemporary theory – Theorists Focused on Roles and         Relationships within the family         Family is composed of social roles and relationships that change with each stage of the family  

Phase III – Theorists critique the theory  
        Look at the limitations and strengths of the framework.          One criticism is that the framework is biassed towards intact nuclear families, only one of many different types of family structures  

Major Constructs
        Family developmental theory includes two basic concepts 1.     the life cycle
        The family life cycle divides the family experiences into stages over the life span and describes changes in family structure and roles during each stage.  
2.     developmental task.
        Developmental tasks are the growth responsibilities that arise at certain stages in the life of the family.  
        To be successful, family members need to adapt to changing needs and demands and to attend to tasks that are necessary to ensure family survival.  
        Family life cycle – Set of predictable steps or patterns and developmental tasks families experience over time. o       The family life cycle concept facilitates studying the family from beginning to end.  

        Family stage – A time period in the life of a family that has a unique structure. o       For example consider Duvall’s Stages of the Family Life Cycle, Families with preschool children  

        Transition – The shift from one family stage to another o       Consider the Intact Family Life Cycle.  The transition, for example, from Families with Adolescence to Launching Children is what occurs in the family as all members...
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