Friday, February 6, 2009


Chapter 4: What are the key ways that culture can influence the experience of stress?

            Different cultural groups have different expectations for various aspects of life, and these different expectations can make a low-threat event to one cultural group be a high-threat event to another group. The text explains that culture strongly influences the experience of stress. Due to the fact that not everyone in America is treated the same, members of some cultural groups may experience more stress than others. For example, because many businesses are male dominated, it can be stressful for a female manager working around a group of all male managers.

            Age often interacts with gender to differentially influence how much stress someone experiences. Together with age and gender cultural differences, some of the most critical differences in the experience of stress are due to race and ethnicity. According to the text, many minority groups experience high levels of stress because of their ethnicity, race, or religious beliefs.


Experiential 4

Monthly Budget:

Rent: $600

Food: $400

Diapers: $100

Gas: $100

Utilities/Electricity: $100

Medical Expenses: $200

Clothing: $20

At the end of the month, there would only be $113.33 left for childcare expenses, which would not be nearly enough to sustain a family of four children for a month. I looked through the local Harrisonburg paper and I checked the local Craigslist postings to see how difficult it would be to find childcare from 11-7. I discovered that it would be incredibly difficult to find childcare for these hours and for such low pay. It would be nearly impossible to find a sitter who would provide childcare for four children for only $113 a month.

I can’t imagine how difficult and stressful it would be for a mother of four to provide for her family with such a small monthly budget. It would be incredibly difficult to give your children a good life with such a small amount of money; the stress on the mother would be incredibly high in this situation.



  1. It is true that culture influences the experience of stress. Age, race, gender, and prejudice are culture influence on the experience of stress. According to our text “cities in America are enclaves for certain ethnic groups that may make outsiders feel unwelcome” (121). Race plays a role in how high stressful a group could have in a new environment based on their ethnicity. Different groups have higher stress level than others. Everyone is not treated the same. The experiment also made me realize that it is hard for a single mother to have four kids and only make $19,000 a year. There are single mothers that do experience this and have high level of stress. Their job is probably difficult and stress from work is another load of stress already with not making enough money for her family. Finding childcare was impossible and with little money left after the other expenses impossible to pay for childcare. Stress comes in different ways for different people.

  2. It is interesting that when I completed this assignment, my estimated budget for the mother was very similar to yours. In addition, i also looked on craigslist in order to determine the approximate costs if child care, and I found similar prices. Maintaining a comfortable life with this kind of budget and these circumstances would certainly be difficult, and I think it is accurately portrayed by this blog post.

    In addition, I think it would have been beneficial to talk about the relationship between stress coping and SES. Although age, gender, ethnicity, and religion are important, I think that SES is also a key factor to stress coping. Overall, this blog post was very informative and accurate.