Occupational stress research encompasses a very large and diversified field, yet the areas sometimes remain relatively distinct. In this review of the literature the author shows that there have been numerous studies and conceptualizations of the effects of negative work factors on stress, but very few have placed the experience of stress in a comprehensive framework. Psychological approaches are presented and critically appraised as having several drawbacks, while it is argued that sociological approaches are essential to explaining the context of occupational stress. Labor process studies are closest to providing a comprehensive framework for understanding the causes and consequences of stress at work. The author develops an approach for extending labor process analysis to incorporate the effects on stress of management's control over work at a number of different levels of analysis, not only point of production activities.