Stress and the Family Marriage and Family Interaction HPER F258 Kathleen R. Gilbert, Ph.D. Indiana University
For next class • Write a letter assignment at http://www.indiana.edu/~hperf258/activities/write-letter.html • We will discuss this at the beginning of class on April 17.
Functional and Dysfunctional Family Coping (Figley & McCubbin) • Developed from 4,000 studies of stress and coping in families • Both normative and non-normative stressors • Family focused, not individual (in fact, some things that are functional for family may or may not be functional for individuals (and vice versa)
Identification of the stressor • F = clear and acceptance, D = unclear and denial • They know what is causing the stress in the family and, at minimum, do not deny its seriousness or its reality. • Denial may be functional coping for individuals but is not for family as a system.
Locus of the problem/solution • F = family centered, D = individual centered • “Ours” vs. “yours” • Work together as a team
Approach to the problem/solution • F = solution oriented, D = blame oriented • Looking for ways to solve problem, resolve differences vs. getting “stuck” in looking for who to blame • Future orientation instead of past • More positive view
Tolerance of others • F = high, D = low • This is tolerance of differences within the family • Agree to disagree
Commitment to and affection for family members • F = clear and direct, D = unclear and indirect • Family is seen as of prime importance • Sometimes willing to treat family as more important than self • Affection = “Doing out of caring”
Communication • F = open and supportive, D = unclear and indirect • No mixed messages • Clear and focused on the issue • Not intended to manipulate
Family cohesion • F = high, D = low • The closer the family is, the better • Facilitates family working as a team to solve a problem or resolve an issue
Family roles • F = flexible and shifting, D = rigid • The more flexible the role assignments, the greater the likelihood that the family can adapt to deal with stress or disruption to the family system
Resource utilization • F = balanced to high, D = low to none • Availability AND willingness to use resources • Both internal and external resource are relevant, but if external not use, will deplete internal. • (Also possible that is a problem if resources used so that they do not take back control/responsibilities)
Use of violence • F = absent, D = present • This includes all forms of the use of physical pain for control • Includes corporal punishment of children
Use of drugs • F = infrequent to none, D = frequent • Seems obvious, but is not restricted to illegal drugs, also includes tobacco products and alcohol • Includes OTC (over-the-counter) and certain prescription drugs(as possible indicators of problems elsewhere)
Overall -- Movement toward recovery • this is in addition to F&McC's list • F = dynamic, D = static, regressive • The general view of the family is that they are not “stuck” at some point in the resolution of the stress, but are moving forward with it.
Small group discussion -- How your family manages stress • In your small group, discuss: • How does your family deal with stress in conflicts? Consider the following: • When is my family most 'vulnerable' to stress overload? • When is conflict most likely to occur? • How do I know tension is building? • Words or phrases that usually "set people in my family off? • Topics that we avoid to avoid conflict? • Things I say to myself when tension is building in my family? • How does my family respond in stressful situations
Final Thoughts on Lecture Material • Identify one point in the lecture that you could use to deal with stress you might experience in any current relationship (romantic or otherwise).