Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Theory of Resilience and Relational Load

  • Tamara D. AfifiEmail author
  • Kathryn Harrison
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_852


Families are systems of stress, with everyone’s stress being intertwined with the other. Even though stress is inevitable and can be positive in relationships, it can also consume them and the individuals within them if it is not managed effectively. Sometimes relationships can be pushed to the brink so much that what was once a source of inspiration becomes the main source of stress itself. When people get married, the marriage often becomes secondary to other priorities (e.g., children, work, other family responsibilities). What couples often do not realize is that, unlike the human body that responds automatically by releasing hormones to combat stress, people need to continually exert energy into maintaining and nourishing their relationships to manage the stress, build resilience, and thrive.

In this sense, resilience is a process of calibration in relationships where relational partners and family members constantly gather feedback from each other on how they are...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CommunicationUniversity of California, Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA
  2. 2.Department of CommunicationUniversity of California-Santa BarbaraSan DiegoUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Rachel M. Diamond
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Saint JosephWest HartfordUSA