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HD202: Human Physical and Psychosocial Development

Family Life Cycle

EXAM # 1
April 21, 2015
Trans Number: 3

Allan R. Dionisio
Family of Origin Theory
A. Historical Roots
B. Influences of Family of Origin
II. Family Life Cycle Theory
A. Emotional Process of Transition
B. Family Life Cycle Stages
i. Stage 1: Unattached Young Adult
ii. Stage 2: Joining of Families by Marriage
iii. Stage 3: Family with Young Children
iv. Stage 4: Family with Adolescents
v. Stage 5: Launching Family and Moving On
vi. Stage 6: Family in Later Life
C. Being Stuck

Transers notes: text boxes incorporated in the trans are life

advice/tips from Sir.
You can also access the 2017 trans for more info.
A. Historical Roots
Sigmund Freud
The unconscious
Many unconscious influences drive our behavior.
Parental influences especially until the age of 6
Erik Erikson
Societal development and influences
Psychosocial Stages of Development
Murray Bowen
The influence of the family of origin
The person you are now is because of your family
Kung ano ang puno, siya rin ang bunga.
B. Influences of Family of Origin
The past influences the present.
Most of these influences are unconscious.
Ex.: Exhibiting mannerisms similar to our parents
The largest and most influential part of your past is your
experience with your family of origin.
Ex.: Patterns of sibling order
Multigenerational transmission patterns
We inherit good and not-so-good things from our family
of origin
Cycle of abuse
Abusive father was once abused by own father, who
was also abused by his own father, and so on
Original Sin
Ang kasalanan ni Adam at Eve ay kasalanan din natin
According to Freud: Your choice of spouse has already
been imprinted in your unconscious by the age of 6
Type kita = programmed from parental figures
If you dont like your parental figures or how their
relationship is/was, you tend to look for someone whos
opposite them.
Thus, love is (usually) a phenomenon that bypasses


Family medicine, more than any other field of specialty,
recognizes the pivotal role that the family plays in the healing
process of the sick member.
Family plays a huge role in progression or regression of
A good health practitioner will never overlook the
importance of family dynamics in medical intervention
Family Life Cycle
Composite of the individual developmental changes of
family members
Involves a sequence of stressful changes that requires
compensating or reciprocal readjustment by the family if
it is to maintain viability
that must be transcended.
As in Freuds and Eriksons developmental theories
If something traumatic takes place in a particular stage,
then one gets stuck in that stage; there are corresponding
consequences and influences.
Suggests that successful transitioning may prevent
disease and emotional or stress-related disorders
When there is psychosocial difficulty, there is concomitant
biomedical difficulty.
A. Emotional Process of Transition (EPT)
Refers to change confronted by the family or its members
as they go through the various stages
Can also refer to theme/major task of the particular family
life cycle stage
Transition periods are characterized by some degree of
These require adjustments and some forms of
homeostatic mechanism.
Two kinds: the 1st order change and 2nd order change


First Order Change

Change that entails change in the degree of skill or
Increments of mastery and adaptation
It does NOT involve change in the structure of the
family and does NOT involve change in individuals
identity and self-image
These include TASKS which must be done by the
family working within the stage
Ex.: Using a stethoscope or learning to ride a bike
Second Order Change
Change in role; involving transformation of an
individuals status and meaning
The need to be
More difficult
Change in the ROLE and IDENTITY of family members
(e.g. man who first becomes a husband, and then a
father then progresses to another family life cycle
Major task/EPT (of a stage)
Ex.: Changes in roles in med school: med student
clerk intern


