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LITERATURE REVIEW ON STRESS MANAGEMENT INTRODUCTION Stress may be referred to as an unpleasant state of emotional and physiological arousal thatpeople

experience in situations that they perceive as dangerous or threatening to their well-being.The word stress means different things to different people. Some people define stress as eventsor situations that cause them to feel tension, pressure, or negative emotions such as anxiety andanger. Others view stress as the response to these situations. This response includesphysiological changes such as increased heart rate and muscle tension as well as emotionalandbehavioral changes. However, most psychologists regard stress as a process involving a person s interpretation and response to a threatening event. Stress is a common experience. We may feel stress when we are very busy, have importantdeadlines to meet, or have too little time to finish all of our tasks. Often people experience stressbecause of problems at work or in social relationships, such as a poor evaluation by a supervisoror an argument with a friend. Some people may be particularly vulnerable to stress in situationsinvolving the threat of failure or personal humiliation. Others have extreme fears of objects orthings associated with physical threats such as snakes, illness, storms, or flying in anairplane and become stressed when they encounter or think about these perceived threats.Major life events, such as the death of a loved one, can cause severe stress. Stress can have both positive and negative effects. Stress is a normal, adaptive reaction to threat.It signals danger and prepares us to take defensive action. Fear of things that pose realisticthreats motivates us to deal with them or avoid them. Stress also motivates us to achieve andfuels creativity. Although stress may hinder performance on difficult tasks, moderate stressseems to improve motivation and performance on less complex tasks. In personal relationships,stress often leads to less cooperation and more aggression. If not managed appropriately, stress can lead to serious problems. Exposure to chronic stress cancontribute to both physical illnesses, such as heart disease, and mental illnesses, such as anxietydisorders. The field of health psychology focuses in part on how stress affects bodily functioningand on how people can use stress management techniques to prevent or minimize disease. WHAT IS STRESS? Whilst there is little disagreement about the prevalence of stress there is considerable debateabout what the word (stress) actually refers to.In ordinary conversation we seem to be willing toapply the word to both cause and effect.In other words, the common sense view of stress is thatit is a combination of external stressors and ourresp on se in the early and highly influentialresearch of Selye (1936).Stress is as the result of an interaction between an individual semotional, intellectual, social, and physical resources and thedeman d s on him or her. Marshall & Cooper (1981) argue that stress is a different phenomenon form pressure .Stress

humanperformance In an earlier work, Cooper & Marshall, (1978 , the same two authors concluded that stress is essentially individually defined and must be understood with reference to characteristics of both the individual and his environment, as it is the outcome of the two The following are the various definitions of the term stress: A.Stress is the e citement, feeling of anxiety, and/or physical tension that occurs when n d s placed on an individual are thought to exceed his ability to cope hismost common thed view of stress is often called distress or negative stress he physical orpsychological demands from the environment that cause this condition are calledstressors (Hellriegel& Slocum, 2004) B.Holmes&Rahe,(1967) defined stress as a stimulus event that presents unusual

C.It is defined by Ganster and Murphy (2000) as a form of strain provokedinresp on se tosituationaldemand s labeled stressors which occur when jobs are simultaneously high in demands and low in control.

Page 14 the fit between the employee and the organizational environment, potential stressors are eliminated and stress is prevented. There are numerous strategies for maximizing P- fit.Ideally, the process begins before anindividual even joins the organization.Employee recruitment programs that provide realistic jobpreviews help potential employees determine whether the reality of the job matches their needsandexpectations.Selection programs that are effective in ensuring that potential employeespossess the re uisite skills, knowledge, experience, and abilities for the job are key elements inmaximizing fit. Organizational Stress Prevention and Management Programs In addition to variety of activities that may be undertaken to improve person-environment fit, andincreasing number of organizations have developed very specific stress prevention and/ ormanagementprograms.Some of these programs focus on a specific issue o problem, such r asalcohol or drug abuse, career counseling, job relocation, or burnout.Two specific types oforganizational programs have become particularly popular during the last two decades: employeeassistance program and wellness programs.

demands

 

 

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e ing more than mere press re It carries strong overtones of the breakdown of normal

