Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




In the past 50 years, social scientists and medical researchers have explored many aspects of human behavior and the psyche which appeared related to various physical disorders. This endeavor evolved into a discipline known as "psychosomatic medicine." Methodologies and perspectives within this discipline have varied widely over the years and many studies have yielded Inconclusive findings (Lipowski, 1977; Lazarus, 1980). However, a review of the psychosomatic literature reveals a t least one common dimension: the nature of one's face-to-face transactions is vitally linked to one's physical well-being.

One medical researcher who described the relationship between human Interaction and physiological processes was Hans Selye. Noted for articulating the concept of stress as a "nonspecific result of any demand upon the body" (1980, p. v ii), Selye observed that it is the stress of Interpersonal relations that represents one of the greatest sources of distress for the Individual (1974, p. 6 7). Stress becomes distress when a demand taxes or exceeds the body's adaptive capabilities. Selye's observation suggests that certain patterns In Interpersonal behavior may pose a threat to one's health.

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