Family Strengths and Challenges around the World


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 offered through the Global Consortium of International Family Studies so the student cohort will include students from UON, University of Nebraska Lincoln and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai India.


WebLearn GradSchool

  • Trimester 3 - 2016

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

WebLearn GradSchool

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.