|| Stress, Coping, and Resiliency in Children and Families
||E. Mavis Hetherington and Elaine A. Blechman
||Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, ©1996
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates,
10 Industrial Avenue
Mahwah, NJ 07430-2262
Stress is a universal human experience but there has not been a great amount
of research on how persons, families, and groups may adapt to it and cope
successfully with it. In eight chapters by different authors, this 245-page
book summarizes that body of research dealing with families and shapes it
into a comprehensive body of knowledge.
The first two chapters present a theoretical model and a discussion of the
problems and opportunities in research in the area. An interesting finding
is that girls are more at risk for nonauthoritative aversive parenting when
the parents are emotionally under stress. Chapter 3 examines the effects
of parenting under stress in the development of behavior problems. There
appears to be an interaction so that when children show more problems parental
stress is increased, which leads to more problems. Chapter 4 describes how
families with effective communication skills support the development of
coping skills. Supportive family life decreases the impact of stressful
experiences. Intact families tend to show more family support.
The Georgia Longitudinal study is reported in Chapter 5. This study supports
the importance of the interaction of child characteristics with parenting
styles. It is somewhat different than other longitudinal research in finding
that family risk factors relate only to internalizing behaviors, not externalizing.
Chapters 6 and 7 report on research findings for poor, Afro American, and
rural families. The final chapter proposes a model for attentional processes
as the basis for encouraging the development of resilience and coping skills
to handle stressful life experiences.
This is a good book which can be helpful to those who want to learn about
positive influences in coping with stress.
Reviewed by Ralph Underwager, Institute for Psychological Therapies.