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B. Family Life Cycle Stages

Based on middle-class North American and Western
European families
Why bother teaching to Filipinos?
Basically, the developmental tasks are the same.
But the timing the accomplishment of the tasks are
different across cultures, i.e., much later in Filipino
However, there is inherent validity regardless of culture
In different cultures there are extensions and
abbreviations of the tasks
Some points to consider:
Experiences through cycle affect who we are and what we
Each stage presents unique challenges which cause us to
develop skills to deal with the changes.
A successful transition to the next stage requires mastery of
its skills and milestones (first order change).
Those who lack mastery can still progress, but are more
likely to have difficulty with relationships and future
Missed skills can still be obtained later on in life.
Regression can happen.
To determine the life cycle stage of a family, follow the
Stage 1: The Unattached Young Adult
EPT: Accepting parent-offspring separation
Second Order Changes:
Differentiation of self from family of origin
Establishment of self in work
Development of intimate peer relationships
Three years of courtship is recommended before marriage.
The first year is for the magic of romance, the second is for
disillusionment, and the last year is for confirmation
(whether you still love your partner despite prior
Stage 2: The Joining of Families by Marriage
(The Newly Married Couple)
EPT: Commitment (or more specifically: transfer of
loyalty) to new system
Second Order Changes:
Formation of marital system
Just because you said I do to each other during your
wedding ceremony does not mean you are already
committed to each other. Commitment is not just saying
yes once, but saying it everyday.
Realignment of relationships with families and friends to
include spouse
Marriage does not include only the two people making the
The bride and groom bring their own families and their
influences into the marital system.
The EPT refers to the transfer of loyalty from family of origin
to the new marital system.

Stage 3: The Family with Young Children

EPT: Accepting new members (i.e. children) into the
Second Order Changes:
Adjusting marital system to make space for children
while maintaining the relationship between husband
and wife.
Relationship between husband and wife > relationship
with children
Because children will ultimately suffer when there is a
rift between the parents.
This is the stage when most marital breakups occur due to
the burden of child care, but it can be a very happy and
rewarding time for those with the proper skills and tools :)
Taking on parental roles
Realignment of relationships with extended family to include
roles for parents and grandparents
Include them in your childrens lives, but as much as
possible, do not live with your in-laws! Get your own
residence, whether its renting an apartment or
condominium unit (basta wag from your own parents) or
buying a new house. Think of it as an investment towards
your own privacy.
Stage 4: The Family with Adolescents
EPT: Increasing flexibility of family boundaries to include
childrens independence
Second Order Changes:
Shifting of parent-child relationships to permit adolescent to
move in and out of system
Beginning of shift towards concerns for older generation
In-laws/grandparents start to get sick.
Parents must provide for both children and own
Refocus on midlife marital and career issues
Midlife Crisis
Time of vulnerability
The person comes face-to-face with his/her own
physical decline.
Recipe for a well-functioning family: strong yet flexible +
good communication + problem solving skills + mutual care
+ support and trust
Stage 5: The Launching Family (Moving On)
EPT: Accepting a multitude of exits and entries from the
Second Order Changes:
Renegotiation of marital system as a dyad
Empty nest
Development of adult-to-adult relationships between the
grown children and their parents
Realignment of relationships to include in-laws and
Dealing with disabilities or death of parents and/or


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Stage 6: The Family in Later Life

EPT: Accepting the shifting of generational roles
Second Order Changes:
Maintaining own functioning and interests in the face of
physiological decline
Quality of life depends on how well-adjusted you were to
changes in earlier stages. Normal ageing will affect ones
body, but does not automatically mean one will experience
poor health!
Exploration of new familial and social role options
Support for a more central role for the middle generation
Making room in the system for the wisdom and experience
of the elderly without overfunctioning for them
Life review and integration
Dealing with the loss of spouse, siblings, peers
Preparation for own death
C. Being Stuck
Failure to accomplish the second order changes of a stage
can cause one to get stuck such that one cannot move on
Illnesses can cause a family to get stuck
Illnesses always cause a centripetal force
They hold the family back and, depending on severity of
illness, may force a family to be unable to overcome a
developmental stage
Families that are stuck have a harder time dealing with
Sometimes you (the doctor) have to intervene
psychosocially to get better biomedical results.
Families that get stuck can sometimes manifest with
illness as the symptom of their being stuck.
If a family or any of its members get stuck, then he or she
can also get unstuck provided that he/she addresses the
particular task for that stage.
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