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Chronic Stressors

This entry describes the concept of chronic stressors—stressful events and situations in individuals’ lives that are constant and persist over a significant period of time. The entry first describes how chronic stressors have been classified and distinguishes this concept from similar constructs in the field. It then explains why exposure to chronic stressors is of concern to researchers and traces contemporary research developments in this area.

Chronic stressors, similar to other stressful life events, have been classified into categories for the purpose of comparing how individuals respond to them and the impact they have on individuals’ well-being. These categories include health and illness, death, economic issues (including work pressures), violence and conflict, family responsibilities, and relationship concerns (including loneliness). Poverty and child maltreatment are two chronic ...

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