• family development;
  • family lifecycle;
  • Systemic Family Development Model

Although family development theory has made significant contributions to the field of family studies, virtually all of the models based on this theory are fraught with two fundamental conceptual weaknesses: the assumption of universality and the skew toward a single generational focus. The Systemic Family Developmental (SFD) Model is presented here as a process-oriented and holistic alternative to existing models of family developmental theory. Following the presentation of a case example that demonstrates how the SFD Model can be used to study an actual family, detailed recommendations are provided for the use of the Model in undergraduate family development and family studies courses.