Family Life Cycle

As life is always changing so does the family.

Basic Family Functions include
  1. grow/change
  2. resolve conflict
  3. teach/nurture children
  4. help children to complete developmental tasks
  5. create successful transitions to the next stage of life
Family Life Cycle || Individual Life Cycle

transitions are important in both cycles thus success at each stage allows for healthy adjustment at the next stage.  Former failures are reflected in subsequent stages and transitions with difficulty.

family life cycle

Leaving Home:  18-21 y/o

  • differentiate self from family
  • develop intimate peer interactions
  • establish self in work/school

Establishing a couple relationship:  22-27 y/o

  • establish intimate relationship
  • adapt to spouse
  • realign relationships with extended family to include spouses & maintain emotional distance from parents

Pregnancy/Birth

  • adapt to first child
  • dividing parental roles

Parent young children

  • adapt to growing child
  • dual roles parent/spouse

Parenting School Age Children

  • establish new boundaries
  • establish new responsibilities
  • adapt to extended family (grandparenting role)

Parenting Adolescents

  • Increase flexibility in boundaries & movement in and out of system
  • Expanding responsibility

Middle Years:  Empty Nest:  40-55 y/o

  • Refocus on mid-life, marriage, career
  • Adapt to end of parenting roles
  • deal with disabilities & death of extended family

Retirement:  55-69 y/o

  • deal with own aging and mortality
  • Adjust to end of earning roles
  • Maintain functioning n face of physiological decline
  • developing new relationship with spouse, children & grandchildren

Old Age:  70+

  • Deal with loss of spouse, siblings, peers
  • face increased dependance n others
  • prepare for own death
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