Applying family life-cycle concepts in psychological practice with children and young people


  • Nima Golijani Moghaddam University of Lincoln



Clinical psychology, systemic therapy, family therapy, child psychology


Family life-cycle models offer a framework for understanding family development and defining ‘normative’ transitions within this developmental progression. As such, family life-cycle models have potential to inform clinical practice: by allowing case presentations to be contextualised in terms of broader systemic and temporal processes, and possible disruptions to expected transitions. This article critically considers how family life-cycle models – and the notion of normative transition – might be used to support psychological understanding and intervention when working clinically with children and young people. Models of normative development and transition may be helpfully integrated with broader psychological models to inform idiographic case formulation – and thereby influence practice. Although normative models can be used indicatively, care should be taken not to use these models prescriptively.

Author Biography

Nima Golijani Moghaddam, University of Lincoln

I am a Clinical Psychologist and Research Tutor on the Trent DClinPsy Programme. As part of this work I supervise/co-supervise doctoral theses and smaller-scale clinical research projects. I am also involved in convening a research module and lecturing on the programme.






Practice Notes