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A living systems approach to understanding the concept of stress


, : A living systems approach to understanding the concept of stress. Behavioral Science 35(2): 138-146

In this article, the basic concepts used in conceptualizing stress and classifying its related phenomena are defined and a general conceptual framework for understanding the interrelationships among these concepts is proposed. The conceptual scheme described is intended to be applicable across disciplines including the biological and the behavioral and social sciences. This model is based largely on the living systems theory developed by Miller (1978) and the work of Selye (1950). It provides a coherent conceptual framework in which studies in the various disciplines engaged in stress research can be organized and integrated. Its use across disciplines will facilitate the sharing of information and prevent needless duplication of effort by researchers in different fields. It will also facilitate the generation and formulation of empirically testable hypotheses (including specific cross-level hypotheses), the development of more focused research designs and a clearer interpretation of findings. By understanding at which point in the stress pathway a system is when observed, a clearer picture of both the biological mechanisms involved and the psychosocial ramifications of stress may be obtained. As a consequence of this type of information becoming available, more optimal treatments for patients with stress-related disorders can be developed.

US$29.90

PMID: 2327936


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