Health behaviors such as eating and exercising have been linked to stress in many studies, and researchers suggest that these links are in large part due to the use of health behaviors to cope with stress. However, health behaviors in the context of coping have received relatively little research attention. In this paper, we briefly survey the literature linking stress, coping, and health behaviors, noting that very little research has explicitly examined health behaviors as coping with stress. We address critical theoretical and methodological issues that arise in applying a stress and coping perspective to health behaviors. We conclude with potential directions for interventions, including the need for conceptually solid and methodologically rigorous research and the development of new measures, and with suggestions for future research. The concepts of self-regulation and stress management and their implications in health behavior research and interventions are also discussed. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
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