You are here

Family Stress Management
Share

Family Stress Management
A Contextual Approach

Third Edition


October 2016 | 224 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
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?

The Third Edition of Family Stress Management continues its original commitment to recognize both the external and internal contexts in which distressed families find themselves. With its hallmark Contextual Model of Family Stress (CMFS), the Third Edition provides practitioners and researchers with a useful framework to understand and help distressed individuals, couples, and families. The example of a universal stressor—a death in the family—highlights cultural differences in ways of coping. Throughout, there is new emphasis on diversity and the nuances of family stress management—such as ambiguous loss—plus new discussions on family resilience and community as resources for support.
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Chapter 1- Family Stress: An Overview
Defining Family Stress

 
Defining Family

 
An Example of Diversity in Family Structure: Grandparents Parenting Grandchildren

 
What Were Our Own Families Like?

 
General Systems Theory: The Family as System

 
Symbolic Interaction as a Basis for Studying Perceptions and Meanings

 
Is There a Family Perception?

 
Problematic Perceptions

 
Diversity and Multiculturalism in Family Stress Management

 
Minority Stress

 
Acculturative and Bicultural Stress

 
The Stress of Discrimination and Racism

 
Gender and Family Stress

 
Trends in the 1970s

 
Trends in the 1980s

 
Trends in the 1990s

 
Current Trends

 
Summary

 
Points to Remember

 
Discussion Questions

 
Note

 
Additional Readings

 
 
Chapter 2- The Contextual Model of Family Stress
Why a Contextual Model?

 
The Family’s External Context

 
Cultural Context

 
Historical Context

 
Economic Context

 
Developmental Context

 
Hereditary Context

 
Summary

 
The Family’s Internal Context (Structural, Psychological, and Philosophical)

 
The ABC-X of Family Stress: A Frame for Definitions

 
The A Factor: Stressor Event (Stressful Event)

 
The Danger of Circular Reasoning

 
Classification of Family Stressor Events

 
Cautions About Defining a Stressor Event

 
The B Factor: Resources (Individual, Family, and Community)

 
The C Factor: Perception

 
The Primacy of Perceptions

 
Collective Versus Individual Perceptions

 
The X Factor: Family Crisis

 
The Roller Coaster Model of Family Crisis

 
Linking the ABC-X Model to the Roller Coaster Model of Family Crisis

 
The Turning Point: Family Recovery After Crisis

 
Family Strain

 
Summary

 
Points to Remember

 
Note

 
Discussion Questions

 
Additional Readings

 
 
Chapter 3- Multicultural Perspectives of a Universal Stressor
The Stress of Grief and Loss from Death

 
Cultural Perceptions of Death and Loss

 
Definitions of Death

 
Resolving Loss

 
Same Religion, Different Culture

 
African American

 
Asian

 
Peruvian

 
Irish

 
Jewish

 
Identity and Status in One’s Family After a Death

 
Applying the Contextual Model of Family Stress to This Universal Stressor

 
Where Is the Field Now?

 
Conclusion

 
Summary

 
Points to Remember

 
Discussion Questions

 
Additional Readings

 
 
Chapter 4- Ambiguous Loss: A Major Stressor
Ambiguous Loss Theory

 
Premise

 
Types of Ambiguous Loss

 
Effects of Ambiguous Loss

 
Individual Level

 
Family Level

 
Community Level

 
Core Assumptions for Working With Ambiguous Loss

 
Interventions: What Helps With Ambiguous Loss?

 
What Ambiguous Loss Is Not

 
Ambiguity Is Not Ambivalence

 
Ambiguity Is Not Uncertainty

 
Ambiguous Loss and Spirituality

 
Ambiguous Gain Versus Ambiguous Loss

 
Conclusion

 
Summary

 
Points to Remember

 
Notes

 
Discussion Questions

 
Additional Readings

 
 
Chapter 5- Boundary Ambiguity: A Perceptual Risk Factor in Family Stress Management
Measurement of Boundary Ambiguity

 
History of Boundary Ambiguity

 
Sociological and Psychological Roots

 
Family Therapy Roots

 
Entries and Exits; Gains and Losses

 
Normative Developmental Boundary Ambiguity Across the Family Life Cycle

 
Exceptions and Nuances

 
Effects of Boundary Ambiguity

 
Assumptions About Boundary Ambiguity

 
What Boundary Ambiguity Is Not

 
Boundary Ambiguity Is Not Boundary Maintenance

 
Boundary Ambiguity Is Not Boundary Permeability

 
Intervention for Boundary Ambiguity

 
New Studies and Future Directions

 
Summary

 
Points to Remember

 
Discussion Questions

 
Additional Readings

 
 
Chapter 6- Family Coping, Adapting, and Managing
Defining Individual and Family Coping

 
Individual Coping

 
Family Coping

 
Current Trends in Coping Research

 
Denial Coping

 
Approach/Avoidance Coping

 
Forbearance Coping

 
Preparedness Coping

 
Humor Coping

 
Religious Coping

 
Repressive Coping

 
Coping Ugly

 
Coping and the Contextual Model of Family Stress

 
Family Coping Resources

 
Individual Coping Resources

 
Community Resources for Family Coping

 
Intervention and Prevention

 
Psychoeducation as Effective Family Stress Intervention

 
How Did This Simple but Revolutionary Idea in Mental Health Treatment Come About?

