Dictionary of Arguments

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Author Item Summary Meta data
Corr I 208
Allostasis/McEwen/Elovainio/Kivimäki: future. McEwen (1998(1); McEwen and Stellar 1993(2)) has described the prevailing conditions where the adaptive functioning may be impaired and the possible health debilitating effects of stress start to emerge. Cf. >Stress/Selye, >Stress/Lazarus.
Def Allostasis/McEwen: McEwen defines allostasis as the adaptive process for actively maintaining stability through change. Allostatic load can be described as cumulative wear and tear, and it refers to the cost to the body arising from repeated activation or inadequate managing of mediators of allostasis (e.g., adrenal hormones, immuno-cytokines and neurotransmitters).
According to McEwen, there are four basic sources of allostatic load:
(1) frequent stress;
(2) lack of adaptation to repeated similar stressors;
(3) inability to shut off allostatic responses when the stress is terminated; and
(4) deficient responses by some allostatic system leading to compensatory increases in other systems (McEwen 1998)(1).


1. McEwen, B. S. 1998. Protective and damaging effects of stress mediators, mediators, New England Journal of Medicine 338: 171–9
2. McEwen, B. S. and Stellar, E. 1993. Stress and the individual: mechanisms leading to disease, Archives of Internal Medicine 153: 2093–101



Marko Elovainio and Mika Kivimäki, “Models of personality and health”, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
McEwen, Bruce S.
Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-02-23
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