Each family is faced with a succession of major changes which are predictable but not previoiusly experienced at first hand.
Each transition between stages is inevitably accompanied by pressures which make demands on all family members. The characteristics of healthy families are relevant to these life-long demands.
In addition there may be unpredicted stresses such as unemployment, chronic illness, disability, separation and divorce, migration, war, disaster or premature death.
The number of stages is arbitrary and less important than the concept.
ref: The Family in Clinical Psychiatry, S Bloch et al 1994
Last reviewed 01/2018