Stress Contexts for Individual and Family Development

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The ABC-X Model illustrates how an individual or system handles stress and their mechanisms for coping with that stress. The ABC-X model is comprised of three related variables which include the stressor or event that causes stress (A), the resources that exist within the individual or system (B), and finally how an individual or system perceives the stressor (C) (Bristor 2010). “Stress is defined as any stimulus causing physical and psychological distress when our day-to-day problems exceed our abilities to solve them and which require an organism or system to make some adjustments in order to adapt” (Bristor, 2010, p. 208). Crisis (X) depends on how the three other variables interact with each other. If a family can effectively manage the stress and use their resources to resist disruptive change, the crisis does not always have to be a negative or even occur (Bristor, 2010). Miscarriage is characterized as the loss of pregnancy before fetus viability. The most common causes for a miscarriage include genetic abnormalities within the fetus, chronic medical conditions, smoking and drinking during pregnancy (American College of Nurse Midwives, 2013). Women often report that miscarriage is one of the most traumatic life events that a female can experience. Some common signs of miscarriage include vaginal spotting, bleeding, cramping, abdominal pain, and lower backache (American College of Nurse Midwives, 2013). The goal of this paper is to discuss miscarriage and how it relates to the ABC-X Model of stress management as well as to identify positive treatment methods for patients.


A stressor is defined as an occurrence that cannot effectively be managed by the individual’s or family’s usual way of doing things (Bristor, ...

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... following miscarriage: A longitudinal study. Psychology & health, 29(1), 50-63.

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Trinder, J., Brocklehurst, P., Porter, R., Read, M., Vyas, S., & Smith, L. (2006). Management of miscarriage: expectant, medical, or surgical? Results of randomised controlled trial (miscarriage treatment (MIST) trial). BMJ: British Medical Journal, 1235-1238.

Van den Akker, O. B. (2011). The psychological and social consequences of miscarriage. Expert Review of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 6(3), 295.
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