Coping with life stress: The Indian experience.
Subject: Stress management
Author: Jena, S.P.K.
Pub Date: 11/01/2008
Publication: Name: Indian Journal of Medical Research Publisher: Indian Council of Medical Research Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Biological sciences; Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2008 Indian Council of Medical Research ISSN: 0971-5916
Issue: Date: Nov, 2008 Source Volume: 128 Source Issue: 5
Accession Number: 221850614
Full Text: Coping with life stress: The Indian experience, Meena Hariharan & Radhanath Rath (Sage Publications Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi) 2008. pages 292. Price: Rs.375.00 ISBN 9 780761936558

Stress is a universal experience. Coping with life stress has been an issue of major concern of the modern world. The authors have brought out a useful and illustrative text on managing stress in everyday life. The book consist of four chapters. In the opening chapter, the authors have explained the nature and sources of stress and the consequent coping response. Issues like individual difference in stress response moderated by the gender, personality, cognitive styles and cultural factors have been discussed in simple language that can be understood by a lay person also. Apart from the general sources of stress, the authors have tried to identify the cultural determinants of stressors in Indian context, contrasting them with those in the West. Role of the social support system in stress management has been highlighted with reference to the rural community practices. It also brings out the rural and urban divide in people's response to stress. A whole range of issues from divorce to load shedding and noise pollution to carbon monoxide in the air have been highlighted as indirect sources of stress. Towards end of this chapter the authors have explained at least seven different coping strategies.

The second chapter on complexities of coping provides useful exercises to identify and assess individual's coping strategies. Nine different strategies have been identified in the text. It also clarifies the conceptual distinction between stress, distress and 'U'-stress. Using a behavioural model, adaptation and coping process have been explained. Several exercises have been provided for the readers to assess and manage stress. Effective coping is explained as a function of problem itself and emotion attached to it.

Several short case reports have been discussed in the third chapter of this book representing application of different coping strategies to overcome stress. Planful problem solving, seeking social support, accepting responsibility, positive reappraisal, distancing, self control and escape avoidance were considered as important elements in managing stress. The concluding chapter ends with a question-answer section addressing to frequently asked questions on stress management.

Overall, the authors have done a wonderful job bringing out this informative and illustrative book. It provides useful information about the stress and its management. The students, teachers, and those in helping profession will certainly benefit form this.

S.P.K. Jena

Department of Applied Psychology

University of Delhi, South Campus

New Delhi 110 021, India
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