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Life Events, Stress and

Although stress is a ubiquitous force in everyday life, there is some debate in the literature about how to define and measure it. One will find many ways of conceptualizing stress, from external environmental occurrences to physiological responses, to transactions between personal and environmental factors. Advances in stress theory and measurement are important to the field of clinical psychology because stress is a central feature of most models of psychopathology. Many theories of etiology have a diathesis-stress emphasis, where latent vulnerabilities (e.g., genetic predisposition) are activated under conditions of stress. Furthermore, regardless of etiology, stress tends to exacerbate the features of most mental health disorders. One of the most common ways of assessing stress in the context of psychopathology is to measure recent major life ...

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