Models of Stress and Adapting to Risk: A Life Course, Developmental Perspective

Catherine P. Bradshaw, George W. Rebok, Benjamin Zablotsky, Lareina N. LaFlair, Tamar Mendelson and William W. Eaton

in Public Mental Health

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780195390445
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950416 | DOI:
Models of Stress and Adapting to Risk: A Life Course, Developmental Perspective

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This chapter explores the role of stress in the conduct of both public mental health research and practice. It begins with a discussion of the leading definitions and theories of stress proposed in relation to the experience of mental problems, followed by an examination of the multiple perspectives related to the measurement and study of stress. Given the ubiquitous nature of stress and its association with developmental challenges, this review is couched within a broader life course perspective. This perspective highlights the significance of both human development and the social context in examining the link between stress and mental health problems. The chapter identifies a range of developmental stressors spanning different life stages and describes their effects on mental health and adjustment problems.

Keywords: stress; public mental health; mental problems; human development; adjustment problems

Chapter.  20464 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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