Developmental Perspectives on Relationship Loss

  • Rosemary Blieszner
  • Jay A. Mancini


Examination of relationship loss from a developmental perspective invokes at least two behavioral science traditions, that of life-span developmental psychology and that of life-course analysis in sociology. Both are fairly recent conceptual frameworks in the histories of their respective disciplines. The life-span development approach had its origins in biologically based developmental psychology. It emerged when researchers discovered that stage-oriented, fixed sequence, hierarchical principles of development, although useful for describing and explaining children’s growth patterns, do not apply well to the diversity observed in adulthood and old age. Similarly, life-course analysis in sociology evolved as researchers acknowledged that historical and cultural changes affect social structure, which in turn influences the trajectories of peoples’ lives. Both approaches address differences within and between people over time and attempt to explain how, when, and why change occurs and how individuals adjust to it.


Family Career Developmental Perspective Family Development Social Provision Family Life Cycle 
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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosemary Blieszner
  • Jay A. Mancini

There are no affiliations available

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