relationships, generational gaps, generativity, family generativity, generative counseling, clinical work


Counselors who are concerned with strengthening and healing relationships between generations can draw on the concept of generativity to assist them. This chapter invites counselors to grant a more prominent place for generativity in clinical work with families by (a) presenting the concept of family generativity as a logical extension of the generativity concept and (b) presenting some initial ideas on the new approach to clinical work designed to help families develop and sustain family generativity, which we call generative counseling. Generative counseling is illustrated by use of a clinical example, which is introduced briefly in a subsequent section and then discussed in relation to the major ideas we present throughout the chapter. Although the ideas presented in this chapter have not yet been systematically tested for clinical effectiveness, we have found them helpful in our clinical and educational work.

Original Publication Citation

Dollahite, D. C., Slife, B. D., & Hawkins, A. J. (1998). Family generativity and generative counseling: Helping families keep faith with the next generation. In D. P. McAdams & E. de St. Aubin (Eds.), Generativity and adult development: How and why we care for the next generation (pp. 449-481). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Permanent URL


American Psychological Association




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor