Family Life Cycle

While understanding individual development theory is crucial as you prepare to be a counselor, equally important is understanding family development theories and the myriad factors that contribute to family development.

Sociologist Evelyn Duvall (1957) identified 8 family life cycle stages based on a traditional definition of family. However, newer versions of this model have emerged since then, in an attempt to reflect a more modern approach to family development. While many of the stages Duvall identified are still applicable, in your practice you may see families that do not follow these stages.

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In this week’s assignment, you will examine your own understanding of how families develop. Contemplating your perspective on family development will help you determine the kinds of interventions you will use in your work with clients from disparate family experiences or cultures.

Before completing this week’s assignment, review the following resources from the University Library to develop a framework for thinking about family development:

  • “Family Life Cycle” – This article summarizes Duvall’s 8 stages of family development.
  • Family Development Theory – This document provides a modified version of Duvall’s stages of family development.
  • “Stages of Family Life” – This video provides a 21st century perspective on the family life cycle.

Write a 700- to 1,050-w0rd holistic analysis pap3r of your own family’s development. In your pap3r, be sure to:

  • Explain which stages of family development do/do not apply to your family. Use relevant details and/or examples from the sources provided to support your analysis.
  • Conclude by reflecting on what you learned about family development. Use the guiding questions below:
  • Did completing a holistic analysis of your family influence your conceptualization of family? Why or why not?
  • What biases and/or preconceived ideas about family might you need to address before working with individuals and/or families?
  • How might analyzing your own family’s development prepare you for working with clients from diverse families?

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