This is an employee benefit program designed to deal with a wide range of stress-relatedproblems, including behavioral and emotional difficulties, substance abuse, and family andmarital discord and other personal problems. B.F. Goodrich, IBM, Xerox, and Caterpillar areexamples of companies with such programs.EAPs tend to be based on the traditionalmedical approach to treatment.General program elements include D i a g no si s Employee with a problem asks for help; EAP staff attempts to diagnose the problem. Treatment Counseling or supportive therapy is provided.If in-house EAP staff is unable to help, employee may be referred to appropriate community-based professionals. Page 15 Screening Periodic examination of employees in highly stressful jobs is provided to detect early indications of problems. Prevent io n Education and persuasion are used to convince employees at high risk that something mustbe done to assist them in effectively coping with stress. Crucial to the success of any EAP is trust.Employees must trust that (1) the program canand will provide real help, (2) confidentiality will be maintained, and (3) use of theprogram carries no negative implications for job security or future advancement.Ifemployees do not trust the program or company management, they will not participate.EAPs with no customers cannot have a positive effect of stress prevention and management. B. Wellness Programs Wellness programs, sometimes called health promotion programs is an employee program focusing on the individual s overall physical and mental health.Wellness programs may include a variety of activities and assist in preventing or correctingspecific health problems, health hazards, or negative health habits.This includes not onlydisease identification but lifestyle modification as well.Among the most prevalentexamples of such programs are those emphasizing hypertension identification andcontrol, smoking cessation, physical fitness and exercise, nutrition an diet control, andjob and personal stress management. Examples of well-established wellness programs (all of which include a stress reduction component) include Mass Mutual s Wellness Partnership, 3M s Lifestyle 2000 program, Warner-Lambert s LifeWise program, and Control Data s StayWell program.

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r ms (EAPs)

Simply offering an EAP or wellness program does not guarantee positive results foreither employers or the sponsoring organization.While many factors determine howsuccessful any particular program will be, a number of recommendations, if followed,will increase the likelihood of achieving beneficial outcomes.Among the moreimportant ones are:

Page 16 Top-management support, including both philosophical support and support in terms of staff and facilities, is necessary. Unions should support the program and participate in it where appropriate.This can be particularly difficult to accomplish.Many unions take the position thatinstead of helping employees deal with stress, management should focus onelimination those conditions that contribute to the stress in the first place. The greatest payoff from stress prevention and management comes not from one shot activities, but from ongoing and sustained effort; thus, long-term commitment is essential. Extensive and continuing employee involvement would include involvement not only in the initial planning but in implementation and maintenance as well.Thisis one of the most critical factors for ensuring representative employee participation. Clearly stated objectives lay a solid foundation for the program.Programs with no or poorly defined objectives are not likely to be effective or to achieve sufficient participation to make them worthwhile. Employees must be able to participate freely, without either pressure or stigma. Confidentiality must be strictly adhered to.Employees must have no concerns that participation will in any way affect their standing in the organization. Individual Approa hes to Stress Prevention and Management A. Cognitive Te hniques The basic rationale for some individual approaches to stress management, known collectively as cognitive techniques, is that a person s response to stressors is mediated by cognitive processes, or thoughts.The underlying assumption of these techniques is that people s thoughts, in the form of expectations, beliefs, and assumptions, are labels

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they apply to situations, and these labels elicit emotional responses to the situation.Thus,for example, if an individual labels the loss of a promotion a catastrophe, the stressresponse is to the label, not the situation.Cognitive techniques of stress management Page 17 focus on changing labels or cognitions so that people appraise situations differently.Thisreappraisal typically centers on removing cognitive distortions such as magnifying (notgetting the promotion is the end of the world for me), over-generalizing (not getting promoted means my career is over; I ll never be promoted in any job, anywhere), and personalization (since I didn t get the promotion it s clear I m a terrible person).All cognitive techniques have a similar objective to help people gain more control over their reactions to stressors by modifying their cognitions. B. Relaxation Training The purpose of this approach is to reduce a person s arousal level and bring about a calmer state of affairs, both psychologically and physiologically.Psychologically,successful relaxation results in enhanced feelings of well-being, peacefulness and calm, aclear sense of being in control, and a reduction in tension and anxiety; physiologically,decreases in blood pressure, respiration, and heart rate should take place. elaxationtechniques include breathing exercises; muscle relaxation; autogenic training, whichcombines elements of muscle relaxation and meditation; and a variety of mentalrelaxation strategies, including imagery and visualization. Conditions conducive to achieving relaxed states include a quiet environment, a comfortable physical position, and closed eyes.Simply taking a few moments of mental

