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February 24, 2024

Family Life Cycle Assignment

Family Life Cycle Assignment

This week we are focusing on “Family Transitions”. As you know from your Child and Adolescent Development courses individuals go through “typical” developmental stages; those that are considered natural and somewhat predictable. The understanding of family development has been primarily based on information and research of “traditional” families and there has been little consideration given to cultural, ethnic or religious influences (Baxter & Shimoni 2014).
With that being said, CYC’s need to use caution when using the developmental life cycle perspectives in their work with families. The theory will however give you an overview of how different stages can cause family stress coupled with the fact that both the individual and family life cycles are occurring at the same time.

Duvall & Miller’s  Family Life Cycle (8 Stages):

Stage Description Developmental Tasks:
Stage I: Beginning Families
Married couple with no children
Average length of stage is 2 to 3 years
Greatest marital satisfaction experienced
To establish a mutually satisfying marriage
To relate harmoniously to the kin network
To plan a family
Stage 2: Childbearing Families
Because children are spaced out, the family is still considered to be forming
Childbearing about 30 months apart Child-rearing Average 2 children/family Half of women work outside of the home Average length of stage is 2 years Marital satisfaction begins to lessen (continues to decline through stage 4 or 5)
To set up young family as a stable unit
To reconcile conflicting developmental tasks and needs of family members
To maintain mutually satisfying marital relationship
To expand relationships within family
Stage 3: Families with Preschool Children
Parents are still very involved with the children
This family’s oldest child is 30 months to 6 years.  Deeply involved in child rearing.  Average length of stage is 3 years
To meet basic family needs (housing, food, etc.)
To socialize the children
To integrate new child members into the family
To maintain healthy relationships within the family
Stage 4: Families with School Children
Parents have more free time
Family’s oldest child is between six and 13 years old.
With children in school, mom has more free time and most enter work force Average length of stage is 7 years
To socialize the children
To maintain a satisfying marital relationship
To meet physical health needs of family members
Stage 5: Families with Adolescents
Oldest child is 13 to 20 years old Marital satisfaction reaches its lowest point Average length of stage is 7 years
To balance freedom with responsibility of teenagers
To focus on the marital relationship
To communicate openly between parents and children
Stage 6: Families As Launching Centers
The first child launches into the adult world The stages lasts until the last child leaves home, average 8 years Marital satisfaction begins to rise
To balance freedom with responsibility of teenagers
To focus on the marital relationship
To communicate openly between parents and children
Stage 7: Families In the Middle Years
This stage lasts from the time the last child has left home to retirement Commonly referred to as the “empty nest” stage Sometimes adult children return home Begin care-taking activities for elderly relatives, especially parents and parents-in-law
To prepare for retirement
To re-focus on marriage without children
To realign relationships to include in-laws and grandchildren
To adjust to role as caregiver with declining health of elderly parents
Stage 8: Aging Families
Working members of the family have retired Chronic illnesses begin to take effect Eventually one of the spouses dies The surviving spouse may move in with other family members or be cared for by them.
To promote healthy, active retirement as body ages
To explore new family and social roles
To adjust to a reduced income, and loss (death of siblings, friends, and spouse)
To review and reflect on life and experiences

Family Life Cycle Assignment

Part A: Reflect on your own family of origin and based the above chart (Duvall and Miller’s Family Life Cycle Stages), answer the following questions.

1. What stage is your family is currently in and identify the developmental tasks that are being met or not met.

2. Looking back at previous stages, identify any stages and developmental tasks that perhaps caused conflict or an imbalance in your families functioning. How did your family work through the stages and what can you do to help your family with the upcoming stages?

3. Finally, why do you think it is important for CYCP’s to understand the Family Life Cycle stages and why should we use caution when referring to this in our work with families? How can we use this in our practice.

Family Life Cycle Assignment

Family Life Cycle Assignment

Part B: Read the article “Values and Attitudes in Family Work”, and answer the following questions.

Do you agree with Dimitoff’s statement: “The family is the single most important influence in a child’s life” Why/why not?
What do you think about her comment about CYC’s tendencies to align with the child? Examples?
What are your thoughts about contacts with the family?
What does the author see as the ‘critical tool’ for the CYC working with families?
With what has been reviewed so far and the content of the article, how do you plan on applying “using the family’s own values and understanding your own family of origin” to your CYC practice with families?
What are some of the strategies that you would apply to working with the resistance of families to the CYC supports?

Use APA referencing style.