Family Stress Management / Edition 2

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Why do some families survive stressful situations while others fall apart? Can a family’s beliefs and values be used as a predictor of vulnerability to stress? And most importantly, can family stress be prevented? In this Second Edition, Pauline Boss continues to explore both the larger context surrounding families and stress and the inner context, which includes perceptions and meanings. The author emphasizes the need for a more general contextual model of family stress that may be applicable to a wider diversity of people and families as well as a wider variety of stresses and crises than other models. The goal is to provide a framework for students and professionals engaged in helping families learn how to manage their stress.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803973909
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 11/1/2001
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 528,577
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Pauline Boss, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota, a Fellow in the American Psychological Association and American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy; a former president of the National Council on Family Relations, and a family therapist in private practice. Dr. Boss received her Ph.D. in Child Development and Family Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she subsequently taught for many years. In 1981, she joined the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota, where she was Professor and Clinical Supervisor in the doctoral training program in marriage and family therapy. She was appointed Visiting Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School, 1995-96.

With her groundbreaking work as a scientist-practitioner, Dr. Boss is the principal theorist in the study of ambiguous loss, a term she coined in the 1970s. Since then, she has researched various types of ambiguous loss, summarizing her work in the widely acclaimed book, Ambiguous Loss: Learning to Live with Unresolved Grief (Harvard University Press, 1999). In addition, Loss, Trauma, and Resilience (Norton, 2006), presents six therapeutic guidelines for treatment when loss is complicated by ambiguity. These guidelines are based on her years of work with families of the physically missing during the Vietnam War, after 9/11, and in Kosovo, as well as in clinical work with families with loved ones who are missing psychologically from Alzheimer's disease and other dementia, as well as from traumatic brain injury. Dr. Boss's most recent book, Loving Someone Who Has Dementia (Jossey-Bass, 2011) outlines proven strategies for managing the ongoing stress and grief while caring for someone who has dementia and offers hope for dealing with the ambiguous loss of dementia--having a loved one both here and not here, physically present but psychologically absent.

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Table of Contents

1 What Is New? 1
What Is New in Family Stress Theory? 2
2 The Contextual Model: Understanding Family Stress in Science and Practice 15
Family Stress Versus Individual Stress: A Conceptual Dilemma 16
Family Stress Defined 16
Defining the Family: A Matter of Bias 18
General Systems Theory: The Family as System 21
Symbolic Interaction as a Base for Studying Perceptions and Meanings 22
Diversity and Multiculturalism in Family Stress Management 25
Gender in Family Stress Management 26
Why a Contextual Model? 28
Looking Back 30
The Theory-Building Process for Science and Practice 35
3 Definitions: A Guide to Family Stress Theory 39
The Family's External Context 40
The Family's Internal Context 44
The ABC of Family Stress: A Frame for Definitions 46
Stressor Event (Stressful Event) Defined 47
Classification of Family Stressor Events 50
The Primacy of Perceptions in the Contextual Model of Family Stress 57
The Meaning to the Family of a Stressful Event or Situation 59
Perceptions of Events Can Be Distorted 60
Family Stress Defined 61
Family Crisis Defined 62
Family Strain (Burnout) Defined 68
4 Coping, Adapting, Being Resilient ... or Is It Managing? 71
Coping in Individual Stress Theory 73
Family and Individual Coping and Resiliency: The Need for a Dialectical View 77
Family Coping Defined 78
Deductive Evidence for the Social-Psychological Definition of Family Coping 79
The Possibility of "Inherited" Coping Strategies 81
A Caution About Coping and Resiliency 81
Complexities of Coping 85
The Chain Reaction of Stressor Events 87
Family Coping Resources 88
Family Managing as Outcome 89
5 Boundary Ambiguity: A Risk Factor in Family Stress Management 93
The Family's Internal Context 93
Family Boundary Ambiguity 94
Normative Boundary Ambiguity in Families Throughout the Life Cycle 104
6 The Link Between Ambiguity and Ambivalence in Family Stress Management 113
Theoretical Roots 114
Definitions and Differences Between Ambiguity and Ambivalence 114
Linking Ambiguity and Ambivalence to Family Stress Management, Resilience, and Context 119
7 Denial: Barrier or Buffer in Family Stress Management? 123
How Some Families Break Through Denial 130
8 Family Values and Belief Systems: Influences on Family Stress Management 135
Why Values and Beliefs Are Important 136
Values and Beliefs as They Affect "Blaming the Victim" 138
Values and Beliefs About Gender: Are They Related to Family Stress Management? 143
9 The Family's External Context 149
External Forces With Which Families Contend 150
Societal Pressure on the Family 156
10 Family Crisis: Overcoming Trauma and Victimization 159
Family Victimization as Crisis 161
Self-Blame: Is It Helpful? 163
Chronic Threat of Victimization From Outside the Family 164
Chronic Victimization From Inside the Family 165
Cultural Violence and Victimization 166
The Theory of a Just World 168
Flaws in the Just World Theory 169
Empowering Victimized Families 171
11 Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going? 175
Where Have We Been? 175
Where Are We Going? Recommendations for Future Research and Practice 176
What Is Still Needed? 182
The Dilemma Remains: Do We Focus on the Individual or the Family? 184
Final Thoughts 184
Postscript 187
References 189
Index 207
About the Author 217
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