rest from job activities can be an effective relaxation activity.Short, more frequent breaks of this sort are more relaxing than fewer, longer breaks. C. Me itation The most widely practice is transcendental meditation, or TM.Its originator, MaharishiMahesh Yogi, defines TM as turning the attention toward the subtler levels of thoughtuntil the mind transcends the experience of the subtlest state of thought and arrives at thesource of thought.The basic procedure used in TM is simple, but the effects claimed forit are extensive.One simply sits comfortably with closed eyes and engages in therepetition of a special sound (a mantra) for about 20 minutes twice a day.Studies D.Is an adaptiveresp on se, mediated by individual differences and/or psychological processes, that is, a consequence of any external (environment) action, situation, orevent that places excessive psychological and/or physicaldemands on a person.(Weihrich and Koontz, 1993)

E.Stress is the mental or physical condition that results from a perceived threat of danger (physical or emotional) and the pressure to remove it. (Leslie & Lloyd, 1977) F.Selye (1976) define stress as the bodilyresp on se we make to the troublesome event. G.Stress is any circumstances or transactions with the environment that threaten or are perceived to threaten our well-being and thereby tax our adaptive capacities. (Weiten, 1986). H.Anadaptiveresp on se, moderated by individual differences, that is a consequence of any action, situation, or event and that places specialdeman d s on a person. (Ivancevich, Konopaske and Matteson, 1987) I.Stress (psychology), an unpleasant state of emotional and physiological arousal that people experience in situations that they perceive as dangerous or threatening to their well-being. (Auerbach et al,2007 / Encarta 2008) J.In physics, stress refers to the external force applied to an object for example, a bridge girder.The response is strain , which is the impact the force has on the girder.

K.Stress is defined as a nonspecificresp on se of the body to astimulu s or event (stressor). Under a general model of the stress response, when an individual experiences a stressor, the stressor will lead to a physiological response, one that can be measured by several indicators, such as elevated heart rate. In related literature, the term stress is used to

refer to this physiologicalresp on se.Stressors vary in form and can include extremetemperature or lighting, time pressure, lack of sleep, and exposure to threat or danger,among others. All stressors, however, tend to produce similar physiological responseswithin the body. (Selye, 1956) Transactional model of stress championed by ichard Lazarus and his colleagues (Holroyd & Lazarus, 1982; Lazarus &Folkman, 1984) - A theory that proposes that the experience of stress depends on one s subjective appraisal of events.Thus, stress is neither a stimulus nor a response but a stimulus-response transaction. Lazarus emphasizes that the experience of stress is highly personal & subjective, depending on how people appraise the events they encounter. From the above definitions of the term stress, stress means different things to different people.

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From a layperson s perspective, stress can be described as feeling tense, anxious, or worried. The term stress itself has been defined in literally hundreds of ways in the literature.Virtuallyallof the definitions can be placed into one of the two categories, however; stress can be defined aseither a stimulus or a response. A stimulus definition treats stress as some characteristic or event that may result in a disruptiveconsequence.In a response definition, stress is seen partially to some stimulus, called a stressor.A stressor is a potentially harmful or threatening external event or situation.In a responsedefinition, stress is the consequence of the interaction between an environmental stimulus (a stressor) and the individual s response.That is, stress is the result of a unique interaction between stimulus conditions in the environment and the individual s predisposition to respond in a particular way. In a nutshell it is useful to view stress as the response a person makes and to identify stimulusconditions (actions, situations, events) as stressors. Stress is the consequence of the interactionbetween and environmental stimulus (stressor) and the individual s response. General Prin iples of Stress b Ri hard Lazarus I. Stress ma be either ph si al or ps hologi al:Examples of physical stress include infections, exposure to excessive heat or cold failure to get adequatesleep, and pain.Examples of psychological stress include arguing with yourspouse, starting a new job, staring at a stack of bills you are unable to pay, andbeing lonely. Page 6 II. Ph si al and ps hologi al stress ma overlap and intera t: although it is convenient to distinguish between physical and psychological stress, you shouldnot think of these two types of stress as being altogether independent.Theymayoverlap in that a single event, such as being wounded in combat, can produce bothphysical and psychological stress.Furthermore, there is evidence (Friedman,Ader& Glasgow, 1965) that physical and psychological stressors may functioninteractively.

