Tend-And-Befriend Response

In times of stress, humans and many animal species tend and befriend. Tending involves quieting and caring for offspring during stressful times, and befriending involves engaging the social network for help in responding to stress.


Threatening circumstances trigger a cascade of neuroendocrine responses to stress, including engagement of the sympathetic nervous system and corticosteroids that mobilize a person or animal to cope with stress. Consequently, stress responses are heavily marked by physiological arousal. Historically, the prototypical response to stress has been regarded as fight or flight. That is, in response to a threat, arousal mobilizes the person to behave aggressively or assertively (fight), or flee or withdraw instead (flight). Contemporary manifestations of fight responses in humans assume the form of aggressive reactions to stressful circumstances, and ...

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