Stress, coping and physical health


Over the past two decades there has been an increasing belief that the experience of stress has undesirable consequences for health. It has become a common assumption, if not a ‘cultural truism’ (Leventhal and Tomarken, 1987), that it is associated with the impairment of health. Despite this, the evidence is otherwise: the experience of stress per se does not necessarily have pathological sequelae. Many of a person’s responses both psychological and physiological, to such an experience, are comfortably within the body’s normal homoeostatic limits and, although taxing the psychophysiological mechanisms involved, need not cause any lasting disturbance or damage. However, it is also obvious that the negative emotional experiences which are associated with the experience of stress detract both from the general quality of life and form the person’s sense of wellbeing.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1995

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  • Tom Cox

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