Chapter 9: Stress and Stress Management
Stress occurs when individuals perceive that they cannot adequately cope with the
demands being made on them or with the threats to their well-being.
Key personal characteristics—such as hardiness, sense of coherence, resilience, and
attitude—buffer the impact of stress.
The physiologic response of the person to stress is reflected in the interrelationship of the
nervous, endocrine, and immune systems. Stress activation of these systems affects other
systems, such as the cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, renal, and reproductive
Stress can have effects on cognitive function, including poor concentration, memory
problems, distressing dreams, sleep disturbances, and impaired decision-making.
Long-term stress may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis
and hypertension. Other conditions either precipitated or aggravated by stress include
migraine headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, and peptic ulcers.
Coping is defined as a person’s cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage specific
external or internal stressors that seem to exceed available