Stress Case Study: Princess

Study Coach presents a scenario/case study to help learners write an essay on the topic of Stress. The use of case studies helps to bring situations to life, and is often used in Nursing, Social Work and other related subjects. In this Study Coach case study our main character is Princess a 21 year old foreign visitor to the UK. Princess first arrived in the UK, 3 years ago, when she was granted leave to enter in order to attend her aunt’s wedding. Princess was given a 6 months visa. The wedding was a great occasion, enjoyed by all, except the bride’s mother. Perhaps, this is not surprising, since it is said that it is the mother of the bride, who is likely to experience a high degree of stress, in organising her daughter’s wedding. As for Princess, she had a great time, she met family members, she never knew existed.

A month before Princess was due to return home, there was unfortunately a tragic fatal road accident, involving her young cousin (he was only 15). Princess and her family were devastated. In view of the bereavement, it was decided that an application for an extended leave should be made to Immigration, to allow Princess to attend the funeral. The application was filed and due to the circumstances, the Home Office granted Princess a further 3 months of stay.

At the end of the 3 months, family members were shocked when Princess announced that she was pregnant and that she did not want to return to her home country. Princess became rather upset when her aunt and other family members told her that it was impossible for her to remain in the UK, and that they would not submit a further application to the Home Office, for an extended leave for her to remain. There was a massive argument between Princess and her aunt, resulting in Princess leaving her aunt’s home.

On the day that Princess was scheduled to depart from the UK, her aunt and other family members went to Heathrow to bid farewell to Princess, but Princess failed to show. No one has heard from her.

Family members have assumed that Princess is now in hiding. For failing to leave the UK on the specified date, Princess is now an illegal immigrant (she has no legal rights to remain in the UK, irrespective of her pregnancy). Princess is not entitled to public funds, so it is possible that she is working illegally. If she is employed, her employers will be in breach of the law. The likelihood is that Princess will be reliant on public transport (buses, trains) in order for her to travel to her place of work. Princess, will no doubt have to exercise caution as she interacts with the public, as Immigration officers do also use buses and trains.

One morning, around 6.15 am, Princess was walking towards the bus stop, when two police officers approached her ………..

Learning Task
I would now like you to complete the story (write the story). In doing so, I would like you to highlight potential stressors. Therefore consider Princess’s psychological state, and how she is likely to perceive the situation, given her status. Suggest possible stress responses; the physiological changes that Princess is likely to experience, when the police approach her. You need to apply the 3 stages of Selye’s (1956) General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) theory, to Princess.

First stage: Alarm Reaction
Second stage: Resistance
Third stage: Exhaustion
I would also like you to consider the idea of Fight or Flight as given by Walter Cannon

(Enjoy the writing experience)

It has truly been a pleasure to have had you as my psychology teacher. I do not think I would have understood half of what we learnt otherwise. THANK YOU for being so supportive and encouraging and for making Wednesday mornings unexpectedly amusing at times.

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