A feeling of distress resulting from damage to the state of balance as a result of tangible or psychological stimulation. This sensation may lead to difficulty in coping with the stressor and a lack of behavioral or psychological adaptation (depression and anxiety) or physiological adaptation (immunosuppression, high blood pressure, etc.).
Impeding factor

Relation to social mobility

According to studies in behavioral psychology, negative and chronic stress situations can have detrimental psychological effects: stress can lead to impairment of abilities such as long-term planning, risk-taking, attention, etc., which in turn lead to impulsive behavior, difficulty in goal-oriented conduct, preference for the present over the future, etc. An explaining factor in the changing significance of the "smoking" factor in the distinction between groups in many populations: studies show that stress in general and stress at work in particular mediate the common relationship between socioeconomic status and health behavior, such as vegetable consumption, physical exercise and avoidance of smoking.


Haushofer, Johannes, and Ernst Fehr. 2014. “On the Psychology of Poverty.” Science 344 (6186): 862–67

Desirable achievements

Ages 26-35

Key population

  • Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds
One of the significant causes of stress is material deficiency.