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Tatiana Ivanova1,2
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation
  • 2 Lomonosov Moscow State University, 1 Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation

Conservation of Resources Theory as an Explanatory Model of Stress Development

2013. Vol. 10. No. 3. P. 119–135 [issue contents]

This article discusses the conservation of resources theory (CRT) by Stephen Hobfoll, which allows for a more thorough approach to the problem of the origin of stress, the cause of which, from the point of view of the theory, is situations that endanger the resources owned by the individual or the community. CRT provides an objective view of the origin of a state of stress and helps to reveal features of stress adaptation and coping and explains the phenomenon of stress resistance. Resources are a central concept of the theory and represent different kinds of values ​​– material, social, personality, and energy – that are interconnected and form the individual resource stock. The article describes the basic principles of CRT: resource loss has more impact on the psychological well-being than resource acquisition and there is a need to invest resources in order to maintain the resource balance. The desire to preserve and increase resources is seen as one of the basic motivational tendencies. The data of numerous studies on the psychological effects of different stress events obtained within the theoretical framework of CRT are provided; the main results show that the amount of resources available to the individual or the community determine the choice of coping strategies, the success of adaptation to stress events and the rate of recovery. Emphasis is on personal resources, such as optimism, self-efficacy, vitality, and locus of control, as the fundamental resources that play a key role in overcoming stress circumstances and maintaining psychological well-being. The importance of theory for research and the possibility of its practical application in psychometrics and psychotherapy is emphasized. The advantages and limitations of CRT, which complements the modern system view of the stress phenomenon, are discussed. The paper outlines the prospects for further research using CRT that are to examine the most important resources for all kinds of situations, both daily and stress, that play a key role in the process of self-regulation. 

Citation: Ivanova, T. Yu. (2013). Teoriya sokhraneniya resursov kak ob"yasnitel'naya model' vozniknoveniya stressa [Conservation of Resources Theory as an Explanatory Model of Stress Development]. Psychology. Journal of Higher School of Economics, 10(3), 119-135. (in Russian)
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