Final Project: Case Study #1 PSY 210 April 11, 2011 Jennifer is suffering from stress, in her life there are many sources of stress and as it seems those stresses are piling up. The first stressor that I noticed was that Jennifer and her husband having been trying to have a baby for over a year. Eight months ago Jennifer became pregnant but in her second month of pregnancy she miscarried and has not been able to conceive since. Trying to become pregnant can be stressful enough, but becoming pregnant and then miscarrying is like an emotional rollercoaster that may very well have been the beginning of Jennifer’s stress.
Antonio’s parents regularly asking if she is expecting is putting more pressure on her already stressed mindset. Another stressor may be the hour long drive each way to work every day. This drive takes two hours out of her day that she could either be making money or spending time with family friends or simply relaxing. Other stressors are her mother’s death that she may not have truly dealt with and the fact that she may be forced to put her father into a home against his wishes. Adding to these stresses are the normal daily hassles that she experiences.
All of these stressors are piling up and although she is unaware the body is responding to these constant stresses and therefore it is most likely the cause of her physical pains. I believe that Jennifer’s inability to become pregnant is affecting her self-concept because she feels that she is at fault. Just like many men feel that they must have a child with a woman to prove that they are a man, it is their masculine duty; thus, as a woman, Jennifer feels that she must get pregnant to prove that she is a woman, it is her feminine duty.
Not being able to become pregnant or carry full term is affecting her self-concept, and self-esteem. Other stress factors are also responsible, the fact that she may have to put her father in a nursing home may make her feel like a bad daughter, being that he was able to care for her while she was younger and throughout her adult life she may feel that it is now her obligation to take care of him. In whole all of her stresses are affecting her career, and since she prides herself on never letting anyone down, making mistakes is in turn letting those people down, which will influence her self-concept and ventually self-esteem. She most likely feels like she is letting a lot of people down; her husband-being that she cannot give him a child, her husband’s parents-she cannot give them a grandchild, her father-she cannot take care of him the way he deserves, her employer/co-workers/clients-she is not fulfilling her duty and is making mistakes, her future child-she is currently having trouble getting simple housework done, what could she offer a child, herself-she cannot conceive or carry a child full term, she is becoming incompetent, she is a bad daughter, everything is her fault.
A lot of the time these types of feelings are not openly expressed, if they are even conscious to that person. I believe that Jennifer does not consciously know that she puts all of these troubles directly on herself and therefore is unaware that she is stressed, at least not any more than the regular person. According to Nevid and Rathus in Psychology and the challenges of life: Adjustment in the new millennium (2005); adjustment means “processes by which people respond to environmental pressures and cope with stress”.
Jennifer’s situation illustrates adjustment in several areas, such as the strong possibility of putting her father in a nursing home and how she will cope with it, coping with the death of her mother, the challenges she is experiencing at work, as well as coping with a miscarriage and her inability to conceive a child.
Jennifer’s situation with her father may be an opportunity for personal growth because it is teaching her a lesson which is although she feels responsible for her father in his elder years she must learn that a person must make hard decisions in order to do what is best for him and for herself, and putting him into a nursing home would be better because a home would have the medical facilities to fit his needs as well as the continual personal assistance he would require.
Also, if Jennifer were to recognize that her troubles, possibly even her inability to become pregnant or carry full term might be the result of the stress factors in her everyday life she could find a healthy approach to managing stress, and this recognition would help her grow as a person. I believe that Jennifer is use a defensive coping method such as denial; this is because she regularly see’s a doctor for her physical ailments but maintains that she is happy and is not experiencing stress.
As it is obvious that she is experiencing stress in many forms she is not being honest with herself or her doctor. It may be better for Jennifer to find active ways of coping with stress, ways that would enable her to feel happier and relax. These make come in various forms such as taking time off from her job, seeing if she can transfer her work position to somewhere closer to home so that she would not have to worry about time constraints being that her job is so far away, or possibly finding a new job closer to home, allowing her to spend more time at home and take more time to get ready each day.
Solutions such as those would most likely giver her more free time where she could focus on her health, physically, mentally and emotionally allowing her to “see” things more clearly and perhaps open up more time for being a future parent. Social-cognitive theory is a Learning theory that uses observational learning, one’s values and expectations as a way to acquire knowledge and ultimately determines one’s behavior.
I believe that Jennifer possess this personality theory, she like everyone around her is observant to the social norms, hard working couples, becoming a parent, dealing with death. She also relies on her own values such as the hard decision of whether or not to put her elderly father into a nursing home, as well as her own work expectations of making sure everything is on schedule and never letting people down, and womanly expectations, becoming a mother.
Jennifer is in middle adulthood in a stage that Levinson labeled the “age 30-transition”, at this point in Jennifer’s life she is restless, she believes that she is ready to settle down and have a family but is in distress because she is unable to, she is having difficulty at work and is also experiencing mysterious physical pain, she is confused and overwhelmed at the same time. At this point in her life it seems as though she knows what she ought to be doing but is unable to obtain it. I believe that she is experiencing a completely normal reaction to the stresses she is encountering as well as the sense of urgency to become a parent.
These factors may be affecting her perspective on her situation because she is putting too much pressure on herself to conform to others ideals. Jennifer relationships are definitely influencing her personal problems, her relationship with her husband’s parent may be close but their constant questioning if she pregnant is reminding her that she has miscarried and is still having trouble getting pregnant. Her relationship with her father may be good at it current point but if she does put him into a nursing home it is very possible that he may become upset with her for some time and being that her mother has already passed away she is worried hat her father would also pass away. Her relationship with her husband may be fine but communication is extremely important in a relationship, they may be having trouble communicating, it is possible that she has not fully expressed her current emotions to him. Issues that show there is a communication trouble may be the fact that they live in the town he works in but she has to commute and hour each way to her own job, or that she has been having difficulty at work and feeling overwhelmed and confused.
Being that she has miscarried it is also important that he is considerate of her emotions because losing a child, even an unborn one can be very traumatic, this is because a bond is formed between mother and child before birth. Taking steps to confront and manage her stress along with healthy communication outlets between family and friends may help Jennifer to become content again and open the door to new possibilities. Reference Nevid, J. S. & Rathus, S. A. (2005). Psychology and the challenges of life: Adjustment in the new millennium (9th ed. ). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Retrieved on April 10, 2011 from Axia College reading material.