Academic journal article Family Relations

Book Reviews -- Children's Stress and Coping: A Family Perspective by Elaine Shaw Sorenson

Academic journal article Family Relations

Book Reviews -- Children's Stress and Coping: A Family Perspective by Elaine Shaw Sorenson

Article excerpt

Sorenson, Elaine Shaw. (1993). Children's Stress and Coping: A Family Perspective. New York: Guilford. 192 pp. Hardcover ISBN 0-89862-084.8, price $19.95.

There is increasing recognition that stressors and coping responses can be predictive of health or illness. As Elaine Shaw points out, however, we know very little about how stress is actually perceived by children in the context of their families. To address this problem, the author conducted a study designed to identify and describe the daily psychosocial stressors that are experienced by emotionally and physically healthy elementary school-age (7-11 years old) children and to examine their coping responses. This book provides the results of that study, which is an extension of Sorenson's doctoral research.

The first three chapters of the book provide an introduction and the background for the study. The author embarks on wide-ranging (there are over 300 references in this relatively brief volume) literature reviews of: (a) the stress and coping literature as it relates to adults, (b) the theoretical perspectives that are represented in family research, and (c) the research on stress and coping among children. She attempts to integrate the literature from a variety of disciplines, presents a series of examples of the viewpoints for the study of family phenomena, and then elaborates on her chosen perspective, that of the "family perspective on families." Unfortunately, partially because she attempts to cover such a wide range of philosophical perspectives, the presentation of each tends to be somewhat superficial. Further, given that a major focus of the book is a review of literature, it would have been helpful to include an index of authors.

The fourth chapter presents the study and its results. Subjects included 42 children from 30 families. …

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