Week 2: Psychosocial Health: Achieving Mental, Emotional, Social & Spiritual Wellness
Managing Stress: Toward Prevention & Control
1. What are the characteristics of psychosocially healthy people?
- feel good about themselves; feel comfortable with other people; control tension and anxiety; are
able to meet the demands of life; curb hate and guilt; choose a positive outlook; enrich the lives
of others; cherish the things that make them smile; value diversity; appreciate and respect nature
2. Describe Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
- needs at the lower levels are a priority, such as food, housing, employment
- once the lower needs are met, individuals can take steps towards self-actualization, the top goal
3. According to Maslow, what characteristics do self-actualized individuals share?
- they are realistic (e.g. understand what can be changed and what can not be), accepting (of
themselves and others), autonomous and authentic, creative, capable of intimacy, playful
4. What four dimensions of wellness are encompassed by psychosocial health?
Describe each one.
- mental health: ability to perceive things happening around you in realistic ways, to use
reasoning in problem solving, to interpret what is happening and to react appropriately to your
- emotional health: respond appropriately to upsetting or uplifting events with your emotions
- social health: our interactions with others on an individual and group basis, e.g. use and
provide social resources and support
- spiritual health: reflects our values, beliefs, and perceptions of the world and all living things
5. Discuss external and internal influences on psychosocial health.
- external influences: those factors which we cannot control (e.g. who raised us, family
environment, wider environment or where we live)
- internal influences: factors such as traits, hormonal functioning, physical health , elements of
mental and emotional health (e.g. self-efficacy and self-esteem) 6. Define self-efficacy and self-esteem as discussed in your text. How are they related to
- self-efficacy: our belief about whether or not we can successfully engage in and execute a
- self-esteem: our sense of self-respect or self-worth
- both are internal influences on psychosocial health; high self-efficacy allows one to feel that
they have personal control over situations and high self-esteem tends to allow one to feel good
about themselves and express a positive outlook on life
7. Based the article, “Exploding the Self-Esteem Myth”, how was self-esteem related to
physical attractiveness? How did this vary when physical attractiveness was rated
by a panel of judges?
- self-reporting showed positive correlation b/w self-esteem and reported physical attractive
- however, when physical attractiveness was rated by judges there is no correlation (zero)
8. Describe how self-esteem is related to academic success, sexually activity at young
age, and drinking or drug use in teenagers.
- self-esteem showed little correlation with academic success in recent studies
- studies did not support the hypothesis that low self-esteem lead to more or earlier sexual
- in addition, other data did not show a correlation between low self-esteem and alcohol or drug
9. Describe the experiment conducted by Forsyth and Kerr as described in “Exploding
the Self-Esteem Myth”. Discuss the implications of their findings.
- Had two groups of students who were getting D’s and F’s; one group received email every
week designed to boost their self-esteem and other group received email intended to instil a
sense of personal responsibility for academic performances
- group 1 average went below 50%, group 2 average went to 62%; suggests that attempts to boost
self-esteem can even be detrimental to academic performance 10. What personality traits are common among people who are psychosocially healthy?
- extroversion, the ability to adapt to social situations; agreeableness, ability to conform, be
likeable, and demonstrate friendly compliance; openness to experiences, willingness to
demonstrate curiosity and independence; emotional stability, ability to maintain control of
feelings; conscientiousness, qualities of being dependable and demonstrating self-control,
discipline, and need to achieve
11. Define "defense mechanism". Give an example. What are the advantages and
disadvantages of using defense mechanisms?
- defense mechanism: mental mechanisms we use to provide temporary relief from conflict,
anxiety, and emotional pain
- e.g. repression is denial of internal reality and denial is denial of external reality, remembering
an abusive parent as kind and caring would be example of denial
- advantages: provide temporary and instantaneous relief; disadvantages: does not provide
solution to problems
12. Discuss strategies for managing anger effectively.
- think rationally and separate the emotion from the logic
- take time to collect your thoughts and calm down
- focus on “I” statements when discussing with the other person
- remember that anger is an emotion and not “right” or “wrong”
- respond “asymmetrically”, i.e. remain composed when someone is angry with you
- seek to find a solution together
13. What do the elderly need in order to learn new skills similarly to someone who is
- sufficient time!
14. Based on the article "The Sudoku workout”, what 10 practices are beneficial for
preventing cognitive decline with aging?
- aerobic exercise; mental challenges; memory gymnastics; learning skills, take small steps not
giant leaps; reduce stress; be socially active; eat a healthy diet; think young(?); let a little love
into your life 15. Define psychoneuroimmunology. Give an example.
- pyschoneroimmunology: the study of the interactions between different physiological systems,
including nervous system, the endocrine system and the immune system
- e.g. examine the decline in level of some types of immune cells in people with depression
16. Describe the three central components of “Subjective Well-Being”.
- subjective well-being: an uplifting feeling of inner peace and/or an overall feel-good state
- 3 components: statisfaction with present life, relative presence of positive emotions, relative
absence of negative emotions
17. What are the benefits of laughter?
- stressed people with strong sense of humour become less depressed and anxious
- students who use humour as a coping mechanism report that it predisposes them to a positive
- telling a joke, increases one’s sense of belonging and social cohesion (esp. a joke that involves
a shared experience)
18. Differentiate between endogenous and exogenous depression.
- endogenous depression: depression is of biochemical origin, imbalances in brain
- exogenous depression: caused by an external event such as loss of something or someone of
19. Explain the role of serotonin in the development of depression.
- not enough serotonin to act as neurotransmitter in the brain
- serotonin gets re-uptaken too much or too quickly; impairs cell-to-cell communication
20. What are the symptoms of depression?
- lingering sadness, inability to find joy in pleasure-giving activities, loss of interest in work and
reduced concentration, diminished or increased appetite, unexplainable fatigue, sleep disorders,
withdrawal from friends and family, feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness and a desire to
die, may be unable to get out of bed in the morning or may find it impossible to leave the house 21. Briefly outline the various strategies used for treating depression.
- lifestyle modification; talking to a physician,