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The Gilmore’s

Background Information Richard and Emily Gilmore married in their young 20’s and have one child, Lorelai Gilmore. The couple resides in a mansion in Hartford, Connecticut. Richard is the breadwinner of the couple and despite Emily having a college degree in History. Emily supports her husband’s career and organizes charity and business events. Lorelai Gilmore became pregnant when she was 16 years old, which developed into a scandal within the Gilmore’s high society lives. Shortly after Lorelai gave birth to Rory she moved out of her parent’s home without notifying her patent’s of this plan. This devastated the Gilmore’s and created irreparable damage to their relationship with their daughter. This also impaired the relationship Rory has with her grandparents.; they only connected after Lorelai agreed to attend weekly, family Friday night dinners as a condition of her parents paying for Rory’s high school tuition. Rory continued this tradition when asking her grandparents to pay for her tuition at Yale University. Rory receiving financial support for college allowed Lorelai to allocate her finances to purchase an abandoned building and transform it to her own business, the Dragonfly Inn. A common theme for the Gilmore’s is pride.



Richard Gilmore is a 62 year-old, successful businessman and entrepreneur. He decided to create his own insurance company after retiring from working for an establish international insurance company for the entirety of his career. Richard is quick to defend his family and is prideful of the family name, “Gilmore”. Richard is both financially and emotionally supportive of his wife Emily. Richard and Rory connected over their love for books and they each value education and hard work. He is extremely proud of his granddaughter and is pleased that she is following his path in regards to education. Richard has a complicated relationship with his daughter Lorelai. He was never able to understand Lorelai’s decision to leave home and distance herself from her parents shortly after Rory was born. Despite their differences, Richard’s love for and admiration of Lorelai is never in question. As the head of the family, he holds himself responsible for any difficulty or failure experienced by any of his loved ones and celebrates their successes.

Emily (63) is the epitome of a high-society woman. She prides herself for being the president of the daughters of the american revolution and is highly respected by the other society women. She ensures she and her husband are in attendance of functions multiple times a week and is often in charge of organizing and hosting these events. Emily is very proud of her granddaughter Rory and ensures she and her husband Richard offer every opportunity to her through their financial advantage and social connections. It is often evident that Emily invests so much into Rory to ensure Rory does not make the same “mistakes” as Lorelai and she fears losing Rory the same way she “lost” Lorelai. Emily and Lorelai have the most complicated relationship, fighting with nearly every interaction. Emily often struggles to agree with Lorelai’s life decisions and makes her disapproval known to Lorelai. This is a difficult relationship because Emily truly just wants the best for her daughter but is not effective in communicating her feelings.

Lorelai Lorelai is the 37-year old daughter of Richard and Emily and the mother of Rory. Lorelai prides herself in being an independent person, often defending her life and explaining that everything she and Rory has is because of her hard work. Not having the opportunity to attend college, Lorelai worked as a maid at the Independence Inn, where she also lived for a short time after running away from home with Rory. She eventually worked her way up to managing the Inn and owning her own home in Stars Hollow. Lorelai continued her education and recieved a business degree while Rory was in highschool. Rory is the center of her world and she worked extremely hard to have a great relationship with her daughter, one that she never experienced with Emily. Her relationship with Richard and Emily is fragmented and often experiences ups and downs. Each time she makes progress with them something seems to happen to derail their relationship once again. Lorelai is unable to commit to any long-term relationships, despite several opportunities to marry successful, kind men. This continues to be a source of emotional stress for Lorelai, and as a result, Rory as well.

