Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Mary J. Schwendener-Holt
Hans Selye first introduced the concept of stress in 1926. In his early work, Selye defined stress as a bodily response to overuse or damage. Modern definitions view stress as a response to internal or external factors that are perceived as threatening. Refinements in this field have led to the use of two terms: Stressor , the stimulus that causes stress, and stress , the reaction or response of the individual to the Stressor. Stressors tend to fall into two categories: biological and psychosocial. Biological (or biogenic) Stressors have properties that elicit a physiological response. They cause chemical or electrical stimulation in the body that causes the body to react with arousal. Biogenic Stressors bypass cognitive processes and include substances like caffeine, nicotine, and stimulant drugs. Psychosocial Stressors are real or imaginary events that, because of a person's interpretations, cause the body to respond with the stress response. Richard Lazarus ...