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Understanding Family Development Approach and its Relevance to Clinical Practice

H. Sobhana, Priya Saxena, Sabana N. Islam


The family developmental approach helps to understand the transitions and progress of individual members and their families in the context of family development. This approach describes the progression of family from its formation to its dissolution. This proposal of the orderly and predetermined life cycle stages has been criticised for its lack of universality and orientation to cultural and societal contexts. This article traces the history of family development theory and describes the family development approach. It discusses its applicability and limitations with examples from clinical settings. The family life cycle stages in the Indian context are also briefly discussed.


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Published by Prof. Shalini Bharat, Director, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.