The Stress Process as a Successful Paradigm
The philosophy of science invisibly guides much of our work, how we think, what we assume. Although social science is fundamentally empirical, the dictates of philosophy still tell us what we are supposed to achieve and how to behave in our work. We generally accept the dictum known as Occam’s Razor – that the simplest explanation is usually the best one. We still take our reference points in discussions of causation from the voluminous work in philosophy – discussions driven by the issue of causality in a physical, not social, world – and wonder how we can approximate the ideal set by this discourse.
Kuhn (1967) famously argued that scientific paradigms are qualitatively distinct eras in the history of science, involving major re-organizations of the assumptive universe, rather than a simple cumulative progression of findings. This argument has had a major influence on how we think about science – perhaps too much of an influence relative to the actual situation on the ground in the more data-infused sciences and social sciences at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
KeywordsChronic Stress Personal Resource Stress Process Quarter Century Status Attainment
- Blau, P., & Duncan, O. D. (1967). The American occupational structure. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Brown, G. W., & Harris, T. (1978). The social origins of depression: A study of psychiatric disorders in women. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
- Jencks, C., Smith, M., Acland, H., Bane, M. J., Cohen, D., Gintis, H., et al. (1972). Inequality: A reassessment of the effect of family and schooling in America. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Kaplan, H. B. (1996). Themes, lacunae, and directions in research in psychosocial stress. In H. B. Kaplan (Ed.), Psychosocial stress: Perspectives on structure, theory, life-course, and methods (pp. 369–403). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Kuhn, T. S. (1967). The structure of scientific revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Mirowsky, J., & Ross, C. E. (1989). Social causes of psychological distress. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter.Google Scholar
- Raudenbush, S. W., & Bryk, A. S. (2002). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
- Thoits, P. A. (2006). Personal agency in the stress process. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 47, 309–323.Google Scholar
- Wheaton, B. (1999). Social stress. In C. S. Aneshenshel & J. C. Phelan (Eds.), Handbook of the sociology of mental health (pp. 277–300). New York: Kluwer.Google Scholar
- Wheaton, B., & Hall, K. (1996). The stress process as an explanation of sociodemographic differences in distress and depression: Preliminary results from the National Population Health Survey. New York, NY: Presented at the American Sociological Association Meeting.Google Scholar
- Wheaton, B., & Montazer, S. (Forthcoming). Stressors, stress, and distress. In T. L. Scheid & T. N. Brown (Eds.), A handbook for the study of mental health: Social contexts, theories, and systems. London: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar