Definition extracted with permission from Simon, Fritz, et al, Family Process, Inc.: Language of Family Therapy: A Systemic Vocabulary and Source Book (Family Process Press Series)
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family life cycle
The concept of the family life cycle was first formulated in family sociology. Since the early 1970's nearly all family therapists have given major attention to this concept as a framework for diagnosis and treatment planning (family typologies/dimensions). Within the course of the family life cycle, transitional phases and crises are inevitable with exits and entries from the family. The individual life cycle fits like a cogwheel into the family life cycle. Hill (1970) has observed that researchers or clinicians who seek to generalize about families without taking developmental stage into account will encounter tremendous variance that they will not understand.