At some point in life, virtually everyone will experience stressful events or situations that overwhelm his or her natural coping mechanisms. People respond to stress differently, depending on different factors such as early nurturing, personality traits, genetic factors, immune-regulated diseases, and the duration and intensity of stressors.
Nevertheless, studies indicate that some people are more vulnerable to the effects of stress than others. The very young and the very old, for instance, can be prone to stress-related illness, though stress often goes unnoticed in these age groups. Others at risk include:
* Women in general, but particularly working mothers
* Less-educated individuals
* Divorced or widowed individuals
* The unemployed
* Isolated individuals
* People who are targets of racial or sexual discrimination