FIGURE 2-1. The Stress Response and Development of Allostatic Load.

FIGURE 2-1The Stress Response and Development of Allostatic Load

Individuals experience objective psychological and environmental conditions that are conducive to stress, referred to as stressors. The perception of stress is influenced by social, psychological, biophysical factors, genetics, and behavior. When the brain perceives an experience as stressful, physiologic and behavioral responses are initiated, leading to allostasis and adaptation. Over time, allostatic load can accumulate, and the overexposure to mediators of neural, endocrine, and immune stress can have adverse effects on various organ systems, leading to enduring negative health outcomes (physiological, e.g., cardiovascular disease; psychological, e.g., depression; behavioral, e.g., alcoholism). Adapted from McEwen, 1998; Israel and Schurman, 1990. Reprinted with permission from Massachusetts Medical Society. Copyright 1998. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of Jossey-Bass, Inc., a subsidiary of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

From: 2, Biobehavioral Factors in Health and Disease

Cover of Health and Behavior
Health and Behavior: The Interplay of Biological, Behavioral, and Societal Influences.
Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Health and Behavior: Research, Practice, and Policy.
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2001.
Copyright © 2001, National Academy of Sciences.

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