Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman

Perceived Stress

  • Anna C. PhillipsEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_479-2


Definition (and Description)

Perceived stress is the feelings or thoughts that an individual has about how much stress they are under at a given point in time or over a given time period.

Perceived stress incorporates feelings about the uncontrollability and unpredictability of one’s life, how often one has to deal with irritating hassles, how much change is occurring in one’s life, and confidence in one’s ability to deal with problems or difficulties. It is not measuring the types or frequencies of stressful events which have happened to a person, but rather how an individual feels about the general stressfulness of their life and their ability to handle such stress. Individuals may suffer similar negative life events but appraise the impact or severity of these to different extents as a result of factors such as personality, coping resources, and support. In this way, perceived stress reflects the interaction between an individual and their environment which they...

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References and Further Readings

  1. Cohen, S., Kamarck, T., & Mermelstein, R. (1983). A global measure of perceived stress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 24, 385–396.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, coping and adaptation. New York: Springer.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Sport, Exercise & Rehabilitation SciencesUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK