Across the United States and around the world, the effects of the financial crisis continue to spread – foreclosures are widespread, banks are being taken over, stock markets are erratic, credit is frozen and bankruptcies are increasing. Even with the planned infusion of trillions of dollars by the government, no one can predict with certainty the long-term effects on the economy. Hope is building that the Obama administration will create solutions but most pundits agree that this collapse will not right itself in the near future.

How is all this affecting you? Are you anxious and angry – on the verge of taking out your frustration over the financial news on those around you? This is a good time for you to look inward and reflect on your actions within the family. Only by becoming aware of the potential for abuse can you honestly assess your own behavior.

While a number of factors have been recognized as causes of domestic violence – mental illness, substance abuse, certain innate personality traits, low self-esteem, poor impulse control and a history of being battered – social stressors have been identified as having a particularly strong impact. Poverty, lack of control and feelings of powerlessness can lead to a perceived need to dominate family members. And this is linked to increased levels of mistreatment. During the current plummet of world markets, those who abuse are more likely to express their feelings of frustration in more belligerent ways.

If you are finding yourself more prone now to yell at the kids or scold the dog or or get annoyed with your aging parents, tune in this week for some tips to help reduce the stress you are feeling so that you don’t take it out on those you love.

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