Page 14 the fit between the employee and the organizational environment, potential stressors are

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eliminated and stress is prevented. There are numerous strategies for maximizing P-E fit.Ideally, the process begins before anindividual even joins the organization.Employee recruitment programs that provide realistic jobpreviews help potential employees determine whether the reality of the job matches their needsandexpectations.Selection programs that are effective in ensuring that potential employeespossess the requisite skills, knowledge, experience, and abilities for the job are key elements inmaximizing fit. Organi ational Stress Prevention and Management Programs In addition to variety of activities that may be undertaken to improve person-environment fit, andincreasing number of organizations have developed very specific stress prevention and/ ormanagementprograms.Some of these programs focus on a specific issue or problem, such asalcohol or drug abuse, career counseling, job relocation, or burnout.Two specific types oforganizational programs have become particularly popular during the last two decades employeeassistance program and wellness programs. A.Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) This is an employee benefit program designed to deal with a wide range of stress-relatedproblems, including behavioral and emotional difficulties, substance abuse, and family andmarital discord and other personal problems. B.F. Goodrich, IBM, Xerox, and Caterpillar areexamples of companies with such programs.EAPs tend to be based on the traditionalmedical approach to treatment.General program elements include D i a g no si s Employee with a problem asks for help; EAP staff attempts to diagnose the problem. Treatment Counseling or supportive therapy is provided.If in-house EAP staff is unable to help, employee may be referred to appropriate community-based professionals. Page 15 Screening Periodic examination of employees in highly stressful jobs is provided to detect early indications of problems. Prevent io n Education and persuasion are used to convince employees at high risk that something mustbe done to assist them in effectively coping with stress. Crucial to the success of any EAP is trust.Employees must trust that (1) the program canand will provide real help, (2) confidentiality will be maintained, and (3) use of theprogram carries no negative implications for job security or future advancement.Ifemployees do not trust the program

or company management, they will not participate.EAPs with no customers cannot have a positive effect of stress prevention and management. B. Wellness Programs Wellness programs, sometimes called health promotion programs is an employee program focusing on the individual s overall physical and mental health.Wellness programs may include a variety of activities and assist in preventing or correctingspecific health problems, health hazards, or negative health habits.This includes not onlydisease identification but lifestyle modification as well.Among the most prevalentexamples of such programs are those emphasizing hypertension identification andcontrol, smoking cessation, physical fitness and exercise, nutrition an diet control, andjob and personal stress management. Examples of well-established wellness programs (all of which include a stress reduction component) include Mass Mutual s Wellness Partnership, 3M s Lifestyle 2000 program, Warner-Lambert s LifeWise program, and Control Data s StayWell program. Simply offering an EAP or wellness program does not guarantee positive results foreither employers or the sponsoring organization.While many factors determine howsuccessfu any particular program l will be, a number of recommendations, if followed,will increase the likelihood of achieving beneficial outcomes.Among the moreimportant ones are:

Page 16 Top-management support, including both philosophical support and supportin terms of staff and facilities, is necessary. Unions should support the program and participate in it where appropriate.This can be particularly difficult to accomplish.Many unions take the position thatinstead of helping employees deal with stress, management should focus onelimination those conditions that contribute to the stress in the first place. The greatest payoff from stress prevention and management comes not from one shot activities, but from ongoing and sustained effort; thus, long-term commitment is essential. Extensive and continuing employee involvement would include involvement not only in the initial planning but in implementation and maintenance as well.Thisis one of the most critical factors for ensuring representative employee participation. Clearly stated objectives lay a solid foundation for the program.Programs with

