Stress is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it can overwhelm people and is associated with all manner of physical and psychological maladies. Clearly, too much stress, or stress poorly handled, can contribute to poor adjustment, both at home and in intercultural situations. On the other hand, some level of stress is necessary to spur people to act, to motivate them to overcome challenges, and to set the stage for development of a sense of mastery. Absence of stress is not psychologically healthy and can be associated with depression, apathy, and lethargy, which are also indicators of poor adjustment. This entry will describe several issues relevant to understanding how stress, stress appraisal, and coping can preserve and increase adjustment, with special emphasis on its ...

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