In this assessment you are to:
discuss your understanding of Schlossberg’s transition framework and the important components of this framework.
- consider the use of this framework from your own personal situation.
- This involves discussing the following content areas in your written assessment:
- provide a definition of transition in the Schlossberg’s transition framework.
- describe in your own words, each of the types of transitions as listed in week 2 and provide an example of each in a few sentences.
- explain each of the 4Ss situation, self, support and strategies and provide a transition from your own life experience that describes the 4Ss.
- consider how you might use the framework in working with clients in the future.
Schlossberg has conducted a detailed study on human coping mechanisms. “Transition” is the process of changing from one condition to another. Every human being in their lifetime goes through several changes. With every change, their ability to adjust to the change gets better. On this topic, Schlossberg has mentioned that four major factors influence the ability of a human being to cope with a transition, the factors are situation, self, support, and strategies. Schlossberg has termed these four factors as 4S’s (Barclay et al., 2017). This report aims to discuss the Schlossberg transition framework in detail along with its important components. While describing the four S’s, real-life examples would be provided to better demonstrate the concepts.
Schlossberg has defined transition to be an event or an incident that can change relationships, roles, assumptions, and routines. She has further added that perspective plays an important role in the struggles related to transition. Hence, to understand a particular individual’s view on transition, it is important to keep notes on the impact, context, and type of transition that is being analyzed. Although, in the primary definition of “Transition”, Schlossberg has specified the cause to be an “event”, later she corrected it may or may not be an event (it can be a non-event), it doesn’t matter as long as it fits the definition. This theory of transition applies to both adults and adolescents. In this aspect, it must be mentioned that her theory is based on the premise that adults go through transitions continuously and at the same time, their reaction to these transitions directly depends upon the impact, context, and type of the transition. Furthermore, both events and non-events can be responsible for causing the transition (Wall et al. 2018).
Figure 1: Schlossberg’s Transition Theory and the transition process and the NGN or RN changing practice settings
(Source: Schmitt, and Schiffman, 2019)
Stages of Transition
Stage 1: Introducing a new situation
The first stage of transition can be considered as moving out or moving into a situation. That is how an individual is introduced to a new situation. At first, the individual might feel like a fish out of the water. It can be extremely difficult for the individual to adjust to the new state as it is unfamiliar. Moving away from home in search of a better job opportunity can be considered an ideal example to demonstrate the first stage of transition. In extreme cases, fear takes over their ambition and they decide to move back (Anderson et al., 2019)..
Stage 2: The individual starts figuring out how the situation works
After the first stage of transition is over, rationality takes over the individual’s mind. The individual starts observing and spends time learning how the situation works. Schlossberg has termed this phase to be the “moving through” phase. There is a high chance the individual might relapse to the previous state of mind but in this stage, the individual makes an effort, no matter how minimal it is, to adjust to the situation. If we consider the previous case, an individual who has just moved out of their home in search of a job, then in the second stage he would make an effort to balance, integrate and make an effort to adjust to the new life (Anderson et al., 2019)..
Stage 3: Period of Stability
Schlossberg has considered this stage to be a Period of Stability because at this stage the individual finally gets through the difficulties of going through a transition. At this stage, the transition is complete and the individual continues to look for the next thing. In the final stage, the transition gets well-integrated into the individual and thereby improves their quality of life (Anderson et al., 2019).
Types of transition as described in Schlossberg’s transition framework
According to Nancy K. Schlossberg, there are primarily three types of transition namely, Anticipated Transition, Unanticipated Transitions, and Non-events.
Predictable transitions can be classified under this category. Adults expect these events to take place at some point in their life and still find it difficult to cope with them as the situation (or the new life) they are stepping into are unknown to them (Sueningrum et al., 2022).Examples of such transitions are finishing school, getting married, going to work, etc.
The transitions that are not predictable can be classified under this category. In general, these events are atypical and take place at a certain point in adult life. Job Loss, sudden illness, and unexpected death in the family are classic examples of Unanticipated Transitions (Sueningrum et al., 2022).
This category is a mixture of the two. Individuals often expect these transitions to happen sooner or later but for some reason, if it does not take place, it becomes difficult for the individuals to adjust to it (Comprehend it). An example might classify it better: If a student fails to get admitted to medical school despite trying hard, then it can be classified under this category (DeVilbiss et al., 2014).
Examples to understand each type of transition
As mentioned earlier, these transitions are predictable. For me, this transition took place when I decided to leave my home country to study abroad. It was a great opportunity and I was looking forward to it. However, I was not able to adjust to the fact that for a long time, I would not be able to meet my friends and family up front. For sure I would be able to Facetime them, but it will not be the same. It took me a while (6 months) to adjust to the change (Lazarowicz et al., 2015).
As mentioned earlier, these transitions are not predictable. For me, this transition took place when the lockdown was implemented. The pandemic was a bit of a shock to me, what was more shocking was the fact that I was not allowed to get out of my house for an indefinite amount of time. Back then, it was very difficult for me but somehow, I got over it.
