An understanding of the human developmental processes is a critical component of the family physician’s role in continuing care. Patients often present to physicians with the superficial complaint of a medical concern when the true underlying problem relates to an adjustment to their own development or the response of the family to that adjustment. When a medical condition develops in a family member it is liable to have some impact on other members. The impact is more powerful when an illness occurs around common stress points in the family life cycle, such as birth of the first child or when an adolescent has been “acting up.” Family physicians can be of great assistance in providing “anticipatory guidance,” reassurance regarding the normality of such experiences or assistance for those with a difficult adjustment (Table 2.1). This chapter addresses the developmental characteristics during each stage of life and their impact on the care of the patient.
KeywordsFamily Physician Sibling Rivalry Healthy Life Expectancy Anticipatory Guidance Home Visitor Program
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