HDFS 402 - Couple and Family Studies

  • 3 credits

This course examines theory and research concerning couple and family processes. This course also examines social contexts in which couples and families change over time.

Course Learning Objectives

  • Synthesize knowledge of theory and empirical research relevant to couple and family processes.
  • Construct an understanding of how couples and families change over time in a variety of social contexts.
  • Evaluate and interpret information related to couple and family theories and research from a variety of sources.
  • Exhibit effective written and oral communication skills related to couple and family studies, including use of technology for presentations.
  • Compare, contrast, and synthesize multiple points of view related to couple and family issues.
  • Implement effective collaboration, problem solving, and goal setting skills.
  • Exhibit professional ethics, conduct, and presentation.

This course has online exams that require a proctor. Two proctoring options are available: 1) taking the exam on campus at the University Testing Center (UTC), or 2) using ProctorU, an online proctoring service, which allows you to take the exam from your home but requires that your computer has a webcam and a microphone. For full system specifications, please visit: http://proctoru.com/tech.php.

The cost for online proctoring through ProctorU is included in the cost of the course for students enrolled in Division of Continuing Education course sections. Students are responsible for purchasing any software that may be needed for exams taken with ProctorU, including a webcam and microphone.

See http://www.online.colostate.edu/current-students/proctoring.do. for detailed instructions. For full system specifications, please visit: http://proctoru.com/tech.php. If you have any questions, please call the proctor line at 205-870-8122.

This course requires the use of electronic proctoring ProctorU or ProctorTrack as determined by the course faculty. The course syllabus will provide information on the approved electronic testing service. Please see http://www.online.colostate.edu/current-students/proctoring.dot for detailed instructions. For students requiring accommodations, please contact Resources for Disabled Students (RDS); for consideration of exceptions outside the scope of RDS, please contact the University Testing Center.

This course can be applied towards:


HDFS 334 (Family and Parenthood Across the Life Cycle); completion of 60 credits.

Important Information

All prerequisites must be completed or consent from the instructor given prior to enrollment.

If you register for this course after the start of the term, please contact the instructor at the time of registration. By contacting the instructor, you ensure you are added to the CANVAS section as soon as possible and have access to the course and details about the class requirements.

Textbook and Materials

Textbooks and materials can be purchased at the CSU Bookstore unless otherwise indicated.


  • Exploring Family Theories, 4th Ed. (2016)
    Smith, Suzanne R. and Hamon, Raeann
    ISBN: 978-0190297268


  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Ed. (2010)
    American Psychological Association
    ISBN: 978-1433805615

There will be additional selected readings posted on Canvas.


Ashley Harvey, PhD, LMFT
Ashley Harvey, PhD, LMFT

(970) 491-3011 | ashley.harvey@colostate.edu

Dr. Ashley Harvey is an associate professor and a senior teaching faculty member in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Since 2007, she has taught over 100 courses on campus and online, and more than 15 different courses related to parenting, families, lifespan development, therapeutic techniques, grant writing, and dying and grieving. Dr. Harvey is also a licensed marriage and family therapist.