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Stress and Coping

Definitions of stress vary across the research literature, particularly as described by distinct disciplines. However, stress is typically defined as a state of physical, mental, or emotional tension. Similarly, a stressor is defined as a pressure or tension exerted on another object. Stressors can be external, (e.g., environmental, social) or internal (e.g., illness, negative emotions). More nuanced definitions of stress emphasize the fact that stress requires a person to adapt, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally. A stressor, according to this definition of stress, is anything that requires a person to adapt. In addition, both negative and positive events can be considered stressors as both require a person to adapt to a new or changed situation. For example, getting into college involves a life change; therefore, ...

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