Family Stress Stress in families is not just accumulation of difficult events (assumption of certain stress tests). They involve: 1. event – less stressful if predictable, they accumulate and lower ability to cope. 2. resources of family – income, maturity, health, adaptability, cohesiveness 3. perception of event – more likely to be seen as problem if immediate (not in distant future) and denial more likely if family lacks confidence in solving problems. Least likely to act if stress is very low or very high. Also more likely to act if see problem as to be corrected rather than improving present (counseling – frame it in negative, not positive terms to get action). Power of negative thinking! What are major stresses in marriage? Olsen & McCubbin (1983) research by stage: 1. Newly married Financial & work related strains (7 of 10 top stresses). Illness also high. 2. Young children Pregnancy and childbearing (need SS classes!) Illness also high. “Increase in chores not done” is one of top 10 stresses at all stages, in top 3 for stages 2-4. “Increase in outside
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