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Course Description

Family with children splashing in a creek

A survey of family dynamics throughout the life course, emphasizing themes of power, intimacy and family diversity. Topics may include; gender socialization, sexuality, mate selection, communication, abuse, couple interaction, parent-child relations, divorce, remarriage.

Note: While there are many similarities between the face-to-face (or classroom) version and the DE version of this course, they are delivered using two different media which necessitates differences as well. While the workloads are similar, please remember that in the DE version you will need to actively participate and assume responsibility for learning while spending the equivalent amount of time as for the classroom version. Expect to spend the time you would normally spend in class plus study time (approximately 10 hours per week).


Learning Outcomes

This course is designed to keep the learner at the centre of the learning process, by emphasizing the exploration of meaning and content knowledge through personal and interpersonal discovery. FRHD*1020 was developed with consideration to the University of Guelph Learning Objectives. The general objective is to expand students' knowledge of current conceptual frameworks and research studies in the area of couple and family relationships.

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Help create a dynamic, exploratory, respectful and inclusive learning environment for both students and instructor in an online learning environment;
  2. Describe the multidimensional experience and diversity of intimate relationships, families, and marriages in the Canadian context
  3. Identify issues impacting couples and families, including the variety of political, religious, cultural, biological, social, and historical forces that influence family life;
  4. Explain the dynamics of couple and family relationships throughout the life course;
  5. Demonstrate the personal and practical implications of the course content by getting personally involved with course content and reflecting on the personal experiences that have contributed to one’s development with respect to couple and family relationships; 
  6. Evaluate and examine their own experiences, values, and biases in relation to the various dimensions of family and couple relationships.

Course Topics

  • Introduction: Intimate Relationships and Families
  • Historical Perspectives on Canadian Families
  • Attraction and Love
  • Partner Selection and Marriage
  • Relationship Diversity
  • Relationship Quality and Satisfaction
  • Parenting and Parent-Child Relationships
  • Gender, Power, and Work in Families
  • Aging and the Family Life Cycle
  • Stress, Conflict, Abuse, and Violence
  • Ending Relationships and Re-Partnering
  • The Future of Canadian Families

Additional Requirements

Equate(s): FRHD*2010


Assessment Item Weight
Written Assignment 15%
Discussions  20%
Online Midterm 30%
Online Final Exam 35%
Total 100%


Additional Technical Requirements

This course will use the following:

  • Respondus tool to invigilate one or more exams.  

Please view the Technical Considerations.

Technical Requirements

You are responsible for ensuring that your computer system meets the necessary system requirements. Use the browser check tool to ensure your browser settings are compatible and up to date (results will be displayed in a new browser window).

*Course details are subject to change.


Thank you for your interest in this course. Unfortunately, the course you have selected is currently not open for enrolment. Please complete a Course Inquiry so that we may promptly notify you when enrolment opens.

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