 
The First Step: Where to Begin?

 
Complexities of the Coping Process

 
The Paradox of Individual Versus Family Coping

 
The Paradox of Functional Versus Dysfunctional Coping

 
Dialectical Thinking: Definition and Early Roots

 
The Chain Reaction of Coping or the Codetermination of Events

 
Cautions About Coping

 
Concluding Thoughts for Future Work

 
Summary

 
Points to Remember

 
Discussion Questions

 
Additional Readings

 
 
Chapter 7- Resilience for Managing Stress
The Difference Between Coping and Resilience

 
Defining Resilience

 
Resilience and Family Stress

 
Individual, Family, and Community Resilience

 
Ordinary Magic

 
Resilience and the Contextual Model of Family Stress

 
The Family’s External Context

 
The Family’s Internal Context

 
Revisiting the ABC-X Approach

 
Adversity and Resilience

 
Positive, Tolerable, and Toxic Stress

 
Intensity of Adversity

 
The Era of Resilience

 
Resilience Theorizing and Research Over the Years

 
Individual Resilience

 
Family Resilience

 
Family Science Conceptual Frameworks Focused on Resilience

 
Life Course Theory

 
Symbolic Interaction Theory

 
Family Stress Theory

 
An Example: Application to Military Families

 
A Third-Wave Family Resilience Framework

 
Resilience Frameworks Focused on Particular Situations

 
Resilience-Informed Professional Practice

 
Prevention and Resilience

 
Use of Family Resilience Frameworks

 
Cautions About Resilience

 
Troublesome Theorizing

 
The Cost of Resilience

 
Rebellion and Opposing the Status Quo

 
Conclusion

 
Summary

 
Points to Remember

 
Discussion Questions

 
Additional Readings

 
 
Chapter 8- Families, Communities, and Neighborhoods
Defining Community and Neighborhood

 
Sense of Community

 
Virtual Sense of Community

 
Community and Neighborhood

 
Communities and the Contextual Model of Family Stress

 
Research Findings on Families and Communities

 
Informal Connections and Relationships

 
Formal System Programs for Families

 
Neighborhood Risk

 
Exposure to Violence

 
Other Dimensions of Communities

 
The Social Organization Framework

 
Informal Networks

 
The Physical Environment

 
Community Capacity

 
Results for Families

 
The Value of Social Connections for Families

 
Resilient Communities

 
Four Types of Communities

 
Fluid and Dynamic Communities

 
Social Cohesion

 
Communities as Place and Force for Prevention and Intervention With Distressed Families

 
Communities as Place

 
Communities as Force

 
Community Family Therapy

 
Conclusion

 
Summary

 
Points to Remember

 
Note

 
Discussion Questions

 
Additional Readings

 
 
Chapter 9- Future Challenges to Family Stress Management
Health Disparities

 
Climate Change

 
Widening Economic Gulf Between Low and High Income Families

 
Increasing Work Pressures and Economic Conditions

 
Terrorism

 
Conflict Driven by Religious Differences

 
Family Caregiving Challenges and Dilemmas

 
Transgender Trends and Challenges

 
Increasing Focus on Community

 
Violence in Communities

 
Families on New Shores

 
Additional Factors to Consider About the Study of Family Stress

 
Conclusion

 
Summary

 
Points to Remember

 
Discussion Questions

 
Additional Readings

 
 
References
 
Index

“I am excited to introduce my graduate social work students to this significantly revised third edition of Family Stress Management. Grounded in the latest research literature and clearly written, this book offers its readers an integrative framework, the Contextual Model of Family Stress, that advances understanding of and practice with families facing adversity and positive challenges. Particularly noteworthy are the expanded discussions of multiculturalism, diversity, resilience, and community. Bravo and many thanks to Pauline Boss, Chalandra Bryant, and Jay Mancini for this third edition!”

Gary L. Bowen
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“The topic of stress and coping could not be more relevant and critical to families today, and this text is an informative guide that reviews how family stress theory has evolved, has been studied in the literature, and can be used to help all families face a variety of current stressor events.”

Angie Giordano
California State University, Northridge

“Boss et al. are reflective, thorough, and human in their presentation of family stress management. This is an excellent text for undergraduate family stress courses seeking to introduce students to the expansive, and at times daunting, literature on family crisis.”

Lynette Nickleberry
SUNY Empire State College

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 4


Preview this book

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781452270005
£45.99

SAGE Knowledge is the ultimate social sciences digital library for students, researchers, and faculty. Hosting more than 4,400 titles, it includes an expansive range of SAGE eBook and eReference content, including scholarly monographs, reference works, handbooks, series, professional development titles, and more.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.

SAGE Knowledge brings together high-quality content from across our imprints, including CQ Press and Corwin titles.