family life cycle

 (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

Usage Notes:

  • Plural: family life cycles
  • The family life cycle changes dramatically when interrupted by death or divorce.
  • Also called family life course.

Additional Information:

Related Terms:

 


Works Consulted

Abercrombie, Nicholas, Stephen Hill, and Bryan Turner. 2006. The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology. 5th ed. London: Penguin.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 5th ed. 2011. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Bruce, Steve, and Steven Yearley. 2006. The SAGE Dictionary of Sociology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.

Jary, David, and Julia Jary. 2000. Collins Dictionary of Sociology. 3rd ed. Glasgow, Scotland: HarperCollins.

Kornblum, William. 2008. Sociology in a Changing World. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (https://www.macmillandictionary.com/).

Princeton University. 2010. WordNet. (https://wordnet.princeton.edu/).

Random House Webster’s College Dictionary. 1997. New York: Random House.

Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall. 2005. A Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Turner, Bryan S., ed. 2006. The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).

 

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 December 12, 2018 (https://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 https://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 December 12, 2018. https://sociologydictionary.org/family-life-cycle/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“family life cycle.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 12 Dec. 2018. <https://sociologydictionary.org/family-life-cycle/>.