Life Transitions and Crises

A Conceptual Overview
  • Rudolf H. Moos
  • Jeanne A. Schaefer
Part of the The Springer Series on Stress and Coping book series (SSSO)


While awaiting an ambulance after sustaining a grave injury in a sudden, terrifying automobile accident, Jon Krapfl mentally prepared for death. The ambulance attendants wanted him to remain hopeful and hesitated to tell him that his neck was broken. By sharing his intense fear of imminent death, Jon managed to obtain the information he sought. During his lengthy rehabilitation, Jon experienced sharp, insistent pain, felt he was losing his mind due to intrusive hallucinations, found it hard to accept his injury and physical limitations, and ruminated about how his wife and children would confront his disability. Jon faced these issues effectively and eventually returned to his job as a professor of psychology at the University of West Virginia. He later construed the forced review of his life as a “freeing experience” and came to see his ordeal as having “enriched my life.”12


Coping Skill Coping Resource Rape Victim Life Transition Imminent Death 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Bandura, A. Self-efficacy mechanism in human agency. American Psychologist, 1982, 37, 122–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bloom, B. L., Hodges, W. F., and Caldwell, R. A. A preventive intervention program for the newly separated: Initial evaluations. American Journal of Community Psychology, 1982, 10, 251–264.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bloom, B. L., Hodges, W. F., Kern, M. B., and McFaddin, S. C. A preventive intervention program for the newly separated: Final evaluations. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 1985, 55, 9–26.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Caplan, G. Principles of preventive psychiatry. New York: Basic Books, 1964.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cassem, N. Bereavement as indispensable for growth. In N. B. Schoenberg and Others (Eds.), Bereavement: Its psychosocial aspects. New York: Columbia University Press, 1975.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cowen, E. L. Primary prevention in mental health: Past, present, and future. In R. D. Feiner, L. A. Jason, J. N. Moritsugu, and S. S. Farber (Eds.), Preventive psychology: Theory, research and practice. New York: Pergamon Press, 1983.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dimsdale, J. Coping—every man’s war. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 1978, 32, 402–413.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Erikson, E. H. Childhood and society (2nd cd.). New York: Norton, 1963.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gibbs, L. M. Community response to an emergency situation: Psychological destruction and the Love Canal. American Journal of Community Psychology, 1983, 11, 116–125.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Halpern, R., and Covey, L. Community support for adolescent parents and their children: The Parent-to-Parent Program in Vermont. Journal of Primary Prevention, 1983, 3, 160–173.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Heller, K., Price, R. H., Reinharz, S., Riger, S., and Wandersman, A. Psychology and community change: Challenges of the future ( 2nd ed. ). Homewood, Il.: Dorsey, 1984.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Krapfl, J. Traumatic injury in mid-life. In E. Callahan and K. McCluskey (Eds.), Life span developmental psychology: Non-normative life events. New York: Academic Press, 1983.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lazarus, R., and Folkman, S. Stress, appraisal, and coping. New York: Springer, 1984.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Levinson, D. The mid-life transition: A period in adult psychosocial development. Psychiatry, 1977, 40, 99–112.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Lieberman, M. A., Borman, L. D., and Associates. Self-help groups for coping with crisis: Origins, members, processes, and impact. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1979.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lindemann, E., and Lindemann, E. Beyond grief: Studies in crisis intervention. New York: Aronson, 1979.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lindy, J. D., Grace, M. C., and Green, B. L. Survivors: Outreach to a reluctant population. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 1981, 51, 468–478.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Medinger, F., and Varghese, R. Psychological growth and the impact of stress in middle age. InternationalJournal of Aging and Human Development, 1981, 13, 247–263.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Moos, R. Coping with physical illness: New perspectives. New York: Plenum Press, 1984.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Moos, R., and Billings, A. Conceptualizing and measuring coping resources and processes. In L. Goldberger and S. Breznitz (Eds.), Handbook of stress: Theoretical and clinical aspects. New York: Macmillan, 1982.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Neugarten, B. Time, age, and the life cycle. American Journal of Psychiatry, 1979, 136, 887–894.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Perloff, L. Perceptions of vulnerability to victimization. Journal of Social Issues, 1983, 39, 41–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Raphael, B. A primary prevention action programme: Psychiatric involvement following a major rail disaster. Omega, 1979–1980, 10, 211–226.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Rees, H., and Smyer, M. The dimensionalization of life events. In E. Callahan and K. McCluskey (Eds.), Life span developmental psychology: Non-normative life events. New York: Academic Press, 1983.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Singh, B., and Raphael, B. Postdisaster morbidity of the bereaved: A possible role for preventive psychiatry. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 1981, 169, 203–212.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Stolberg, A. L., and Garrison, K. M. Evaluating a primary prevention program for children of divorce. American Journal of Community Psychology, 1985, 13, 111–124.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Taylor, S., Wood, J., and Lichtman, R. It could be worse: Selective evaluation as a response to victimization. journal of Social Issues, 1983, 39, 1–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Vachon, M. L. S., Lyall, W. A. L., Rogers, J., Freedman-Letofsky, K., and Freeman, S. J. J. A controlled study of self-help intervention for widows. American Journal of Psychiatry, 1980, 137, 1380–1384.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Valent, P. The Ash Wednesday bushfires in Australia. Medical Journal of Australia, 1984, 141, 291–300.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Wallerstein, J. Children of divorce: Stress and developmental tasks. In N. Garmezy and M. Rutter (Eds.), Stress, coping and development in children. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1983.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Wallerstein, J., and Kelly, J. Surviving the breakup: How children and parents cope with divorce. New York: Basic Books, 1980.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rudolf H. Moos
    • 1
  • Jeanne A. Schaefer
    • 1
  1. 1.Social Ecology Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesStanford University and Veterans Administration Medical CentersPalo AltoUSA

Personalised recommendations