Module 3 – Case


Two months after his wedding, your friend Tom confides in you that he’s unhappy in his marriage. He tells you that he and his wife seem to be fighting all the time, and nothing seems to get resolved.  He tends to be very high-strung anyway (His friends call him “Type-A Tom”) and now he feels like the stress of the constant bickering is affecting every aspect of his life, including his health. Since you’re in a Psychology class, he asks you for your thoughts on the chances of his marriage surviving and your advice about what he can do about his stress.

Assignment Expectations

 Based on what you’ve read (either in the assigned readings in this module or your own Internet research), you answer his questions by addressing 10 factors that may be related to his situation.  Briefly discuss each of these factors (and how it may relate to Tom’s predicament) in a 4-6 page essay.

The Factors are:

  • Predictability of the stressor.
  • Social support (human relationships).
  • Perceived (or actual) control over the stressor.
  • The amount of stress
  • Exercise
  • Cognitive appraisal.
  • Relaxation
  • Explanatory style
  • Personality (“Type-A”)
  • The “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” (Gottman)
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