Models of Stress and Adapting to Risk: A Life Course, Developmental Perspective

Catherine P. Bradshaw, George W. Rebok, Benjamin Zablotsky, Lareina N. LaFlair, Tamar Mendelson, William W. Eaton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter explores the role of stress in the conduct of both public mental health research and practice. It begins with a discussion of the leading definitions and theories of stress proposed in relation to the experience of mental problems, followed by an examination of the multiple perspectives related to the measurement and study of stress. Given the ubiquitous nature of stress and its association with developmental challenges, this review is couched within a broader life course perspective. This perspective highlights the significance of both human development and the social context in examining the link between stress and mental health problems. The chapter identifies a range of developmental stressors spanning different life stages and describes their effects on mental health and adjustment problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPublic Mental Health
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199950416
ISBN (Print)9780195390445
StatePublished - Sep 20 2012


  • Adjustment problems
  • Human development
  • Mental problems
  • Public mental health
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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