Teenage Parents This study aims to determine the stresses and coping strategies encountered by Teenage Parents. Life is a series of choices. Deciding whether to marry, whether to have children, whether to have two careers in one marriage, and whether to view a situation positively are among the more important choices you will ever make in your lifetime. And besides of all this choices, problems may appear and turn to stress that people encounter in daily living. Stress is the “wear and tear” our bodies experience as we adjust to our continually changing environment; it has physical and emotional effects on us and can create positive or negative feelings. As a positive influence, stress can help compel us to action; it can result in a new awareness and an exciting new perspective. As a negative influence, it can result in feelings of distrust, rejection, anger and depression, which in turn can lead to health problems such as headaches, upset stomach, rashes, insomnia, ulcers, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
With the death of loved one, the birth of the child, a job promotion, or a new relationship, we experience stress as we readjust our lives. In so adjusting to different circumstances, stress will help or hinder us depending on how we react to it. Moreover, stress is, of course, an inevitable part of every one’s life. Some stress is essential, and some is actually energizing. As a leading researcher said, “complete freedom from stress is death” ( Selye, 1980).
On the other hand, early marriage can lead to a couple a number of potential problem. Couple should be aware all the possible difficulties which could lie ahead. There’s a lot of problems that may arise in early marriage. Like for instance, the problem of adequate financial support is obvious. Although money does not buy happiness, it is true a tight financial situation can create tensions, which can undermine an otherwise happy relationship. While some financial problems are to be expected in almost any new marriage, it is important to take time to think sensibly, so that such problems will not destroy what could otherwise be a beautiful relationship, if not undertaken prematurely. Money, according to Coleman (1984), ranks as the single most common cause of conflict in marriage. These are conflicts over who earns the money, who spends much on what and who manages the money in terms of paying bills, borrowing and investing. Pietropinto and Siminauer found out that not only is money a major source of conflict in marriage but also that debts are the greatest crisis in marriage (Coleman, 1984).
According to Leslie (1980), financial adjustments problems vary over the life cycle. Young married couples generally must start almost from scratch and purchase virtually everything required to run a household. On one income, this is difficult, but on two income, it is easier. This is not to suggest that you will wait about marriage until every possible financial problem has been completely solved, but rather simply suggests that you do not close your eyes to the real situation whatever it may be. Although some newly married couples find it necessary to temporarily make their home with their parents, this is generally not a wise choice unless absolutely necessary and then only for as short a period of time as possible. A second problem which must be faced by those who enter into an early marriage is the problem of personal maturity. While immature and irresponsible actions may sometimes seem funny before marriage, they can become serious pitfalls within the marriage bond. This is one reason why a courtship of at least several months should precede any marriage, since even the most irresponsible and self-centered person put on a good front for a few weeks or months.
One of the surest signs of immaturity and irresponsibility in both young men and young women is a lack of willingness to do a reasonable share of work in a consistent, dependable way prior to marriage. When such an indifferent attitude is demonstrated before marriage, you can be sure that it is only likely to become worse after marriage. . A third potential problem to be considered is the problem of growing apart. This simply means that while two young people in their middle teenage years have much in common, that in many cases, our ideals and goals change as we pass the teenage years, to such extent that we may easily find ourselves married for life to a person with whom we will ultimately have very little in common. Perhaps the worst mistake of all is to marry simply to get away from an unpleasant situation at home.
Even if you are presently facing home problems which seem almost unbearable, you will not have to remain in such a situation forever. When you marry, however, it is for life. So don’t let current personal problems drive you into a marriage which you may otherwise not really want. Such a choice usually proves to be a very poor trade indeed, and one that often leads to a lifetime of regret. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE Selye (1982), the father of stress research, defines stress as a stimulus event of sufficient severity to produce disequilibrium in the homeostatic physiological systems. Stress also has been conceptualized variously as a nonspecific response of the body to any demand that exceedsthe person’s ability to cope, as a person- environment relationship that threatens or taxes personal resources, and as a mental state in response to strain or daily hassles ( Lazarus and Launier, 1978; Lazarus, De Longis, Folkman, and Gruen, 1985; Rutter, 1983).
Stress can be caused by both positive and negative things in one’s life. A little stress is not unhealthy, but too much stress and tension can cause serious illnesses, headaches, hostility and emotional disorders. Dealing with stress and knowing how to spot the things that cause it ( called stressors)are extremely important. People who are stress survivors stay healthy through the worst of times. They consider stressful situations opportunities for growth. On the other hand, there are four factors that can cause stress namely: 1. Change.
( Lazarus) identified two types of daily events involving change such as negative and positive side. On the negative side are hassles, which are the “irritating, frustrating, or distressing incidents that occur in our everyday transactions with the environment.” Common hassles include misplacing or losing things, having too many things to do, and being concern about physical appearance. On the positive side are uplifts, which include such pleasures as completing a task, visiting or phoning a friend, and feeling healthy. 2. Unpredictability is stressful because you cannot plan for these random events- you have to be constantly ” on your toes.” For example, you know that you will graduate from college on a certain date, and if you are planning a wedding, you probably will know many months in advance the date on which you will get married. 3.
Lack of control. Many events in our environment may be particularly stressful because they emphasize our vulnerability and lack of control. 4. Conflict, which is a state that occurs when a person is motivated to choose between two or more mutually exclusive goals or courses of action. Investigators have identified four major types of categories of conflict ( Lewin 1931; Miller, 1944). These are : Approach- approach conflict: which involves a choice between two attractive goals; Avoidance-avoidance conflict: this type of conflict results when people must choose between two unattractive goals; Approach-avoidance conflict: involves only one goal which has both attractive and unattractive qualities; double-approach-avoidance conflict: this type of conflict result when a person has to choose between two goals, each of which has both positive and negative qualities.
