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FSU FAD 2230 - Chapter 11: Family Stress and Crisis

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Chapter 11: Family Stress and Crisis: Violence among IntimatesThe Nature of Stress and Crisis• Crisis- a critical change of events that disrupts the functioning of a person’s lifeo Ex. unexpected job loss that alters spending, saving, and health insurance• Family stress- tensions that test a families emotional resources (can be positive)o Ex. alcoholism or natural disastero Acute stress: short-term stress (ex. cramming for exam)o Chronic stress: long-term stress (ex. living with diabetes)• Responses to Stress o General Adaption Syndrome (GAS): The predictable pattern one’s body follows when coping with stress which includes: 1) Alarm Reaction: the brain receives a stressor and sends a message to the body, so that the defensive forces of the body are mobilized for “fight or flight”• Metabolism increases (increased energy)• Hormone levels rise (anxiety) 2) Resistance: the body continues to battle the stressor by maintaining its elevated state of alert. If continuous, it can affect your immune system 3) Exhaustion: Chronic stress over long periods can be dangerous and lead to depression, fatigue, frequent headaches, insomnia, ect.• The Social Readjustment Rating Scale o Social readjustment rating scale: a scale of major life events over the past year, each of which is assigned a point value. The higher the score, the greater the chance of having a serious medical event.  Designed by Rahe and Holmes• Patterns of Family Crisis o Family crisis often follows three distinct phases: 1) the event that causes the crisis 2) the period of disorganization that follows 3) the reorganization that takes place afterwardo 5 patterns of the effects of stress/ crises on family functioning (Burr and Klein): No change Increased- crisis made family stronger Decreased Roller coaster (most common)- decline in family function during crisis, but rebound after time passes Mixed • Coping or Not: The ABC-X Models o Reuben Hill’s ABC-X model, a model to help us understand the variation in the ways that a family copes with stress and crisis A factors- initial event causing the crisis (graduation, affair, moving) B factors- the resources a family has to meet the demands of a crisis (social support, money, religious faith)  C factors- the meanings families ascribe to the events (human nature, opportunity, God’s will) X factors- the outcome (will depend on the combination of ABC)o Double ABC-X model: a model designed to help us understand the effects of the accumulation of stresses and crises and how families adapt with them Double A factor: refers to the initial event, but also to family life changes and transitions that take place because of it Double B factor: includes the resources the family already has and the new coping resources the family obtains from the crisis/ stress Double C factor: takes into account the family’s perception of the stressor itself and the perceptions of the aftermathViolence among Intimates • Violence is a social problem because:o It affects large numbers of peopleo Violence is not completely randomo The causes, consequences, and solutions of violence must address its macro-level dimensionsIntimate Partner Violence• Intimate partner violence: violence between those who are physically and sexually intimate, such as spouses or partners. The violence can encompass physical, economic, sexual, or psychological abuse.• How We Define and Measure Intimate Partner Violence o Straus conducted the earliest studies of partner abuse and came up with Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS): a scale based on how people deal with disagreements in relationships Non-aggressive responses (discussion, cried, brought in someone) Psychologically aggressive responses (insulted, stomped out) Physically aggressive responses ( hit, threw something, choked)o CTS research shows, men are more likely to be victims of physical aggression than are womeno Women are more likely to be victims of intimate-partner violence than men• Frequency of Intimate Partner Violence o About 4.8 million incidents of intimate partner violence occur among women each year to women 18+ (20-24yrs greatest risk)o Native Americans and Alaska Natives are more likely to suffer abuse, including rapeo Women are particularly vulnerable when pregnanto Femicides: killing of women • Types of Intimate Partner Violenceo Johnston’s 4 patterns of violence: Common couple violence arises out of an argument in which at least one partner lashes out physically (less frequent and less likely to escalate) Intimate terrorism is physical, psychological, or sexual violence that is motivated by a desire to control the other partner (ex. text me after class, what are you doing?, let me see who you’re with!) Violent resistance is the non-legal term for self-defense (ex. someone attacks you, you defend yourself) Mutual violent control refers to a pattern of behavior in which both partners are controlling and violent and are battling for control• Stalking and Cyberstalking o Stalking is obsessive contact or tracking of another person- attention that is unwanted and causes a reasonable person to be fearful Ex. sending flowers or gifts and calling a loto Cyberstalking is harassing or threatening victims electronically Ex. email, texts, blogs• Consequences of intimate Partner Violence o Most common are bruises, scratches, and welts, but broken bones, severe bruising and back pain can occuro The stress of the violence can lead to conditions that effect and degrade the immune and endocrine systemo Psychological/ emotional effects are extremely hard to heal • Coping with Violence: Leaving vs Staying o Most women leave, but leaving is a processo Women stay in abusive relationships because of learned helplessness: the psychological condition of having low self-esteem, feeling helpless, and having no control that is caused by repeated abuseo Men’s control tactics Blaming the victim: “If you weren’t so stupid, I wouldn’t hit you” Inducing shame: embarrassed they get abused Lowering self-esteem: “you’re an idiot and everyone thinks so” Creating financial dependency Isolating the victim: cut off communication with family and friends Threatening retaliation: threatened children, women, and pets Exploiting love and hope: have fantasies their partner will change Exploiting commitment to the


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