The Race to Good Health

A tour of minority mental health and behavioral pediatrics

Stress: Factors and Coping Skills

Tips on dealing with daily stress

What is stress?

The American Psychological Association (APA, 2011) describes two types of stress according to the literature.

1. Acute stress is described as short-term that stems from the demands and pressures of the recent past and anticipated demands and pressures of the near future.               

2. Chronic stress is a long-term form of stress, derives from unending feelings of despair/hopelessness, as a result of factors such as poverty, family dysfunction, feelings of helplessness and/or traumatic early childhood experience (APA, 2011).

Although everyone experiences some level of stress, individuals from ethnic minority groups experience significantly more stress. According to the APA (2014), the below are examples of some factors that contribute to increased stress for racial and ethnic groups:

  • Socioeconomic status
  • Environmental stress
  • Discrimination

What are ways to cope with stress?

Various strategies are helpful to manage stress. In my previous blog post, I provided some general ways to cope with stress. When finding the stress techniques for you, the main thing to keep in mind is find “what works for you.” People cope differently with stress and what works for other people in your life may not be helpful for you. If you want to see professional help, reach out to a therapist or psychologist in your community. You can visit the sites below for resources.

For more stress management skills click here to listen to a recording from the American Psychological Association. Dr. Pamela Hays discusses simple strategies for well-being and stress management. 

Copyright 2014 Erlanger A. Turner, Ph.D.

You can follow Dr. Turner on Twitter @DrEarlTurner for daily post on psychology, mental health, and parenting. Feel free to join his Facebook group, “Get Psych’d with Dr. T” to discuss today's blog, or to ask further questions about this posting.

 

 

References: 

American Psychological Association (APA, 2014a). Speaking of psychology: Simple steps to well-being. Retrieved July 2014 from http://apa.org/research/action/speaking-of-psychology/well-being.aspx

American Psychological Association (APA, 2014b). Fact sheet: Health disparities and stress. Retrieved July 2014 from http://apa.org/topics/health-disparities/fact-sheet-stress.aspx

American Psychological Association. (2011). Stress: The different kinds of stress. Retrieved July 2014 from http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress-kinds.aspx

 

 

Erlanger Turner, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Houston-Downtown in the Department of Social Sciences and a Clinical Psychologist.

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