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Stress

  • David Griffiths
Chapter
Part of the Psychology for Professional Groups book series

Abstract

The experience and management of stress is of obvious importance to both psychologists and doctors. Stress is an inevitable part of life, and is involved in a wide range of experiences, such as birth or death; changes affecting education, work and home; legal proceedings and convictions; courtship, marriage and, for some, separation and divorce. Even experiences which are generally seen to be pleasant can also involve varying degrees of stress. For example, most of the people involved in weddings would agree that the enjoyment is generally diluted with varying degrees of stress associated with planning, organization, punctuality, speech making and many other factors. The honeymoon period, for many young couples, might be less rosy than they have expected since it involves the first steps in the adjustment to the more-or-less constant presence of their partner. On a day-to-day basis, life is rarely without the minor irritations of work, school and home worries, physical ailments and interpersonal discord.

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References

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Annotated reading

  1. Eysenck, H.J. (1976) The learning theory model of neurosis — a new approach. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 14, 251–267. This is more suitable at a postgraduate rather than an undergraduate level but is, nevertheless, a useful discussion of a contemporary psychological perspective of the nature of neurosis. It also illustrates the general strategy of applying basic empirical research to common human problems.Google Scholar
  2. Janis, I.L. (1969) Some implications of recent research in the dynamics of fear and stress tolerance. In Social Psychiatry, Proceedings of the Association. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkies. This is hardly a recent reference but it is a very readable account of Janis’ investigations of the determinants of pre-operative stress, and aspects of management. Enthusiastic students willl also need to be referred to Philip Ley’s review (1977) referred to in chapter 18 of this volume which indicates that some aspects of Janis’ results have not been supported by more recent research.Google Scholar
  3. Marks, I.M. (1969) Fears and Phobias. London: Heinemann. A comprehensive and critical review of the aetiology and management of anxiety which will be attractive to medical students since it is written by an eminent psychiatrist and reflects a medical point of view. At the same time, the review is a competent and comprehensive summary of the research. It is still useful in spite of the fact that it is, once again, rather dated.Google Scholar
  4. Strongman, K.T. (1978) The Psychology of Emotion (2nd edn). Chichester: Wiley. This book provides a useful review of the determinants and nature of emotional response. It is not suitable for introductory courses with medical students but might be of some value to tutors and postgraduate students.Google Scholar
  5. Rabkin, J.G. and Struening, E.L. (1976) Life events, stress and illness. Science, 194, 1013–1020. A well-written and competent review of the research on life events which provides a realistic perspective of the research.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Depue, R.A. (ed.) (1979) The Psychobiology of Depressive Disorders: Implications for the effects of stress. New York: Academic Press. This text has a broad interest in the phenomena associated with stress but depression is its major concern. Review chapters consider aspects of depression such as biological determinants and changes (e.g. genetics, biochemistry and physiology) and also social and psychological variables (e.g. life experiences, social pressures, self-esteem and learning). It is to be recommended because of its clinical relevance — depression is probably one of the most common disorders presenting in general practice and psychiatry — but it is also a comprehensive and competent review of theory and empirical findings. It is probably more suitable, however, for clinical trainees at the postgraduate level than as an introductory text.Google Scholar
  7. Cooper, C.L. and Payne, R. (1978) Stress at Work. Chichester: Wiley. As the title suggests, this book provides reviews of stress associated with work. Of particular interest are the chapters which are concerned with stressors in the physical environment (e.g. noise) but social and psychological determinants are also discussed. Stress management is also reviewed (Part 5) both in terms of individual coping and environmental design. The book is useful both as a source of specific references and a comprehensive review of stress associated with work.Google Scholar
  8. Oborne, D.J., Gruneberg, M.M. and Eiser, J.R. (1979) Psychological aspects of stress. In Research in Psychology and Medicine. London: Academic Press. This section contains eight papers delivered at an international conference on psychology and medicine. Papers are concerned with many aspects of stress but all are clinically relevant (for instance, the relationship between life stress and susceptibility to colds) and provide useful material for medical trainees at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The British Psychological Society 1981

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  • David Griffiths

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