An accepted definition of stress is “any circumstances that threaten or are perceived to threaten one’s wellbeing and thereby tax one’s coping abilities”. (Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn & Hammer, 2009)’.
Research into stress epidemiology started in 1936 with the work of Hans Selye, one of the pioneers of stress being accepted as a psychological issue, rather than a physical or psychosomatic one. Other more recent research has highlighted the effects of everyday stressors on our physical and mental health (Seta, Seta & McElroy, 2002). Others, e.g. Lazarus and Cohen (1977) have investigated the detrimental effects of environmental stress on human behaviour.
Stress is a term which has been used by researchers to describe a number of different conditions and means different things to different branches of medicine. There are however, variables which are commonly regarded as being components of what is called ‘stress’ in the pyschological and psychosocial sense of the word. They include anxiety, depression, panic disorder, hostility; Type A behaviour, acute and chronic life events, social isolation, environmental issues, workplace issues and lack of social support. (Bunker, S. Colquhoun. D., Esler, M.D., Hickie, I.B., Hunt, D., Jelinek V.M., Oldenburg B.F. Peach, H.G., Ruth, D., Tennant, C.C. and Tonkin, A.M. 2003). Type A behaviour pattern refers to a number of personality trait characteristics, including rushed, ambitious and competitive behaviour, impatience, hostility, and intolerance. (Friedman 1974).
Research into stress epidemiology was pioneered in 1936 by Dr Hans Selye. This research was followed by another publication in 1950 (Selye 1950). At this time
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