Peter Reuter Revised by Mary Carvlin

STRESS Stress is best thought of as a negative emotional state—a psychophysiological experience that is both a product of the appraisal of situational and psychological factors as well as an impetus for coping (Baum, 1990). Stressors— events posing threat or challenge or otherwise demanding effort and attention for adaptation—are judged in terms of the situational variables and one's personal attributes and assets. Negative affect may ensue; and stress responses, which appear directed at the mobilization of bodily systems as a means of coping, strengthen specific problem solving aimed at eliminating the sources of threat or demand and at reducing emotional distress (Baum, Cohen, & Hall 1993).

(See also: Vulnerability As Cause of Substance Abuse)


Baum, A. (1990). Stress, intrusive imagery, and chronic stress. Health Psychology, 1, 217-236. Baum, A., Cohen, L., & Hall, M. (1993). Control and intrusive memories as determinants of chronic stress. Psychosomatic Medicine, 55, 274-286.

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