This paper examines methods of adaptation among those faced with stress from chronic health problems. Studies of disabled older adults and those with muscular-skeletal disorders are described with special emphasis on the role of everyday life events, and the threats to well-being imposed by chronic stressors. Attention is paid not only to psychological distress as outcome of a failure to adapt, but also to indices of psychological well-being which provide evidence of the benefits for those who cope successfully with chronic illness. The paper examines evidence for the proposition that everyday stressors can influence physiological processes linked to disease course. The implications of these findings for social interventions are discussed from community and health psychology perspectives.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Applied Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health