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Stress and Coping

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PSYC 102
Catherine Wilson

In class assignment - Focus on theoretical perspectives Stress, Coping & Health Health Psychology - Looking at relationship of psychological behaviours and illness - Most common cause of death are related to behaviour o Excessive smoking, excessive drinking etc.. - Patients who stare at a pleasant view vs. a patient who is in a room with no windows, the patient with pleasant view tended to go home earlier Stress conceptualized - Acute stressors—sudden/short term - Chronic stressor—ongoing stressor in life - As a response o Stress is a physiological response to situations that threaten or challenge us that requires an adjustment or adaptation to that situational demand - As a transaction o There are cognitive factors involved Lazaraus & Folkman’s transactional model - 2 other models/ additional judgements : o Person will think of the consequences to cope o The person will think of the psychological meaning and relevance—thinking that doing anything poorly, reflects you largely General adaptation syndrome - Used this model to explain the short term effects of stress - Described stress as a non specific response of the body - Suggests there are three phases the person reacts to stress o Alarm o Resistance  Parasympathetic system kicks in  Coping with the stress  Our body still has that physiological arousal o Exhaustion  Body`s resources decrease  Physiological arousal decreases  More susceptible to illness - Positive type of stress known as eustress Post traumatic stress disorder Stress and Illness - Link between increased levels of stress and physical illness - Other factors that can mediate stress o People with neuroticism will be more likely to have increased illness with high stress Type A behaviour and Heart disease - type A people are perfectionist, speak rapidly, multi task - Type A people feel the need to control situations - Research has found that people with quick anger or hostile aggressive are more susceptible to developing heart disease Moderators of stress - Coping –managing the discrepancy between the demands and the efforts o On-going process of assessing and re-assessing - Emotion focused coping –maybe using alcohol or drugs to remove selves from stressful events, venting to other people, changing the meaning of stress, praying for strength or guidance - Problem focused coping- used when we believe the demand is changeable o Planful problem solving, confrontal problem solving - Social support: o Emotional support o Esteem support—getting positive regard o Tangible support—receiving real support o Information support—providing new insight or advice
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