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Types of Stressors

Events that people perceive to be stressful are called stressors.

The impact of the stressor depends on how the individual interprets the event. Of course, some events such as death of a spouse or a chronic illness are virtually universally perceived as stressful. Often stressors are interpreted by similar people in similar ways.

Chronic Stressors

Stressors that continue indefinitely or are recurrent

Major Life Events or Acute Stressors

Stressors that are bad for a period of time and then go away

Daily Hassles

Unpleasant often temporary events

  • Marital tension
  • Chronic illnesses such as cancer or diabetes
  • Poverty
  • Living or working in crowded conditions
  • Too many work responsibilities
  • Death of a loved one
  • Severe illness like life-threatening cancer
  • Job loss
  • Divorce
  • Natural disasters such as hurricanes or tornadoes
  • Man-made disasters such as nuclear meltdowns or war
  • Grocery shopping
  • Unpleasant salespeople
  • High summer temperatures
  • Forgetting your keys
  • Snowstorms
  • Losing a contact lens


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