Violent families often face excessive stress. Stress, when not handled adequately, will build and build until some sort of explosion happens. In families accustomed to violence, the path of least resistance is to resort to violence when the stress becomes too much to handle.
Stress can originate from inside or outside the family. More often than not, stress originates from outside the family and is brought home and converted to intrafamilial stress.
Stress can emanate from inside of the family as well. In discussing the stressful behavior or issue, it is important not to blame others for the stress one experiences. A person can only cause another stress when another chooses to react to that person. In essence, a person brings stress onto himself or herself.
Ultimately, one can choose to be an agent of change or a victim of circumstance. Poverty and its associated hardships and neighborhood deterioration can be a constant source of stress to those who have to bear with this oppression. To choose to work for change, for example, in community organization efforts, may involve some frustration and resentment, but ultimately the exchange of helplessness for effective action will alleviate stress.