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The Theory of Stress and Coping Among Women Experiencing Intimate Partner Violence Amanda Shortell December 17 th, 2009 SB 721.

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Presentation on theme: "The Theory of Stress and Coping Among Women Experiencing Intimate Partner Violence Amanda Shortell December 17 th, 2009 SB 721."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Theory of Stress and Coping Among Women Experiencing Intimate Partner Violence Amanda Shortell December 17 th, 2009 SB 721

2 What is stress? (2) According to Lazarus: –Single or successive person-environment interactions –Always changing –Reciprocal: influence is bi-directional –Perceived by the individual to be demanding or overwhelm his or her personal resources and perhaps jeopardize well-being Diverges from more mainstream concepts of stress as a stimulus, such as an event, diagnosis, an approaching deadline or an uncomfortable conversation, or as a response to a stimulus, for example anguish or worry

3 The Theory of Stress and Coping Key Concepts (1,2,3) Stress –Person-Environment Interaction Cognitive Appraisal –Primary appraisal Irrelevant, harm or loss, threat, or challenge –Secondary appraisal What can be done? Coping: According to Lazarus and Folkman, Coping refers to cognitive and behavioral efforts to master, reduce, or tolerate the internal and/or external demands that are created by stressful transactions (3, p.843). –Emotion-focused coping –Problem-focused coping Other components to consider: –Control –Personal and environmental constraints –Extremity of threat

4 Coping Among Women Experiencing Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Stress –Victimization by intimate partner violence Cognitive Appraisal –Primary appraisal: A womans perception of the significance of IPV and the threat it poses as a stressor Influenced by her dependence on her abuser, commitments to family or within a community, her beliefs about family values, religion, her racial/ethnic group or personal principles –Secondary appraisal: A womans personal evaluation of the situation, her options, control, and resources for dealing with the stressor Coping –Emotion-focused coping Ex: constructing positive comparisons, discredit the stakes at risk, and concentrating on positive outcomes of a negative situation –Problem-focused coping Ex: problem-solving, decision-making, or direct action

5 Constraints of the Theory of Stress and Coping In reality, the coping process cannot always be explained through theoretical definitions. The theory lacks room for explaining outside factors dictating a situation and the choices available to women experiencing intimate partner violence, aside from merely acknowledging that they exist. Coping, itself, is reactionary, so interventions at this point in a womans abusive relationship are also reactionary responses to a larger problem.

6 Survival-Focused Coping: Coping Among Women Experiencing Intimate Partner Violence Proposed by researchers from Boston College and Harvard University –Survival-focused coping is distinct from either emotion or problem-focused coping. Instead, it is aimed at surviving in the short term, meeting basic needs, and keeping oneself and ones loved ones as safe as possible (5, p.318) Key component: Microcontrol (5) Criticism: Makes females vulnerable to victim- blaming

7 References 1. Glanz, K., Schwartz, M. Stress, Coping, and Health Behavior. In: Glanz, K., Rimer, B., Viswanath, K., ed. Health Behavior and Health Education: Theory, Research, and Practice. 4 th ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass; 2008: Lazarus, R. Coping Theory and Research: Past, Present, and Future. Psycholsom Med. 1993; 55: Folkman, S. Personal Control and Stress and Coping Processes: A Theoretical Analysis. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1984; 46(4): Endler, N., Parker, J. Multidimensional Assessment of Coping: A Critical Evaluation. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1990; 58(5): Goodman, L., Smyth, K., Borges, A., Singer, R. When Crises Collide: How Intimate Partner Violence and Poverty Intersect to Shape Womens Mental Health and Coping?. Trauma Violence Abuse. 2009; 10(4): Nurius, P., Furrey, J., Berliner, L. Coping Capacity Among Women with Abusive Partners. Violence Vict. 1992; 7(2): Carlson, B. A Stress and Coping Approach to Interventions with Abused Women. Fam Relat. 1997; 46(3): Thoits, P. Stress, Coping, and Social Support Processes: Where Are We? What Next?. J Health Soc Behav. 1995; Extra Issue: Brady, S., Tschann, J., Pasch, L., Flores, E., Ozer, E. Cognitive Coping Moderates the Association between Violent Victimization by Peers and Substance Use among Adolescents. J Pediatr Psychol. 2008; Morrow, S., Smith, M. Constructions of Survival and Coping by Women Who Have Survived Childhood Sexual Abuse. J Couns Psychol. 1995; 42(1): Walker, L., Browne, A. Gender and victimization by intimates. J Pers. 1985; June: Gold, E. Long-Term Effects of Sexual Victimization in Childhood: An Attributional Approach. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1986; 54(4): Walker, L. Psychology and Violence Against Women. Am Psychol. 1989; 44(4): Segal, D. Self-reported history of sexual coercion and rape negatively impacts resilience to suicide among women students. Death Stud. 2009; 33: Swanberg, J., Macke, C., Logan, TK. Working Women Making It Work: Intimate Partner Violence, Employment, and Workplace Support. J Interpers Violence. 2007; 22:

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