HDFS 425: Critical Family Transitions

Thinking about your own family, you may have noticed positive or negative patterns that are present across generations. HDFS 425: Critical Family Transitions analyzes this topic and digs deeper into how families function and change across lifespans and generations.

“Using a family systems and family stress perspective, students learn how to use family genograms as an assessment tool to guide work with individuals and families,” says HDFS 425 professor Jennifer Hardesty. “Through a variety of assignments, students learn how to apply research and theory to identify and analyze patterns in their own family system as well as in fictional families in films.”

In HDFS 425, students have the opportunity to reflect on their personal family dynamic. The course requires a lot of self-awareness as students delve into course material and relate to it personally by examining their own families.

Nicole Yaklich, a student who took HDFS 425, says “the biggest thing I gained from this class was an understanding of the different influences and forces at work on families in today’s society—from the media to social norms—and how to deal with them effectively as a family.”

Through this course, students are able to prepare for careers working with varying family dynamics. They also gain knowledge about their own families and how to deal with differences they find there.

“I recently accepted a position with a foundation specifically for kids and families,” says Yaklich. “I know the content I learned in HDFS 425 will help me better understand the families I work with daily and will give me the confidence to do my job to the best of my ability.”

Productive, Empowered Communities Jennifer Hardesty