A transition I was looking forward to was working for a reputed corporate firm (I won’t mention the name). I was eagerly looking forward to it as the interview went well. However, even after three weeks, I didn’t hear from them. At that time, I was extremely disappointed in myself but now I have been able to turn my life around.
4S’s of Schlossberg transition framework and examples to understand each type of S
Schlossberg has mentioned that four major factors influence the ability of a human being to cope with a transition, the factors are: situation, self, support, and strategies and termed these four factors as 4S’s (Anderson, Goodman, & Schlossberg, 2011).
The factors that demonstrate a particular situation are the trigger, the timing, the duration, concurrent stress, control, degree of similarity with any previous transition, etc. For demonstration, I would be using similar examples.
The pandemic was an unprecedented situation. In terms of my social class, this transition can be termed as “off time”. Everything about this situation was uncontrollable except that staying at home can prevent me from getting infected. The situation back then was uncertain, hence, was difficult to understand the duration of the situation. In my lifetime, I have never been faced with such an incident, which has made it even more difficult for me to cope with it. There were multiple sources of stress in the situation and the worst part is no one could be blamed for the situation.
This category is highly influenced by the social support available to an individual. This may include an intimate support network, corporate support network, etc.
The options for social support were very limited as the situation was new for everyone. However, daily conversations with my family members and friends made it a bit easier for me to withstand it.
The individual’s views on the situation can be considered in this category. The factors are socio-economic status, age, gender, etc.
My age, resilience, and sense of purpose (hope of getting into a good college) kept me motivated to carry on.
This provides an overview of the strategies that can be implemented to cope with the situation.
Focusing on self-care has helped me a lot during those days and coping with the transition. Additionally, implementing effective stress management techniques has helped in deriving effective results.
Figure 2: 4S’s of Schlossberg transition framework (Source: Anderson et al. 2011)
How the framework can be used
This framework can be very useful in analyzing and identifying the client’s resources. It also helps in providing help to those who are struggling to cope with the transitions (Schlossberg et al., 2005). This transitional framework can be treated as a cognitive appraisal model. It helps in assessing the degree to which an individual reacts to any changes (transition). The 4s framework helps in evaluating the coping mechanism of the individuals. In short, this would help in suggesting effective strategies to the clients so that their socio-emotional skills can be developed.
This report aims to discuss the Schlossberg transition framework in detail along with its important components. Schlossberg has defined transition to be an event or an incident that can change relationships, roles, assumptions, and routines. Furthermore, Schlossberg has mentioned that four major factors influence the ability of a human being to cope with a transition, the factors are: situation, self, support, and strategies, and termed these four factors as 4S’s. Each of these categories has been explained using real-life examples.
Anderson, M. L., Goodman, J., & Schlossberg, N. K. (2011). Counseling adults in transition: Linking Schlossberg’s theory with practice in a diverse world. Springer Publishing Company.https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=RMt-aJad5dsC&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=Types+of+transition+as+described+in++Schlossberg+transition+framework&ots=twLXLUMuMt&sig=Qku6phCctWSfYCLIEs8UWELzzEA
Anderson, M. L., Goodman, J., & Schlossberg, N. K. (2019). Transition theory. MARCR for career professionals. Available At: https://marcr.net/marcr-for-career-professionals/career-theory/career-theories-and-theorists/transition-theory-nancy-k-schlossberg/
Barclay, S.R., (2017). Schlossberg’s transition theory. College student development: Applying theory to practice on the diverse campus, pp.23-34.https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=zpbvDQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA23&dq=Schlossberg%27s+Transition+Theory&ots=QOTaBHaQ3y&sig=GjhQ9c6aF1CFLRMJUMdwbgTTSho
DeVilbiss, S. E. (2014). The transition experience: Understanding the transition from high school to college for conditionally-admitted students using the lens of Schlossberg’s transition theory. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln.https://search.proquest.com/openview/0485395b44f4b7623afdaccd1b3b01b2/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750
Lazarowicz, T. A. (2015). Understanding the transition experience of community college transfer students to a 4-year university: Incorporating Schlossberg’s transition theory into higher education. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln.https://search.proquest.com/openview/fe0dad9134a82317f38f01aa078fe381/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750
Schlossberg, N. K. (2005). Counseling adults in transition. Springer Publishing Company.https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=BCobGX6ofOMC&oi=fnd&pg=PR13&dq=Types+of+transition+as+described+in++Schlossberg+transition+framework&ots=V4-7WuRhIP&sig=MZtRFfPn2ZbZsazTL9qkwgNucUQ
Schmitt, C.A. & Schiffman, R., 2019. Perceived needs and coping resources of newly hired nurses. SAGE open medicine, 7, p.2050312119833216.https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/2050312119833216
Sueningrum, A. S., Simadibrata, M., & Soemantri, D. (2022). Clinical teachers’ professional identity formation: an exploratory study using the 4S transition framework. International journal of medical education, 13, 10.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8995016/
Wall, P., Fetherston, C. & Browne, C., 2018. Understanding the enrolled nurse to registered nurse journey through a model adapted from Schlossberg’s transition theory. Nurse education today, 67, pp.6-14.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2018.04.017