According to D. Levy, a study of the family life cycle requires longityudinalnogo approach. This means that the family in its development passes a certain stage, similar to those that the individual passes during ontogeny. Stages of the family life cycle associated with the creation of a family, with the advent of new family members and “care” of the old. These changes in the composition of the family in many ways change its role functioning.
Carter and Mack Goldring (1980) there are six stages of family life cycle:
- of-family status: single and unmarried people do not create their family;
- newlyweds family;
- family with young children;
- family with teenagers;
- Output grown up children from the family;
- family at the late stage of development.
VA Sysenko highlights:
- very young marriages – from 0 to 4 years of marriage;
- young marriages – from 5 to 9 years;
- the average marriage – from 10 to 19 years;
- mature marriages – more than 20 years of marriage.
G. Navaytis considers the following family development stages:
- Premarital intercourse. At this stage it is necessary to achieve a partial psychological and financial independence of the genetic family, acquire experience in dealing with the other sex, choose a marriage partner, to gain experience emotional and business communication with him.
- Marriage – married adoption of social roles.
- Step honeymoon. Its tasks include: the adoption of changes in the intensity of feelings, to establish psychological and spatial distance to genetic families, the acquisition of experience of interaction on issues of organization of everyday family life, the creation of intimacy, the primary coordination of family roles.
- Step young family. Frames stage: a decision on procreation – wife return to professional activity or the beginning of the visiting child preschool.
- Mature family, that is the family, performing all of its functions. If the fourth stage supplemented with a new family member, the fifth is supplemented with new personalities. Accordingly, change the role of parents. Their ability to meet the needs of the child in the custody of security must be complemented by ability to educate, organize social relationships of the child.
Stage ends when children reach a partial independence from the parental family. Emotional problems families can be considered resolved when the psychological impact of children and parents at each other comes to equilibrium when all members of the family conditional autonomous.
- Family of the elderly. At this stage of renewed marital relations, is given new meaning to family functions (for example, the educational function is expressed by participation in the education of grandchildren) (Navaytis G., 1999).
The presence of problems in the family may be related to the need to move the family to a new stage of development and adaptation to new conditions. Typically, the most stressful is the third stage (on the classification of Carter and Mac Goldring), when a first child, and the fifth stage when family structure is unstable due to the “advent” of some family members and “care” of others. Even positive change can lead to family stress.
Unexpected and particularly traumatic experiences, such as unemployment, early death or birth of a child late, may impede the tasks for the development of the family and its transition to a new stage. Rigid and style dysfunctional family relationships also increase the likelihood that even a normal family changes will be experienced as a crisis. Changes in the family are considered as either normal or as “abnormal.” Normal changes in the family – it is these transformations that the family can expect. A “crazy”, on the contrary, sudden and unexpected, such as death, suicide, illness, flight and others.
According to D. Levy (1993), there are the following types of changes in the family:
- “Knockout” (loss of family members for various reasons);
- “Increment” (replenishment of family composition in connection with the birth, adoption, grandparent’s arrival, returning from military service);
- changes under the influence of social events (economic, depression, earthquake, etc.);
- biological changes (puberty, menopause, etc.);
- lifestyle changes (retirement, relocation, unemployment, etc.);
- “Violence” (theft, rape, beatings, etc.).
In the course of therapy is checked to what extent the family adapts or adjusts for these changes in how family bending fixture. It is believed that an open and flexible family of the most prosperous and functional.
There is a continuum from the best families (well organized, relatively open to change) to significantly dysfunctional (chaotic, rigid, closed systems, poor communication with the outside world).