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    Assessing Michael's or Jennifer's Life Stress

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    Case Study #2
    Michael is a 40-year-old airline pilot who has recently begun to experience chest pains. The chest pains began when Michael signed his final divorce papers, ending his 15-year marriage. He fought for joint custody of his two children, ages 12 and 10, but although he wants to be with them more frequently, he only sees them every two weeks. This schedule is, in great part, a result of his employer's announcement that budget constraints would result in layoffs. Michael worries that without his job he will be unable to support his children and lose the new townhouse that he purchased. Michael's chest pains are becoming more frequent and he fears that he may be dying.

    Complete the following questions in 150 to 200 words each. Be as detailed as possible and use the information you have learned throughout this course.

    1. What are the causes of stress in Michael's or Jennifer's life? How is stress affecting Michael's or Jennifer's health?
    2. How are these stressors impacting Michael's or Jennifer's self-concept and self-esteem?
    3. How might Michael's or Jennifer's situation illustrate adjustment? How might this situation become an opportunity for personal growth?
    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.
    5. Select one theory of personality and use this theory to tell Michael or Jennifer how this theory explains his or her situation.
    6. 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?
    7. What relationship factors or considerations might be influencing Michael's or Jennifer's problems?

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    Solution Preview

    SCENARIO:

    Michael is a 40-year-old airline pilot who has recently begun to experience chest pains. The chest pains began when Michael signed his final divorce papers, ending his 15-year marriage. He fought for joint custody of his two children, ages 12 and 10, but although he wants to be with them more frequently, he only sees them every two weeks. This schedule is, in great part, a result of his employer's announcement that budget constraints would result in layoffs. Michael worries that without his job he will be unable to support his children and lose the new townhouse that he purchased. Michael's chest pains are becoming more frequent and he fears that he may be dying.

    ? Complete the following questions in 150 to 200 words each. Be as detailed as possible and use the information you have learned throughout this course.

    Let's take a closer look.

    1. What are the causes of stress in Michael's or Jennifer's life? How is stress affecting Michael's or Jennifer's health?

    Michael has had many life stressors in a short period of time that are causing him stress to the degree that it is impacting his physical health and he has begun to experience chest pains. His life stressors include signing his final divorce papers, ending his 15-year marriage and fighting for joint custody of his two children, ages 12 and 10. And adding to his stress, Michael is not seeing his children as often as he would like and only sees them every two weeks, in great part, as a result of his employer's announcement that budget constraints would result in layoffs. These life stressors and the related stress reaction have been playing havoc with Michael's health and he has been having chest pains. Another life stressor is that Michael also faces the probability of losing his job, so Michael is worrying about his potential job loss which will impact his ability to support his children and also lose the new townhouse that he purchased. Taken today, these life stressors and the related and expected loses e.g marriage, regylar contact with his children have created enough stress that it is now playing out in his body with increased chest pains and his fear that he may be dying adds to this stress.

    2. How are these stressors impacting Michael's or Jennifer's self-concept and self esteem?

    Michael's self concept and self-esteem are being affected by the many life stressors that have come his way recently. Michael views himself as a hard worker and the bread-winner of the family. However, Michael is now facing an attack on his self-image of being the break winner and, indeed, Michael worries that without his job he will be unable to support his children and lose the new townhouse that he purchased. This and the other life stressors that Michael is experiencing, like signing the divorce papers, ending his marriage and being in a position to only see his children twice a week is wreaking havoc with his self-esteem as well. Michael is beginning to feel worthless as a worker and a father with the looses he has experienced and worries about loosing in the future, such as the prospect of losing his job and possibly his ...

    Solution Summary

    By addressing the case study questions, this solution discusses the case including the causes of stress, life stressors, explaining the stress reaction through application of a personality theory, symptoms, stages of development, coping styles and the influence of relational factors.

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