Rory Gilmore Rory Gilmore is an exceptionally smart and driven 21-year old woman. Both her mother and grandparents have always been extremely supportive of her education and goals. Rory attended Stars Hollow HIgh School until sophomore year when she was accepted to Chilton, an expensive private school guaranteed to lead students to an Ivy League education. After graduating from Chilton Rory decided to attend Yale University, her grandfather's alma mater. However, Rory often takes on more responsibility than she can handle and places extremely high expectations on herself. She admires her grandfather’s success and aims to achieve at the same level as he did at Yale. Rory experiences anxiety and stress as a result of her desire to perform perfectly in every class and opportunity presented to her. Rory often does achieve her goals and meets her standards so in the rarity that she does struggle to perform at her standards she is not able to cope appropriately. Rory’s mother and grandparents have a complicated relationship and the one thing the family comes together for are her academic events. By continuing to perform well in her academics, Rory is able to bring her family together and facilitate conversation without bicoring.

Anxiety Anxiety is characterized by “intense, excessive and persistent worry about everyday situations” (Anxiety, 2017). Symptoms of anxiety includes feeling nervous or tense, tachycardia, tachypnea, sweating, and difficulty concentrating and/or sleeping (Anxiety, 2017). According to a 2015 study analyzing college student’s coping mechanisms, “Such exposure to constant stressors and the absence of effective coping strategies can lead to physiological alterations manifested in sleep patterns, reduced physical activity, and increased irritability, which reflect in individuals’ psychological health and social relationships (Domingues Hirsch, Devos Barlem, Tomaschewski-Barlem, Lerch Lunardi & Calçada de Oliveira, 2015).

Rory’s Experience with Anxiety

Rory has experienced notable breakdowns as a result of her anxiety throughout her teenage years including becoming hysterical in the middle of her high school classroom when denied the ability to take an exam and breaking down because she couldn’t manage the same course load her first semester in college as her grandfather did. However the most impressionable one occurs while she is in her second year at Yale University. Rory was given negative feedback regarding her performance in her internship. Not being accustomed to failure, she stole a yacht with her boyfriend as a way to cope with the confusing and devastating news. Following her trouble with the law, Rory decided to break ties with her mother, move in with her grandparents, and take a semester off from Yale. This cascade of events is what makes this breakdown an important one to assess. The University required Rory to attend a counselling session before returning back to school and the counselor decided to extend the one time appointment into weekly sessions. This occurrence also resulted in more severe consequences (legal, education, relationships) compared to those in the past and took longer for her to recover.

Religion & Tradition


The Gilmore’s do not affiliate with any particular region.

Verbal: The overall communication within the family is characterized as sarcastic and witty. This is true during times of normalcy as well as during conflict. The family uses sarcasm as a coping mechanism with uncomfortable conversation. The center of their conversation of revolves around Rory and her academics. Rory’s success is something that the family is able to connect with. Lorelai is often criticized by Emily for making disapproving grunts or whimsical noises while someone else is speaking.

However they do participate in a several traditions that keep the family tied together. Lorelai and Rory have several traditions that keep them connected including breakfast at Luke’s Diner nearly every morning, taking a walk in the first snow (no matter what time it is), Lorelai waking Rory up on the exact time of her birthdate and telling the story of the night Rory was born, and movie marathons complete with an array of junk food. These traditions keep the girls close and are often a source of comfort for the immediate family. Traditions involving Richard and Emily includes weekly Friday night dinners and elaborate holiday parties/dinners at their home in Hartford, attendance to Emily’s charity events and Rory’s participation in a debutante ball. Lorelai was never able to attend her debutante ball because she was pregnant with Rory.

Non-Verbal: The family often expresses themselves with notable facial expressions including smiling, looks of concern, and eye rolling.. Rory and Lorelai are relaxed and comfortable when compared to the body language of Richard and Emily who are more proper.



The family participates in traditions including weekly meals and conversations intended to keep one another updated about their lives.

Each family member has a complicated relationship with one another and conflict between these relationships affect the dynamic of the family as a whole.

Richard and Emily are extremely wealthy. Richard and Emily are both Ivy League college graduates with influential connections. The family connects over Rory’s academics. Lorelai moved to a small town with a community that helped raise her.

The family is separated geographically Lorelai struggles financially but is too proud to ask her parents for help. Rory struggles financially but learned from Lorelai’s behavior, not to ask family for help financially.

