Stressors encountered in daily life, such as family arguments or work deadlines, may play an important role in individual health and well-being. This article presents a framework for understanding how characteristics of individuals and their environments limit or increase exposure and reactivity to daily Stressors. Research on daily Stressors has benefited from diary methods that obtain repeated measurements from individuals during their daily lives. These methods improve ecological validity, reduce memory distortions, and permit the assessment of within-person processes. Findings from the National Study of Daily Experiences, which used a telephone-diary design, highlight how people's age, gender, and education and the presence or absence of chronic Stressors in their lives predict their exposure and reactivity to daily Stressors. Finally, future directions for research designs that combine laboratory-based assessment of stress physiology with daily-diary methods are discussed.
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