Community stress, Psychosocial hazards, and EPA decision-making in communities impacted by chronic technological disasters

Stephen R. Couch, Charlton J. Coles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


Psychosocial stress has emerged as an important consideration in managing environmental health risks. Stress has adverse impacts on health and may interact with environmental hazards to increase health risk. This article's primary objective was to explore psychosocial stress related to environmental contamination. We hypothesized that knowledge about stress should be used in conjunction with chemical risk assessment to inform environmental risk management decisions. Knowledge of psychosocial stress at contaminated sites began by exploring the relationships among social capital, collectiveefficacy, and contamination at the community level. We discussed stress at the family and individual levels, focusing on stress proliferation, available resources, and coping styles and mechanisms. We then made recommendations on how to improve the use of information on psychosocial stress in environmental decision-making, particularly in communities facing chronic technological disasters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S140-S148
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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