no or poorly defined objectives are not likely to be effective or to achieve sufficient participation to make them worthwhile. Employees must be able to participate freely, without either pressure or stigma. Confidentiality must be strictly adhered to.Employees must have no concerns that participation will in any way affect their standing in the organization. Individual Approac es to Stress Prevention and Management A. Cognitive Tec ni ues The basic rationale for some individual approaches to stress management, known collectively as cognitive techniques, is that a person s response to stressors is mediated by cognitive processes, or thoughts.The underlying assumption of these techniques is that people s thoughts, in the form of expectations, beliefs, and assumptions, are labels they apply to situations, and these labels elicit emotional responses to the situation.Thus,for example, if an individual labels the loss of a promotion a catastrophe, the stressresponse is to the label, not the situation.Cognitive techniques of stress managementfocus on changing labels or cognitions so that people appraise situations differently.Thisreappraisal typically centers on removing cognitive distortions such as magnifying (notgetting the promotion is the end of the world for me), over-generalizing (not getting promoted means my career is over; I ll never be promoted in any job, anywhere), and personalization (since I didn t get the promotion it s clear I m a terrible person).All cognitive techniques have a similar objective to help people gain more control over their reactions to stressors by modifying their cognitions. B. Relaxation Training The purpose of this approach is to reduce a person s arousal level and bring about a calmer state of affairs, both psychologically and physiologically.Psychologically,successful relaxation results in enhanced feelings of well-being, peacefulness and calm, aclear sense of being in control, and a reduction in tension and anxiety; physiologically,decreases in blood pressure, respiration, and heart rate should take place. elaxationtechniques include breathing exercises; muscle relaxation; autogenic training, whichcombines elements of muscle relaxation and meditation; and a variety of mentalrelaxation strategies, including imagery and visualization. Conditions conducive to achieving relaxed states include a quiet environment, a comfortable physical position, and closed eyes.Simply taking a few moments of mental

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rest from job activities can be an effective relaxation activity.Short, more frequent breaks of this sort are more relaxing than fewer, longer breaks. C. Meditation The most widely practice is transcendental meditation, or TM.Its originator, MaharishiMahesh Yogi, defines TM as turning the attention toward the subtler levels of thoughtuntil the mind transcends the experience of the subtlest state of thought and arrives at thesource of thought.The basic procedure used in TM is simple, but the effects claimed forit are extensive.One simply sits comfortably with closed eyes and engages in therepetition of a special sound (a mantra) for about 20 minutes twice a day.Studies Page 18 indicate that TM practices are associated with reduced heart rate, lowered oxygen consumption, and decreased blood pressure. D. Biofeedback Biofeedback is a technique in which people learn voluntary control of stress-relatedphysiological responses, such as skin temperature, muscle tension, blood pressure, andheart rate. Normally, people cannot control these responses voluntarily. In biofeedbacktraining, people are connected to an instrument or machine that measures a particularphysiological response, such as heart rate, and feeds that measurement back to them in anunderstandable way. For example, the machine might beep with each heartbeat or displaythe number of heartbeats per minute on a digital screen. Next, individuals learn to besensitive to subtle changes inside their body that affect the response system beingmeasured. Gradually, they learn to produce changes in that response system forexample, to voluntarily lower their heart rate. Typically individuals use differenttechniques and proceed by trial and error until they discover a way to produce the desiredchanges. E. Aerobic Exercise (Auerbach et al,2007 / Encarta 2008) Aerobic exercise such as running, walking, biking, and skiing can help keep stresslevels down. Because aerobic exercise increases the endurance of the heart and lungs, anaerobically fit individual will have a lower heart rate at rest and lower blood pressure,less reactivity to stressors, and quicker recovery from stressors. In addition, studies showthat people who exercise regularly have higher self-esteem and suffer less from anxietyand depression than comparable people who are not aerobically fit. Page 19 CONCLUSION Stress could be defined as unpleasant state of emotional and physiological arousal that peopleexperience in situations that they perceive as dangerous or threatening to their well-being. Theword stress means different things to different people. Some people define stress as events orsituations that cause them to feel tension, pressure, or negative emotions such as anxiety

