The Challenge-Hindrance Stressor Framework: An Integrative Conceptual Review and Path Forward

Marcie A. LePine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Research on the topic of stressful workplace demands (stressors) has a long and rich history in psychology and management. Today, the challenge-hindrance stressor framework (CHSF) represents one of the key theoretical models of stress through which scholars understand workplace stressors and their effects on individuals with respect to a broad array of proximal and more distal criteria. Although the CHSF has been used in over two decades of research on issues surrounding the effects of stressors, and despite several meta-analyses which have quantitatively summarized and theoretically extended this work, we lack an integrated picture of how the findings from all this research fits together. This not only thwarts the accumulation of knowledge, but it also masks important issues in need of study and hinders the application of knowledge to improve practice. The purpose of this review is to provide a broad overview of the CHSF, and to facilitate a more cohesive understanding of the literature. The review synthesizes the literature to produce an integrative heuristic, speaks to criticisms of the CHSF in light of research evidence, and presents a road map for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-254
Number of pages32
JournalGroup and Organization Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • appraisal
  • challenge-hindrance stressor framework
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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