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Transactional Model of Stress

 

Explanations > Stress > Transactional Model of Stress

Description | Discussion | So what?

 

Description

Stress is the result of a dynamic, transactional relationship between the person and their environment from which stressors arise.

The environment acts on the person, who feels stress, appraises the situation and responds with a coping activity, which in turn may change the environment and how it acts in consequence again on the person.

This is not just a one-shot process but continues ad infinitum. In other words we are always interacting/transacting with the world around us to cope with the constant stresses of living.

Example

A person feels stress as a result of their partner demanding help too often. They cope by asking the partner to reduce their demands.

A person cannot sleep because of people talking outside. They put up a sign asking for quiet and then change the sign until it works.

Discussion

In a classic transaction, there is an agreement for some kind of exchange. In stress-oriented transactions, the environment and and the person act and react in a form of 'conversation'.

In a relational transaction the conversation may reach across time, and not just blind interaction.
Such a transaction may involve negotiation.

The transactional view seems to imply a conscious appraisal of the stressor and a deliberate choice of how to cope with it. Yet in practice it can easily be at a relatively unconscious or little-thought reactive level.

So what?

 

See also

Cox and Mackay Model of Stress

 

Mackay C., Cox, T. Burrows, G. Lazzerini (1978). An inventory for the measurement of self-reported stress and arousal.  British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 17, 3, 283-4

 

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