(noun) The predictable steps and patterns a family experiences over time.
Example: While different depending on location, one traditional cycle in the United States would be:
- A couple dates
- Gets married.
- Has a family with young children.
- Couple reaches middle age dealing with aging parents and adolescent children.
- Children start dating.
- Children get married.
- Couple enter old age and become grandparents.
Audio Pronunciation: (fam·i·ly life cy·cle)
Download Audio Pronunciation: family life cycle.mp3
- Plural: family life cycles
- The family life cycle changes dramatically when interrupted by death or divorce.
- Also called family life course.
- Family and Kinship Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “family” and “life” and “cycle” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- extended family
- family of orientation
- family of procreation
- nuclear family
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How to Cite the Definition of Family Life Cycle
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “family life cycle.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved March 26, 2019 (http://sociologydictionary.org/family-life-cycle/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
family life cycle. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from http://sociologydictionary.org/family-life-cycle/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “family life cycle.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed March 26, 2019. http://sociologydictionary.org/family-life-cycle/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“family life cycle.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 26 Mar. 2019. <http://sociologydictionary.org/family-life-cycle/>.