Stress in adolescence: An examination of theories and methods

Benjamin G. Shapero, Benjamin L. Hankin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Stressors, or negative life events, have long been implicated as potentially playing a causal role in many psychopathological and medical disorders. To improve the precision of prediction, many individual differences vulnerabilities (e.g., genetic, cognitive, interpersonal, and personality) have been postulated and tested as part of a larger vulnerability-stress framework (Hankin & Abela, 2005). For the past several decades, much of the attention has been given to the vulnerability side, while the "stress" side of the formulation has been viewed as simple and straightforward. This has changed with newer theoretical, empirical, and methodological developments in stress research. Recently an emergence of research on the dynamic contribution and involvement of stress has developed in the literature. This chapter reviews the varying theories that explain what may contribute to psychopathology and could be used to advance vulnerability-stress models. Particular attention is focused on stress concepts and processes, including stress exposure, stress generation, stress reactivity, and stress sensitivity. This chapter also discusses the differing measures and methods (e.g., selfreport stress inventories and contextual stress interviews) as well as designs (e.g., crosssectional versus longitudinal) involved in assessing and conceptualizing stressors and leading to advances in understanding the stress-psychopathology association. These topics are grounded in a developmental psychopathology perspective, with particular attention focused primarily on the developmental context of adolescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Stress
Subtitle of host publicationCauses, Effects and Control
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781607418580
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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