Do background stressors influence reactivity to and recovery from acute stressors?

Brooks B. Gump, Karen A. Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

97 Scopus citations

Abstract

This review examines the effect of background stressors with acute stressor reactivity and recovery in the 19 available studies. Background stressors were associated with increased acute stressor reactivity in slightly over half of the studies of ongoing stressors. However, a substantial minority of studies demonstrated reduced acute stressor reactivity, suggesting habituation for certain people in certain situations. Background stressors were associated with delayed blood-pressure and immunological recovery from acute stressor events, but were not associated with delayed heart-rate recovery. Possible mechanisms underlying the association between background stressors and acute stressor reactivity and recovery are discussed. Background stressors should be measured thoroughly in future acute stress research to understand the meaning of the acute stress responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-494
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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