New textbook by UTSA scholar Mary McNaughton-Cassill examines stress

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Dr. McNaughton-Cassill

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(Nov. 21, 2013) -- To help psychology students and others interested in stress management, UTSA psychology professor Mary McNaughton-Cassill has published "Mind the Gap: Coping with Stress in the Modern World." The academic textbook explores the stress of modern life and explains how thoughts and feelings can both create and bridge the gap between what people have and what they want.

>> "Mind the Gap" [ISBN: 978-1-60927-814-4] is published by Cognella Academic Publishing and can be purchased online at Cognella.com or through Amazon.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), job pressures, money, health problems, relationships and poor nutrition round out the top five causes of stress. One-third of Americans believe they are living with extreme stress, and nearly half of Americans report they lie awake at night as a result of stress. The APA also estimates that U.S. employers lose approximately $300 billion each year as a result of stress-related health-care costs and missed work.

In "Mind the Gap," McNaughton-Cassill helps readers understand the nature of stress and how it is generated in the brain and body. Unlike standard psychology textbooks, her text explains the biology and psychology of stress in a conversational, accessible manner. Topics include:

  • Technology and stress
  • Media and stress
  • Time as a source of stress
  • Diet, exercise and stress
  • Stress, health and aging
  • Social support and stress, and
  • Four corners of stress

"Mind the Gap" begins each chapter with an outline of key points and ends with a set of "What Do You Think?" questions, encouraging readers to evaluate what they have learned and develop a personal stress management strategy.

"Stress has always been a part of the human experience," said McNaughton-Cassill. In addition to her academic appointment at UTSA, McNaughton-Cassill is a licensed psychologist in Texas. "The body responds to all sources of stress the same way. Understanding stress is the first step to managing it."

McNaughton-Cassill received her Ph.D. in 1991 from the University of California, San Diego-San Diego State University Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, with an emphasis on behavioral medicine. At UTSA, she teaches Abnormal Psychology and Stress Management, Psychology and Health, Theories of Learning and Physiological Psychology. She also is the adviser for the university's Student Psychological Association and the Mortar Board Honors Society.

A recognized authority on stress, McNaughton-Cassill has presented locally, regionally and nationally. Her research has appeared in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Marriage and Family Review, Anxiety, Stress and Coping, and Journal of Media Psychology

Mary McNaughton-Cassill is available to speak to community groups about stress. To schedule a talk, contact her at mary.mcnaughtoncassill@utsa.edu or 210-458-6839.