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Understanding Family Developmental Stages: A Case Study Analysis

Individual Developmental Stages

Question: Rationale: The purpose of this assessment is to deepen your understanding of the different phases of change in people’s lives, and to help you critically reflect on how various theorists view these phases of change throughout the lifespan. Task: Read the case study provided and write about the following elements that explore the developmental stage of the family both as a whole, and the individual members of the family.   Discussion: Part A Identify and briefly describe each family member’s developmental stage (The family of 5). Choose one family member and one developmental theorist and discuss how their theory relates to that family member's developmental stage. Your brief discussion should include identifying key milestones for this stage/age. Part B  Reading the Friedman and Haley chapters in MyReadings folder will help with this section. Identify the development stage of the immediate family as a whole (the 5). Choose a Family Developmental Theory and provide a description. E.g. Duvall, Carter and McGoldrick or Rogers. Include the following four points in the discussion for the family as a whole in the context of the family life cycle model and as individuals: Developmental tasks, health concerns, resilience factors, and implications for nursing practice. Conclusion: (250 words -10 marks) Case: Debbie is a 39 year woman who has a 12 year old son Oscar, from her first marriage. Oscar’s teacher had reported to Debbie, he had noticed Oscar’s behaviour and grades were declining at school, and he appears to be disengaging from his peers. HARRY is 42 years old and is Debbie’s new partner. Harry has a 7-year-old son, Jack, and his daughter Jessie is nearly 2 years old: they are the children from his previous relationship. Jack and Jessie stay every second week and have mostly adjusted well to this new arrangement. Harry is currently not working after an accident at work six months ago. Harry can put his hand to most things and has been making several home products with recycled timber and selling them at the market and a local shop. Debbie works as a schoolteacher at the local primary school and has just confirmed she is pregnant with their first child. Finances are tight, but Debbie is very good at budgeting for the family. Debbie was able to buy a home from the settlement from her previous marriage and enjoys living in a small rural community about 40 minutes from the next large town. Debbie and Harry have decided to work hard at creating a positive family unit. Therefore, they have regular family meetings to create a solid foundation for the whole family. They plan family fun times: family games at the local park on Sundays and camping. Family special events, like birthdays, are always celebrated together. Oscar and Jack also have chores to attend daily and are rewarded for completing them. These rewards can be pocket money or another negotiated reward. The family always have their evening meals together at the table. The television is off and they talk about their day. Any challenges are talked through in an open and supportive environment. There are lots of conversations about the new baby arriving. Oscar (12) has two good friends he has known since they attended pre-school together. They often enjoy getting together on weekends to ride their bikes and are on the same football team. Harry loves going to watch Oscar play football and will usually also take Jack to watch. Oscar is increasingly wanting his independence and is starting to challenge parental decisions. Oscar took a little while to adjust to his new family, but now mostly enjoys the responsibility of his younger siblings. He is also enjoying a positive relationship with and is role modelling his stepfather, Harry. Harry likes to take the boys camping and adventuring. These adventures have been a wonderful bonding time and allowed Harry to talk with Oscar about school issues. Oscar’s biological father has little to do with Oscar. Jack (7) is a happy, outgoing little boy who has recently commenced at his new ‘big’ school. He enjoys his new ‘big’ brother, especially when they play ‘catch ball’ together, or any game that is filled with fantasy and drama. Jack is also finding new friends through his school. He loves going to the park close by to ride his bike. Jack loves being active but does get tired by the end of the day and enjoys a story and early to bed. Jack has recently started sometimes wetting the bed, but is mostly not distressed by this. Jack is quite protective of his little sister. Jessie (22 months) attends day-care two days a week. She is walking and has lots of new words. She likes to try and choose her clothes and dress herself. She is also starting to toilet train. Jessie loves to play with her brothers; she really enjoys playing ‘cups of tea’, car racing or exploring around where her brothers are playing. She enjoys games of chase and hide and seek. Jessie does have some difficulties around times of ‘change-over’ between families. The family does not have any close family nearby but does have a few good friends. Family History: Debbie’s mother died of breast cancer aged 58, 5 years ago. Debbie’s father, Peter (65) is living in the family home 1000kms away. He has just retired from being a school principal. He has struggled with depression since losing his wife. Debbie has one older brother Brendan (41) who is married to Lisa (37) and they have a boy aged 12, and to girls 10 and 4. Brendan and Lisa live in the same town as Peter. Peter has only met Harry twice, and is happy that Debbie is finally feeling more settled and happier in her life. Peter is looking forward to a new grandchild. Harry’s ex-partner lives fairly nearby and they continue a mostly amicable relationship. They mostly share financial costs for the children as well as custody. Harry’s parents, Julie (65) and Michael (66) are fit and well and currently travelling Australia in their campervan. Harry has three siblings; Alex (40), Betty, (38) and Amy (36). Alex has three children with her partner Charlie, Betty has two children and Amy has two children – so lots of cousins. Harry has had a close relationship with his siblings and parents, and enjoys their twice yearly family get together. They always meet up at a destination that has been a family tradition since Harry was a child. Harry’s parents were sad at his first relationship break up but have accepted Debbie well and are looking forward to their new grandchild coming.

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