Selye’s view is that human beings do not always react to stress in the uniform way he proposed. There is much more to understanding stress in humans than knowing their physical reactions to it. We also need to know about their personality, their physical makeup, their perceptions, and the context in which the stressor occurred (Hobfoll,1989; Parker, Finkel, and indice, 1993 ). The severity of stress consequences depends partly on how a man understands and feels about the stressor. (Donald Meichenbaum) suggested that the stress response be divided into four separate phases: “preparing for a stressor, confronting or handling a stressor, possibly being overwhelmed by a stressor, and finally, reinforcing oneself for having coped.” Selye, a Montreal, Canada, Physician and Author of several books on stress, feels that ther is a type of stress that can be harmful.
He calls it distress. Distress is continual stress that causes you to constantly readjust or adapt In this connection, Doctors suggest some guidelines on how to live with stress: 1. Work off stress- if you are angry or upset, try to blow off steam physically by activities such as running, playing tennis, or gardening and also even taking a walk. Physical activity allows you a “fight” outlet for mental stress. 2. Talk out your worries – it helps to share worries with someone you trust and respect.
This may be a friend, family member, teacher or counselor. 3. Learn to accept what you can’t change – if the problem is beyond your control at this time, try your best to accept it until you can change it. 4. Avoid self-medication. 5.
Get enough sleep and rest- lack of sleep can lessen your ability ti deal with stress by making you more irritable. 6. Balance work and creation- all work and no play can make Jack a nervous wreck. Schedule time for recreation to relax your mind. 7.
Do something for others – sometimes when you are distressed, you concentrate too much on yourself and your situation. When this happens, it is often wise to do something for someone else, and get your mind off of yourself. 8. Take one thing at a time- it is defeating to tackle all your tasks at once. Instead, set some aside and work on the most urgent 9.
Give in once in a while- if you find the source of stress is other people try giving in instead of fighting and insisting you are always right 10. Make yourself available- when you are bored and feel left out, go where the action is !Sitting alone will just make you more frustrated. Stress is a personal matter. How much stress we experience is determined by the quality and intensity of a combination of variables: the dimensions of the stressor, the way we interpret the meaning of the stressor, the resources we have available to deal with the stressor, and the amount and nature of the total strain placed on the individual. COPING STRATEGIES Coping is the process of managing taxing circumstances, expending effort to solve personal and interpersonal problems, and seeking to master, minimize, reduce or tolerate stress and conflict.
A stressful event can be rendered considerably less stressful if a person successfully cope with it. Successful coping depends on two factors: problem-solving and emotional self-regulation. Some individual have been “hardy” because they seem able to transform potentially stressful situations into less stressful experiences. Several techniques have been practically used or applied by individual to deal life demands more effectively with stress : 1. Progressive relaxation : the alternate tensing and relaxing of different muscle groups of the in a specific sequence; 2.
Autogenic training : a relaxation produce that depends on self-suggestion and amagery; 3. Biofeed back : a form of operant conditioning design to make people aware of an unconscious physiological response so they can learn to control it (Bower, 1987). White (1974) refers to three components of the coping process: 1. The ability to gain and process new information; 2. The ability to maintain control over one’s emotional; and 3.
The ability to move freely with in one’s environment. In addition, the study of Mariquit (1997), identified three coping styles that the people deals with the stressors in their lives. These are cognitive coping strategies, problem-focused, and emotion-focused strategies. That according to Ellis and Bernard (1985) cognitive coping strategies involved changing how people interpret stressors. Cognitive coping strategies help people think more clearly, rationally and constructively in the face of the stress.
Cognitive styles does not eliminate the stressors, but it can make it less threatening and disruptive. Cognitive coping replaces catastropic thinking with thought in which stressors are viewed as challenges rather than threats to self-steem. Many people manage stress and anxiety with cognitive coping strategies, that they prepare themselves from pressure through gradual exposure to increasingly higher levels of stress. (Janis, 1985). Study by Lazarus and Allport (1985) suggest that people can learn to manage their stress stress to some extent by thought processes. A major role of the current research is to prepare people to react in constructive ways to early signs of stress. Each individual deals with stressful situation in his or her unique way, often using a combination of problem-focused and emotion-focused strategies.
In most instances, problem solving is the healthier approach but not all problems can be solved. In such instances as an incapacitating illness or the loss of a loved one, individuals may need to reduce emotional distress until they can face the situation in its entirely. We often use emotion-focused coping to maintain hope, to keep our moral so that we can continue to function. In general, emotion-focused forms of coping occur when a person is experiencing a high level of stress and has decided that nothing can be done to modify the threatening conditions. Problem-focused forms of coping, on the other hand, are more probable at moderate level of stress, where the situation is appraised as changeable (Lazarus and Folkman, 1984).
Furthermore, coping strategies can also be categorized as active-cognitive; active-behavioral; and avoidance strategies (Billings, Cronkite, Moss, 1983;Billings and Moss, 1981). Active-cognitive are coping responses in which individual actively think about a situation in an effort to adjust more effectively. For example, if you have a problem that involved braking up with a husband or wife, you may have coped by using logical reasoning about why you would be better off in the long run being out of this relationship. You might have also analy …