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.

The Contextual Model of Family Stress
The Contextual Model of Family Stress

In April of 2008, Jenifer, mother of two children (12 and 9 years old), lost her home (a six-bedroom house nestled on an acre of land) in Georgia because she couldn’t afford the monthly mortgage payments after medical bills and a divorce. Her salary as a day care center director simply was not enough. She and her children moved to a two-bedroom apartment. Now, even her children worry about money. While grocery shopping, her 9-year-old son, noticing the price of milk, told her that they shouldn’t buy it. He gets up after she goes to bed and checks all the doors to ...

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