Family Stres
and Resilience

Spring, 2008 -- HP017
Wednesday 6:00 - 8:30

Professor: Kathleen Gilbert, Ph.D.
Office: Poplars 619
Office Hours: Mon., Wed., 1-4. Others by appointment.
Phone: 855-5209
Fax: 855-7092


Boss, P. (2002). Family stress management: A contextual approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Walsh, F. (2006). Strengthening family resilience (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford.

Class notes on Oncourse

Additional readings will be assigned.


This course is intended to acquaint you with major concepts from the research, conceptual and clinical literature on family stress and resilience, with a particular focus on overwhelming and/or traumatic stress. As we proceed through this course, students will develop their own conceptual model of family stress and resilience, with the intent that this model should serve as the basis of practice and/or research for the student. Students will develop their critical thinking and writing skills through a peer evaluations system. Finally, students will also engage in self analysis, and come to a better understind of their own understanding of stress and reslience.


Midterm Examination

The midterm exam will cover the material from the first eight weeks of the class. This content is also intended to serve as the basic "building blocks" of the conceptual paper that is described below. The examination will be a take home exam. You will need to use APA style (5th edition) in referencing the sources you use in writing the paper. This examination will be described in greater detail in class.


Students are expected to have read the assigned readings before coming to class and to be ready to discuss them. Discussion of topics leading up to the midterm will be led by Dr. Gilbert. Following the midterm, you will be required to sign up to lead class discussion over class topics. For this later part of the class, students will be required to prepare a minimum of three discussion questions over the readings and to bring them to class Each student may be called on to present your questions in class, so you should be prepared each class period to start (but not carry) the discussion of the readings. This, combined with my assessment of your involvement in in-class discussion will constitute the equivalent of the second examination. Please remember to turn off all electronic devices when you enter the classroom.

Scholarly Paper (Family Stress and/or Resilience Model Paper)

Students in this class will write a paper that develops a model intended to facilitate the understanding some aspect of family stress. The model is to use class content as at least part of its foundation. It is to be over some topic that is of interest to you and it must draw on class material as well as outside material and it is to take a family perspective. Please remember that "family" is defined broadly in this class and is not restricted to traditional, legally recognized family forms.

Peer Review of Paper

The scholarly paper will go through a peer review process, conducted as follows:


The grading scheme is as follows:

40% Exam 1
20% Participation in Discussion and Questions
35% Model paper
5% Review process

SCHEDULE (the schedule is subject to change, and notices about that will be given in class and posted on Oncourse)

Page created: 6/98. Last updated: 1/08/08.
Copyright 1996-2008, Kathleen R. Gilbert, Ph.D.

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