Scope of the Issue
The stresses families experience are common experience and a normative part of family life. The interacting changes occurring for each member and the family as a whole, produces stress and requires a level of personal and relational adaptation. While family stress is common, the members’ ability to understand and respond to that stress varies depending upon a number of important variables.
Antonovsky and Sourani (2003) performed a study exploring the levels of stress and a family’s ability to address that stress. They examined two variables relating to a family’s efforts to address stress: family sense of coherence and family adaptability. Family sense of coherence captures the multiple ways each member understands the stress and the degree to which the meaning of the stress is shared by the members. Family adaptation reflects the ability of the family members to respond to stress and achieve a degree of well-being, satisfaction, and perceived manageability.