Family social climate, measured by Moos' Family Environment Scale (FES), was compared for 200 families in 4 life-cycle stages residing in selected house styles. In all stages, active/recreational develop-ment is positively related to residential privacy. In the initial stages, all dimensions of FES significantly decrease with the addi-tion of children. As families contract, cohesiveness is greater in houses with more separation (two-story). Dwelling patterns, espe-cially the use of privacy, significantly affect 7 of 10 FES subscales.