Stress, coping and resilience in an ageing population

Anna C. Phillips, Ana Vitlic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Ageing is a physiological process that is part of normal development (Cutler, 1991). However, the stress response in humans, although an adaptive mechanism initially, has the potential to be chronic and detrimental to the organism if too large and/ or prolonged (Sapolsky, 2007). This particularly appears to be the case later in the lifespan; in fact some of the changes in older age mirror the chronic effects of stress on several of the body’s biological systems. This chapter will mainly focus on the impact of stress on the immune system and the implications for resilience in older age, as stress effects on all bodily systems are beyond the scope of one chapter. Further, the immune system undergoes several changes with ageing, resulting in increased susceptibility to infectious and autoimmune diseases and cancer, all of which are also influenced by stress.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Gerontology Research Methods
Subtitle of host publicationUnderstanding successful aging
EditorsLeigh Riby
PublisherTaylor and Francis Ltd.
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781315771533
ISBN (Print)9781138779037, 9781138779068
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameResearch Methods in Development Psychology: A Handbook Series
PublisherTaylor and Francis Ltd


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