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Stress and Coping in Families

ISBN: 978-0-7456-5074-6
192 pages
March 2012, Polity
Stress and Coping in Families (0745650740) cover image


During difficult times, families can be our greatest resource, or our heaviest burden. This book brings together research from a wide variety of disciplines to examine family interaction in the context of stressful situations. Instead of claiming that one type of interaction is better than other, seemingly unproductive forms of communication, the approach taken by the author recognizes that messages can have varying, sometimes unexpected consequences when a family is distressed. In addition to introducing students, scholars, and practitioners to the stress and coping literatures from both the individual and family perspectives, the book offers an in-depth examination of how relational communication scholars have contributed to this important and rich body of research. The book also explores family stress and coping within three specific contexts (military family separation, breast cancer, the transition to parenthood) and provides readers with the opportunity to apply their knowledge through case studies and examples from families who have lived through these difficult situations.
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Table of Contents

Detailed Table of Contents
List of Figures and Tables
Chapter 1 Stress in the Mind and Body
Chapter 2 Stress and the Family
Chapter 3 Coping with Family Stress
Chapter 4 Communication within the Stress and Coping Processes
Chapter 5 Stress and Coping during a Wartime Deployment
Chapter 6 Stress and Coping during Catastrophic Illness
Chapter 7 Stress and Coping during the Transition to Parenthood
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Author Information

Katheryn C. Maguire is Assistant Professor of Communication at Wayne State University.
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The Wiley Advantage

  • Synthesizes literature from a wide variety of disciplines to examine family interaction in the context of stressful situations.
  • Designed as a textbook within Polity’s Key Themes in Family Communication series.
  • Looks at the topic of stress and coping across the individual, relational and family levels.
  • Employs case studies to give students a grounded application of the theory.
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"Maguire's Stress and Coping in Families is currently the only available textbook in the family communication literature to focus exclusively on the importance of managing the wide range of stressors experienced in contemporary family life. The work provides a solid foundation to help students understand the nature of stress and the significance of communication in positive coping."
Thomas J. Socha, Old Dominion University

"Stress and Coping in Families weaves together a comprehensive and accessible synthesis of the processes by which families and family members experience and cope with stress. This well-balanced resource supplements research across disciplines with the bright and dark sides of communicative stress and coping, innovates a heuristic communication model, and breathes life into concepts through well-conceived examples and authentic case studies."
Jody Kellas, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

"In this important new volume, Katheryn Maguire illustrates the complex role that family interaction plays in creating, maintaining, and relieving stress. Maguire synthesizes research from diverse fields including communication, psychology, and family sociology, and offers a unique model of communication-based coping processes. She provides fascinating analyses of stress in three distinct family contexts that will bring both laughter and tears to her readers. Researchers, teachers, and practitioners interested in stress and family interaction should read this book."
Anita L. Vangelisti, University of Texas at Austin

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Stress and Coping in Families (US $64.95)

-and- Marital Communication (US $26.95)

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