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Stress and Aging: A Biological Double Jeopardy?


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Chronic stress may take its toll on the body at any period in the life course, but age may be linked to characteristics of stressor exposure and response, as well as underlying biological vulnerabilities, which modulate the effects of stressor experience on biological well-being. In this review, we first address age-related patterns of stressor exposure and response, highlighting commonly experienced stressors in older adults and characteristics of stressor appraisal and coping in later life. We then review patterns of biological functioning associated with chronic stress experience and aging in an effort to highlight the biological commonalities associated with both conditions. We conclude with an examination of the idea that the biological changes typically observed with advancing age may render older adults more susceptible to negative biological and health consequences of chronic stress experience.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2010

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