Stress Processes and the Costs of Coping
Increased public attention in the late 1960s and early 1970s to the importance of the physical environment in shaping our health and behavior stimulated a renewed interest in these issues on the part of social and health scientists. To a great extent, work during this period was stressor-specific. Independent groups of researchers studied noise, population density, temperature variations, and the like with little cross-stressor integration of theory or data. This work was also conducted in relative isolation from theoretical and empirical work on similar problems. For example, even though Lazarus (1966), Janis (1958), and others had described and empirically demonstrated the role of cognition in mediating the associations between stressor exposure and behavior and/or health, those studying environmental stressors tended to focus on stressor intensity alone with only a handful of researchers considering cognitive factors. Since the mid-1970s research on the impact of environmental stressors on behavior and health has become increasingly integrated into the larger field of psychological stress research. This book documents that integration and discusses its implications for the study of stress and coping processes. We develop a broad theoretical framework that emphasizes the commonalities between psychosocial stress and environmental stress as well as the commonalities between various environmental stressors. We focus on issues that we view as central to understanding the stress and coping process and present original data that exemplify and occasionally provide answers to the questions we raise. In order to place this discussion in context, we include critical reviews of the literatures on the impact of environmental stress on cognition, control, and health.
KeywordsCoping Strategy Active Coping Coping Behavior Coping Response Stress Process
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