Family Systems Theory Denham explains that the Family Systems Theory views family members as interdependent individuals who influence each other. The nurse should assess how each family member is coping with new situations and facilitate effective communication within the family unit in order to help the family provide support to one another. If one family member is affected, the whole family is affected and therefore the goal is to maintain an equilibrium within the family dynamics and interactions (Denham, Eggenberger, Krumwiede & Young, 2016)..

Duvall’s Developmental Stage According to Duvall's stages of family life cycle, the Gilmore’s are in the “middle-aged parents” stage. This stage of development is determined on by the age of the oldest child, which in this case is Lorelai. One of the roles in this stage is to “refocus on marriage relationship” (Kaakinen, Coehlo, Steele, Tobacco & Hanson, 2015). Lorelai is engaged for the second time and has always struggled with maintaining meaningful relationships. Lorelai’s instability with relationships adversely affects her relationships with both Rory and her parents.

Problem: Rory Gilmore places high expectations on herself and does not possess effective coping mechanisms for day-to-day stressors. Rory’s family is fragmented as a result of her mother becoming pregnant with her at the age of 16. As a result, the family rarely agrees on anything other than how proud they are of Rory. These factors contributes to the stress Rory puts on herself to achieve at such high standards. Intervention: Assess Rory’s current coping mechanisms and educate her on appropriate ways to address daily stressors. According to Domingues Hirsh et al. (2015), student’s focus on emotion rather than solving the problem at hand. By educating Rory on adequate coping mechanism she can solve the source of her stress and save herself and the family from additional emotional conflict. Outcome: Rory will identify two adequate coping mechanisms by the end of the appointment. Rory will be able to identify when she is becoming to feel stressed and verbalize the coping mechanisms she will use to address the conflict.

Intervention: Assess the family’s communication practices and determine strategies to facilitate healthy communication behaviors. According to Kalvin (2018), well-functioning families recognize that developing and maintaining relationships requires practicing effective communication as a family unit. Outcome: The family will verbalize the importance of understanding and managing their communication patterns in order to act as an effective support system for each other during times of stress or conflict (Kalvin, 2018). This outcome will decrease pressure on Rory to be the only factor for keeping the family connected.

Intervention: Encourage the family to participate in group therapy to provide a safe space for them to communicate openly and learn strategies for effective communication with each member of the family. According to Marchionda & Slesnick (2013) when families are resistant to change, unhealthy interaction patterns will continue creating a dysfunctional family process. A therapist can focus on patterns of communication within subtypes (parent-child, grandchild-grandparent, etc) to determine negative patterns and intervene by educating them on alternative methods of communication. Outcome: The family will learn effective communication strategies to use with each member of the family, improving family dynamics and relieving stress and anxiety for the family as a whole.

References Anxiety. (2017, August 16). Retrieved from Denham, S. A., Eggenberger, S., Krumwiede, N., & Young, P. (2016). Family focused nursing care. Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company. Domingues Hirsch, C., Devos Barlem, E. L., Tomaschewski-Barlem, J. G., Lerch Lunardi, V., & Calçada de Oliveira, A. C. (2015). Predictors of stress and coping strategies adopted by nursing students. Acta Paulista De Enfermagem, 28(3), 224-229. doi:10.1590/1982-0194201500038 GALVIN, K. M. (2018). FAMILY COMMUNICATION: cohesion and change. Kaakinen, J., Coehlo, D., Steele, R., Tobacco, A., & Hanson, S.M., (2015). Family Health Care Nursing: Theory, Practice, and Research (5th ed.). F.A. Davis Company. Marchionda, D., & Slesnick, N. (2013). Family Therapy Retention: An Observation of First�Session Communication. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 39(1), 87-97. Images: CW, S. H. (n.d.). Gilmore Girls. Retrieved from

NURS 480: Family Assessment - The Gilmore's  
NURS 480: Family Assessment - The Gilmore's