SUMMARY The concept of psychosocial stress is reviewed in relation to empirical findings on the effects of different types of life, events in childhood and adult life. It is concluded that the concept is unhelpfully broad and that the events need to be subdivided according to their characteristics and meaning. In considering all types of, stimuli, individual differences in response are crucial; so‐called stressors may have no effect or may be cither beneficial or harmful in their sequelae, The elements involved in these individual differences include personal characteristics, vulnerability and protective factors, a person's cognitive appraisal of the event and his process of coping with it. The various ways in which stress events may influence later development are discussed with particular reference to the possibility of altered sensitivities to later stress.
The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry – Wiley
Published: Oct 1, 1981
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