Stress and Coping: An Anthology

Stress and Coping: An Anthology

Stress and Coping: An Anthology

Stress and Coping: An Anthology

Synopsis

Articles investigate such topics as health psychology, natural disasters, gender difference and stress, the lives of people with AIDS, new approaches to stress management, and stress management programs in the workplace.

Excerpt

For many years the research literature pertaining to stress and coping has been proliferating. General interest in this body of knowledge and ideas has also increased dramatically, partially due, no doubt, to its relevance to our personal lives. Yet, paradoxically, there are few texts or readers offering a systematic presentation of the major issues or findings in this field. While many technical books containing conference papers on the topic have recently appeared, there is currently no general book of readings in the stress and coping area based upon a broad sampling of available writings, theoretical and empirical in nature, and geared primarily to the undergraduate student. Such a book would be highly appropriate not only to courses related directly to stress and coping, but also to those concerned with psychological adjustment and health. This book is designed to help remedy this omission.

Certain considerations were given prime importance in its design. First, readings dealing primarily with humans were given top priority. Although there has been much significant animal research, studies conducted with humans are generally more engaging to the student, and we believe they are ultimately the most relevant for understanding the struggles of humans to cope with the problems of living. Second, the current trend toward naturalistic studies is a healthy and strong one and also deserves emphasis. Third, because of the vast amount of available material, we decided to concentrate primarily upon articles written within the last ten years or so; however, a few earlier articles such as those by Cannon, Lindemann, Menninger, and Selye were included because of their strong and persisting impact. Fourth, while methodological issues, including those pertaining to physiological processes, are represented, they are not emphasized; these topics tend to bore or perplex most students, particularly those who are not yet prepared to grasp their significance. We think the important issues of method need to be dealt with by instructors in other ways, perhaps through lectures or organized commentaries about the readings.

The book begins with an introductory chapter, written by the edi-

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