Case study #1(Jennifer) 1. What are the causes of stress in Michael’s or Jennifer’s life? How is stress affecting Michael’s or Jennifer’s health? The causes of stress in Jennifer’s life is that Jennifer has been and going through major life changes along with daily hassles. She is experiencing a lot of pressures which could stress her out. The pressures of running her company, commuting for a total of two hours each day, the recent passing of her mother, and now thinking of her father’s health, and is also feeling pressured by her in-laws to try and have a baby.
At work everyone counts on her to get the job done without letting people down. All these causes affect Jennifer’s health without her knowing it. Lately Jennifer has been complaining of headaches, backaches and indigestion which are all stressors that can make her ill. Jennifer most likely is going through what is known as a general adaptation syndrome (GAS) which is a cluster of bodily changes that occur in three stages.
These stages are an alarm reaction, a resistance stage, then finally an exhaustion stage which arouses the stressor that make Jennifer have headaches, backaches, and indigestion problems. 2. How are these stressors impacting Michael’s or Jennifer’s self-concept and self-esteem? These stressors are impacting Jennifer’s self-concept by decreasing her qualities she is lacking at home, work, and socially. Her self-concept has influenced her attitudes at home and work which is interfering with her self-esteem towards competence at work as she finds herself making mistakes.
Since everyone counts and looks to Jennifer making sure everything goes well, Jennifer’s self-esteem is impacted and falling at a level where others are looking at her qualities and effectiveness she is starting to lack on. Jennifer’s stressors have also impacted her self-concept as she sees herself to be. She is allowing the stressors to take over her abilities to function properly. Her self-esteem fluctuates depending on how these stressors affect her at home and at work.
For example, her self-esteem is at the highest when stressors are not present and lower when stressors are present. These impacts can certainly impact one’s ability to fall because of certain life changing events. 3. How might Michael’s or Jennifer’s situation illustrate adjustment? How might this situation become an opportunity for personal growth? Jennifer’s situation can most definitely illustrate adjustments as Jennifer allows herself to acknowledge her situation at hand.
The life changes she’s encountering could allow her to cope with adjustment and growth. Jennifer is experiencing a role conflict. She faces many challenges in life which could have a strong physical component. The opportunities that Jennifer has could allow for personal growth such as adjusting to starting a family, which would not only make her happy but her husband and family happy as well. She can adjust to the commuting she does each day by sharing rides with another or taking the train to ease off the toll that driving has on one.
Jennifer needs to act upon her responsibilities and not react to them as she has demonstrated and take one step at a time. By adjusting to these aspects, her personal growth would be more of a journey than just a final destination which in turn is a process of development. This would ease her stress on some of the responsibilities she was trying to tackle all at once. 4. What defensive coping methods is Michael or Jennifer using? What active coping methods might be healthier for Michael or Jennifer to use? Explain why you would recommend these methods.
The defensive coping methods Jennifer uses is that she insists that she is happy and is not feeling stressed with all the overwhelming pressures that haunt her which in turn finds her making more mistakes at work, unable to cope with household chores, and feeling tired all the time. Instead she should be using active coping methods that allow her to relieve these stressors and in turn be healthier for her. For example an active coping method for Jennifer would be to not focus on the things that distress her such as pressures of how to cope with her ill father or dreading to commute for an hour.
Using cognitive methods allow her to take control of the situations that affect her. One example could be for Jennifer to ease her headaches by taking medication such as aspirin to relieve her pain or even distract her from the daily pressures that may arise. To ease the pain of thinking of how to handle the situations on deciding what to do on the well being of her father is to find positive ways to take care of her father instead of worrying about how he feels versus what is best for him. 5.
Select one theory of personality and use this theory to tell Michael or Jennifer how this theory explains his or her situation. One theory of personality would be the social cognitive theory. In this theory Jennifer focus’ on the cognitive processes such as personal expectations of all of the outcomes of certain events that are mentioned in Jennifer’s situation that show her to learn by observations. By choosing this theory Jennifer is more likely to attempt certain behaviors that she can believe she will succeed in accomplishing.
Competencies will influence her overall expectancies which will allow her to be motivated enough to perform all her life changing events. The result will also allow Jennifer to have a positive self-efficacy and have higher self-esteem when dealing with difficult tasks rather than just get stressed and believe they cannot master the tasks associated with her life events. Although Jennifer is filled with many challenges, having the social cognitive theory applied to her situations will influence her behaviors towards such events and she will then believe she can conquer these tasks effectively. . In what stage of development is Michael or Jennifer and what factors about this stage might be impacting his or her perspective of this situation? The stage of development Jennifer is in reflects how she handles each life changing task. The stage she is in now in is an exhaustion stage which notes that her stressors are not being dealt with adequately. Factors that are impacting her perspectives on her situations are the cognitive effects of the stressors she has. She does not think clearly to help her identify all her tasks at hand.
The high levels of stress she encounters characterize the alarm reactions that impair her memory and problem solving abilities such as tasks at work and the ability to function with the daily hassles leaving her overwhelmingly tired. Another factor that might impact Jennifer’s perspective is the adjustment to which she needs to distinguish the effects of hassles and the negative life changes to positive changes. There could be factor that is impacting her perspective is her focusing on having a baby which can be a positive factor depending if Jennifer tells herself she is prepared to have a child instead of being pressured about it.
Her coping abilities have great impacts on deciding on her situations. 7. What relationship factors or considerations might be influencing Michael’s or Jennifer’s problems? Relationship factors that might be influencing Jennifer’s problems are most of her life changing events are family related somewhat. For example, the pressures she receives from her in-laws when they often ask her if she is expecting again that can be very stressful when other tasks are also involved.
The fact that Jennifer faces the probabilities of placing her father in a nursing home can be influencing her ability to think if she is doing the right thing against his wishes which is also a problem and stressor. Another relationship factor is with her physician when she complains about headaches, backaches, and indigestion which all cannot find a physical cause for her discomforts. Also another relationship factor could be that Jennifer still insists she is happy and does not feel stressed which is in relation to not recognizing the effects of her stressors.