Individual differences in stress: personality types A, B and C and associated behaviours; hardiness, including, control, commitment and challenge.

Definition: Personality: The term ‘personality’ is difficult to define, but a typical definition sees an individual’s personality as their characteristic ways of behaving, thinking, feeling, reacting and perceiving the world. Personalities are often seen as relatively stable over time and based on this, psychologists have attempted to classify people into ‘personality types’. These personality types may then be used to see if certain personality types are more susceptible to becoming stressed and, as a result, more likely to develop stress-related illnesses.

The role of stress in illness, including reference to immunosuppression and cardiovascular disorders.

Definition: Immune System: The body’s main way of defending itself against millions of antigens (i.e. bacteria, viruses, toxins and parasites) that would otherwise invade it. None of these things are able to affect the body when the immune system is working effectively. The moment the immune system stops functioning properly, the body becomes at risk of infection and illness.