Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging

Living Edition
| Editors: Danan Gu, Matthew E. Dupre

Social Stress

  • Uyen-Sa D. T. Nguyen
  • Lien Quach
  • Thanh V. TranEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69892-2_513-1



Lazarus (1966) suggested that stress is the outcome of a person’s inability to respond adequately to demands. More specifically, stress occurs when a person does not have adequate resources to respond to overwhelming demands (Lazarus and Folkman 1984; Palmer 1989). Stress is also defined as the emotional, psychological, and/or physiological response to a challenge, whether real or perceived (McEwen 2000; Pryce and Fuchs 2017; Selye 1955). We can define social stress as a person’s inability to respond adequately to overwhelming social demands or social stressors. Social stress in the aging population, therefore, may be defined in part as a response in older adults to an external challenge or stimuli (i.e., stressors) of social nature that may jeopardize their sense of self or sense of social standing or belonging in a relationship, within a group, or within the larger community (Juth and...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uyen-Sa D. T. Nguyen
    • 1
  • Lien Quach
    • 2
    • 3
  • Thanh V. Tran
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biostatistics and EpidemiologySchool of Public Health, University of North Texas Health Science CenterFort WorthUSA
  2. 2.Boston VA Research Institute, Inc.BostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of GerontologyUniversity of Massachusetts BostonBostonUSA
  4. 4.Boston College School of Social WorkChestnut HillUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Joonmo Son
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore