The present study was designed to evaluate the effects of repeated exposure to escapable or inescapable shocks on subsequent behavior in an activity cage, and on the reactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis and the immune system. We also studied the possible influence of behavioral factors on the behavioral and physiological impact of stress. Although exposure to different stressful situations pointed out marked differential effects in subsequent behavior, it failed to elicit differences in the neuroendocrine and immunological parameters studied. However, interesting results were found in analyzing the influence of behavioral factors. The degree of control exerted over the shock was inversely related to ACTH and corticosterone levels. In addition, individual differences in the exploratory activity to novelty were correlated with poststress lymphoproliferation and antibody formation. These data indicate that the behavioral and physiological outcomes of stress depend on the interrelations between environmental and individual factors (including both preexisting individual differences and the coping responses during stress).