According to the theoretical formulations by Lazarus (1966), as further developed by Frankenhaeuser (1986), Levi (1972), Kagan and Levi (1974), McGrath (1970), Magnusson and Öhman (1987), and several others, psychological stress is considered as an interactional process, where situational demands are weighed against each individual’s resources to meet these demands. The cognitive evaluation of this balance is the major determinant of the stress response, as reflected in the activation of specific biological systems. As a consequence of this cognitive evaluation, considerable interindividual differences exist in response to a specific stressful situation. The individual’s ability, personality characteristics, earlier experiences, and genetic dispositions may further contribute to the idiosyncrasy of the stress responses.


Coronary Heart Disease Role Conflict Psychosomatic Medicine Work Overload Total Workload 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulf Lundberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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