Family Strengths and Challenges around the World

Course code HLSC6509
Available in 2016
2016 Course Timetables


A body of international research literature growing over more than 30 years indicates that what makes families strong and resilient from culture to culture, when compared to each other, are remarkably similar and give us common ground around the world upon which to unite and develop mutual understanding. This course provides a conceptual framework for studying global family strengths: discussing the diverse strengths, the challenges that families are likely to face regardless of location, and how families use their strengths to deal with the difficulties they are confronted with in life. The focus will be on the identified family strengths and challenges in 18 countries in all seven major geo-cultural areas of the world (Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Oceania, Latin America, North America, and Europe.

This course is only available to students enrolled in the M Family Studies specialisation 'International Family Studies' (IFS). It is delivered by the Global Consortium of International Family Studies (GCIFS), and IFS students will be enrolled in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Blackboard course site.

Note GCIFS term dates are earlier than UON start dates: Trimester 3 - Monday September 12, 2016


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  • Trimester 3 - 2016
  • Trimester 3 - 2017

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Understand geo-cultural family strengths research methodology.

2. Understand family strengths, community strengths, and cultural strengths from a global perspective.

3. Compare and contrast the internal family dynamics or strengths of families in different cultures.

4. Investigate the different and unique ways family strengths are demonstrated in a range of geocultural environments.


Through the course, students will discuss and investigate a survey of family strengths, community strengths, and cultural strengths of 18 countries in seven geo-cultural areas:

  • Africa: South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, and Somali families
  • The Middle East: Israel, Oman
  • Asia: China, India, Republic of Korea
  • Oceania: Australia, New Zealand
  • Latin America: Mexico, Brazil
  • North America: Canada, United States of America
  • Europe: Russia, Greece, Romania


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Master of Family Studies (12277) program.

Assumed Knowledge

Undergraduate degree in relevant discipline or equivalent professional experience in the field.

Assessment Items

Online Learning Activity: Online Learning Activity

Written Assignment: Written Assignment 1

Written Assignment: Written Assignment 2

Contact Hours

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Self-Directed Learning

Self-Directed 10 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Self directed study of provided online activities, lectures and materials for 10 hrs per week for whole term with at least 120 hours of overall student effort.