Introduction: The Concept of Stress and Its Historical Development

  • George P. Chrousos
  • D. Lynn Loriaux
  • Philip W. Gold
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 245)


The terra “stress” has been used, and occasionally abused, by scientists and by the lay public, in almost every single language of the civilized world. Many definitions and meanings have been ascribed either consciously or unconsciously to the word. Nevertheless, despite a lack of general agreement about its meaning, the term has prevailed because it attempts to address a basic principle of Nature, that of maintenance of balance, equilibrium, or harmony in the face of disturbing forces on the one hand and counteracting reestablishing forces on the other. One potential reason for the confusion surrounding the term “stress” is that it has been variously used to describe the disturbing forces, the disturbed balance or disequilibrium, and/or the results of the counteracting, reestablishing forces.


Adaptive Response Central Effector Behavioral Adaptation Sympathetic System Disturbing Force 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • George P. Chrousos
  • D. Lynn Loriaux
  • Philip W. Gold

There are no affiliations available

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