This paper will demonstrate more systematically some of the relationships between background personal and social history and psychological stress. It is becoming increasingly apparent that personal and environmental stress is important in both emotional and physical disorders.1 Patients with emotional disorders tend to develop more physical diseases.2 Persons in severely stressful environments develop less tractable emotional and physical problems.3 Perhaps those with physical disease, in their own personal or their family histories, are more sensitive and tend to develop emotional complications. This will be explored.
Many of the authors' previous studies have concentrated upon the important ongoing stresses in emotional and physical disorders. In "The Split-Level Trap" they summarized these earlier investigations, showing relationships between present-day stresses, particularly those associated with social mobility, rapid educational and socio-economic advancement, and emotional and psychosomatic disorders in the lives of chil