Summary on Family Development Theory

Summary on Family Development Theory




Summary on Family Development Theory

The chapter on family development theory discusses on the changes that can be either patterned or systematic in family setups as they progress. The definition of the family unit is clearly elaborated. According to the authors, a family can be described as social group, which consists of a parent and a child (Smith & Hamon, 2012). Governing this social group requires compliance to the norms dictated by the community norms. The author explains on the history of the family cycle that has been in existence since 1777. According to the information provided, the development of the family theory was established after the World War II after its discovery by Reuben Hill (Smith & Hamon, 2012). The authors proceed to evaluate the phases that comprise the theory. This is stated to be the first approach. The phases outlined touch on families that have children, early marriage, families that children are leaving and those that lack children.

The article elaborates on the three phases considered when evaluating the aforementioned phases. They include interactional-associational, Individual-psychological and societal-institutional (Smith & Hamon, 2012). There are various arguments presented as an evaluation of the life-cycle concept. One of the arguments is by Roy Rodgers who focuses on the element of abandonment. He mentions that abandoning the cycle is more favorable in developing an oriented life course, which is part of the aspect of establishing a family career. The second argument that is presented is by Joan Aldous who reiterates on the existence of sub careers in the family context (Smith & Hamon, 2012). This sub careers include parental career, sibling career and marital career. According to the author, the influential factor that drives these careers is external and includes occupational and educational careers. The theory on the sub careers elucidates on the differences that are existence between the perspectives on family development and life course. The sole difference that stands out is the directive and focus of both theories. The life course theory focuses on the individual element where family is the focal point about the family development theory.

The chapter also provides content on the critiques that have been cited concerning the family development theory. The area of concern is the usefulness and resourcefulness of the notion as well as its structuring (Smith & Hamon, 2012). Interaction is considered though on a lesser extent. The authors also provide details on the empirical researches conducted that touch on development of the family unit as well as the correlation of variables. Variables evaluated include the satisfaction of the married persons with the family unit (Smith & Hamon, 2012). The authors delve deeper into elaborating on the limitations and difficulties experienced when conducting the research. As part of conducting a literature review or research on the topic on family development theory, the authors highlight some of the researches conducted and the main areas studied. Additionally, they discuss the application of the theory on various studies such as its effect on stress, development of schizophrenia, traumatic brain injury, and alcoholism. The applicability of the theory is thoroughly discussed. The authors state the various benefits that are gained from using the theory in therapy especially when providing assistance for persons dealing with certain life events and on time careers.

The chapter offers conclusive remarks that recaps on the discussions made as well as citing the future improvements that can be made as amendments to the family development theory. It also points out the possibility of establishing a correlation between the theory and other perspectives such as the life-course (Smith & Hamon, 2012). The integration of these two theories is likely to create a much wider scope, increase their validity and applicability.



Smith, S., & Hamon, R. (2012). Exploring family theories. New York: Oxford University Press.




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