andanger. Others view stress as the response to these situations. This response includesphysiologicalchanges such as increased heart rate and muscle tension as well as emotionalandbehavioral changes. However, most psychologists regard stress as a process involving a person s interpretation and response to a threatening event. Stress is a common experience. We may feel stress when we are very busy, have importantdeadlines to meet, or have too little time to finish all of our tasks. Often people experience stressbecause of problems at work or in social relationships, such as a poor evaluation by a supervisoror an argument with a friend. Some people may be particularly vulnerable to stress in situationsinvolving the threat of failure or personal humiliation. Others have extreme fears of objects orthings associated with physical threats such as snakes, illness, storms, or flying in anairplane and become stressed when they encounter or think about these perceived threats.Major life events, such as the death of a loved one, can cause severe stress. Stress can have both positive and negative effects. Stress is a normal, adaptive reaction to threat.It signals danger and prepares us to take defensive action. Fear of things that pose realisticthreats motivates us to deal with them or avoid them. Stress also motivates us to achieve andfuels creativity. Although stress may hinder performance on difficult tasks, moderate stressseems to improve motivation and performance on less complex tasks. In personal relationships,stress often leads to less cooperation and more aggression. If not managed appropriately, stress can lead to serious problems. Exposure to chronic stress cancontribute to both physical illnesses, such as heart disease, and mental illnesses, such as anxietydisorders. The field of health psychology focuses in part on how stress affects bodily functioningand on how people can use stress management techniques to prevent or minimize disease.

Page 20 REFERENCES 1.Auerbach, Stephen, and Gramling, Sandra E. "Stress (psychology)." Microsoft Student 2008. edmond, WA Microsoft Corporation, 2007. 2.Blank, A. S., Jr. (1982).Stressors of War The example of Viet Nam. In L. Goldberger & S. Breznitz (Eds.), Handbook of Stress Theoretical & Clinical Aspects. New York Free Press. 3.Folkman, S., Schaefer, C., & Lazarus, . S. (1979).Cognitive Processes as Mediators of Stress and Coping.In V. Hamilton & D. M. Warburton (Eds.),Human Stress and Congnition An Information Processing Approach.New York Wiley.

4.Friedman, S. B.. Ader. ., & Glasgow, L. A. (1965).Effects of Psychological Stress in Adult Mice Innoculated with Coxsackie B viruses.Psychosomatic Medicine, 27, 361-368. 5.Ganster, D. C. & Murphy, L. (2000). Workplace Interventions to Prevent Stresselated Illness Lessons from esearch and Practice , In C. Cooper & E. Locke(eds.), Industrial and Organisational Psychological Linking Theory with Practice.Oxford Blackwell. 6.Holmes, T. H., & ahe, . H. (1967). The Social eadjustment ating Scale.Journal of Psychosomatic esearch, 11, 213-218. 7.Holroyd, K. A., & Lazarus, .S. (1982). Stress, Coping & Somatic Adaptation.In L. Goldberger and S. Breznitz (Eds.), Handbook of Stress Theoretical & Clinical Aspects. New York Free Press. 8.Horowitz, M. J. (1979).Psychological response to serious life events.In V. Hamilton & D. M. Warburton (Eds.), Human stress and cognition An information processingapproach.New York Wiley. Page 21 9.Ivancevich, J. M., Konopaske, . & Matteson, M. T.(1987).Organisational Behaviour and Management.New York McGraw-Hill Inc. 10. Kanner, A. D., Coyne, J. C., Schaefer. C., & Lazarus, . S. (1981).Comparison of Two Modes of Stress Management Daily Hassles and Uplifts Versus Major Life Events.Journal of Behaviour Medicine, 4, 1-39.

Springer. 12. Mandler, G. (1979).Thought Processes, consciousness and stress.In V. Hamilton & D. M. Warburton (Eds.), Human Stress and Cognition An Information Processing Approach.New York Wiley. 13. Selye, H. (1976).The Stress of Life. (2nd Ed.). New York Mcgraw-Hill. 14. Shartan, C. F.(1978).Stress Disorders among Viet Nam veterans The emotional content of combat continues.In C. . Figley (Ed.), Stress Disorders among Viet Nam

11. Lazarus, . S., &Folkman, S. (1984).Stress, Appraisal and Coping. New York

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veterans Theory, esearch and Treatment.New York Brunner/Mazel. 15. Suedfeld, P. (1979).Stressful Levels of Environmental Stimulation.In I. G. Sarason

Hemisphere. 16. Weihrich, H. & Koontz, H. (1993).Management A Global Perspective, 10th edition, New York McGraw-Hill Inc.

& C. D. Spielberger (Eds.), Stress and Anxiety (Vol. 6).Washington, D. C.