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By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on May 19, 2010

A provocative theory on the effect of strategies used to cope with stress may explain mental and physical health variations among ethnic groups.

When people are under chronic stress, they tend to smoke, drink, use drugs and overeat to help cope. These behaviors trigger a biological cascade that helps prevent depression, but they also contribute to a host of physical problems that eventually contribute to early death.

University of Michigan social scientist James S. Jackson and colleagues discuss the hypothesis in an article published in the American Journal of Public Health.

The theory helps explain a longtime epidemiological puzzle: why African-Americans have worse physical health than whites but better psychiatric health.

Read in Full:  http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/05/19/coping-strategies-help-mental-harm-physical-health/13932.html



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