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Advances in the Conceptualization of the Stress Process

In 1981, Leonard Pearlin and his colleagues published an article that would ra- cally shift the sociological study of mental health from an emphasis on psychiatric disorder to a focus on social structure and its consequences for stress and psyc- logical distress. Pearlin et al. (1981) proposed a deceptively simple conceptual model that has now influenced sociological inquiry for almost three decades. With his characteristic penchant for reconsidering and elaborating his own ideas, Pearlin has revisited the stress process model periodically over the years (Pearlin 1989, 1999; Pearlin et al. 2005; Pearlin and Skaff 1996). One of the consequences of this continued theoretical elaboration of the stress process has been the development of a sociological model of stress that embraces the complexity of social life. Another consequence is that the stress process has continued to stimulate a host of empirical investigations in the sociology of mental health. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to suggest that the stress process paradigm has been primarily responsible for the growth and sustenance of sociological research on stress and mental health. Pearlin et al. (1981) described the core elements of the stress process in a brief paragraph: The process of social stress can be seen as combining three major conceptual domains: the sources of stress, the mediators of stress, and the manifestations of stress. Each of these extended domains subsumes a variety of subparts that have been intensively studied in recent years.
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Table of Contents

Conceptual and Methodological Developments.- Understanding Health Disparities: The Promise of the Stress Process Model.- Compensatory Coping with Stressors.- Neighborhood as a Social Context of the Stress Process.- Suppression Effects in Social Stress Research and Their Implications for the Stress Process Model.- Stress Processes in Social Roles and Contexts: Family and Work.- Family Structure and Women's Lives: A Life Course Perspective.- The Stress Process Model: Some Family-Level Considerations.- Linking Early Family Adversity to Young Adult Mental Disorders.- Work, Family, and Their Intersection.- Psychosocial Concepts and Processes.- Sense of Mattering in Late Life.- It's Tough to Cope in Rural Mali: Financial Coping Style, Mastery, Self Confidence, and Anxiety in a Bad and Worsening Socioeconomic Environment.- Stress Valuation and the Experience of Parenting Stress in Late Life.- Stress Process Applications in Child Victimization Research.- The Evolution of the Stress Process Paradigm.- The Stress Process as a Successful Paradigm.

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