How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Transactional Model of Stress
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.
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.
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.
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.
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