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The Age of StressScience and the Search for Stability$
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Mark Jackson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199588626

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588626.001.0001

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Coping with Stress

Coping with Stress

(p.181) 5 Coping with Stress
The Age of Stress

Mark Jackson

Oxford University Press

Although laboratory and clinical scientists gradually distanced themselves from the biological concept of stress formulated and disseminated by Selye during the 1950s and 1960s, Selye's notions of adaptation and stress were embraced and refined by researchers in other disciplines. Chapter Five suggests that psychologists and psychiatrists, as well as physiologists and endocrinologists, began to explore more fully the relationships between stressful life events and ill-health, to elaborate the distribution of work-related stress according to class, gender and personality, and to investigate the manner in which stress responses were mediated by psychological appraisal. By the 1970s, Richard Lazarus and others had extended the notions of appraisal and adjustment to include ‘coping’ mechanisms: failed coping strategies, such as denial, were seen as generating new forms of individual and social pathology. Western preoccupations with the importance of coping with stress and with improving industrial productivity and profit generated commercial opportunities for clinical and occupational psychologists to devise stress management courses or write self-help booklets, for the pharmaceutical industry to promote psychoactive drugs for the alleviation of anxiety, stress and depression, and for tobacco companies to re-brand cigarette smoking as an effective means of managing or relieving stress.

Keywords:   coping, richard lazarus, psychology, appraisal, stress management, stressful life events, work and stress, daily hassles, medication

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