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Life Stress and Transitions in the Life Span

  • Thomas W. Miller
Chapter

Abstract

The traditional life cycle of human beings include infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Transitions exist within each of the life cycles and such transitions produce stress. Life has many stressful life events that mark the movement from one condition or cycle to another, and they produce substantial challenges in the lives of human beings. The purpose of this volume is to focus on stressful life events associated with a spectrum of transitions in the life span.

The inspiration for this handbook of stressful life transitions across the life span has included a lifetime of research and clinical practice dealing with the transitions people had to face in very traumatic experiences along with several contributions over the last four decades. Those experiences have included working with adults and children who had been physically and/or sexually abused, victims of earthquakes and other natural disasters, veterans of combat, victims of torture, and individuals facing terminal illness and death. In addition to clinical and applied research, the recent work of Jane Goodman, Nancy Schlossberg, and Mary Anderson entitled Counseling Adults in Transition Linking Practice with Theory has provided our clinical research team with a clearer understanding of several of the effective strategies currently used in treating adults moving through some of life’s most difficult and enduring transitions. In reviewing their contributions, I have come to realize the multiplicity of individuals worldwide who face difficult and stressful transitions in their lives. This led me to seek an international group of clinicians, researchers, and scholars to bring their illustrations of the stressful life experiences realized by human beings and interface that with the excellent work of Jane Goodman and her colleagues. In the use of this volume, one realizes that a compendium of the spectrum of the stressful transitions we face as human beings would contribute to the unique and individual transitions that we face. This handbook is intended to be a beginning toward bringing this body of knowledge to the reader, clinician, and researcher in need of this information. Among other volumes are the earlier works of Dohrwend and Dohrwend (1974), which focused on the conceptualization of stressful events and transitions, and the series on Stressful Life Events (Miller 1989) which provided a review of the literature and contributions of an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural spectrum of researchers and clinicians who have addressed this critical area of study. For example, this volume looks to the work of Holmes and Rahe who set the benchmark for addressing the science of measuring gradients of stressful life events (Rahe 1989; Byrne 1989; Cernovsky 1989; Fava 1989). This volume provides insights into the complexities of a highly technological world and the multiplicity of problems faced through stressful life experiences, and provides help to those involved in treating the consequences of stress in our lives.

Keywords

Life Span Stressful Life Stressful Life Event Stressful Transition Financial Transition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Kentucky, College of MedicineLexingtonUSA

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