PSYC 1200 Lecture 7e
Chapter 13: Stress and Health
Stress Sudden emotional trauma; chronic pressure from life‟s demands; minor annoyances or peeves.
Social Readjustment Developed by Holmes & Rahe (1967), which Involves a point system for the amount of stress caused by different life events. Divorce
Rating Scale (SRRS) = 75 points; Death of a Close Relative = 100 Points; Vacation = 13 points; Getting a Job = 20 Points.
Daily Hassles Scale Developed by Lazarus & DeLongis (1983); measuring amount of stress from minor annoyances that can occur on a daily basis.
No point system; it is based on the degree that the individual finds the event stressful.
e.g. waiting in line-ups, commuting, noisy neighbourhood.
Student Hassles: concern about the future, lack of sleep, wasting time, second-hand smoke, concerns over physical appearance.
Experiencing daily hassles as stressful can maximize stress caused by more dramatic life events.
Stress Related To Two groups of mice carrying a virus related to breast cancer.
Physical Illness Group 1: In Stressful, Noisy Environment 92% developed tumour.
Group 2: In Comfortable, Relaxed Environment 7% developed tumours.
Lots of Constant Noise: related to heart problems, irritability, and fatigue. Learning problems and distractibility in children.
Loss of a Loved One (Divorce or Death): 2 years after death of a spouse, men are particularly more susceptible to illness and
death. Divorce increases rates of heart disease, pneumonia, etc.
Job Stress: associated with greater likelihood of certain types of cancer and getting colds.
Poverty and Lower Social Status: Lower socioeconomic status makes people more susceptible to almost every disease.
Culture Shock: immigrating to a different culture can be a stressful adjustment that may lead to physical symptoms. Can be eased
by social support (e.g. living in an area with many people from the same culture).
Hans Selye (1907-1982) Suggested that stress leads to illness in some people, but not others because life stressors upset the body‟s equilibrium, which
leads the body to generate resources to restore equilibrium by fighting these stressors.
Response to Stress Potentially Stressful Objective events: a major exam, a big date, trouble with one‟s boss, or a financial setback, which may lead
to frustration, conflict, change, or pressure.
Subjective Cognitive Appraisal: personalized perceptions of threat, which are influenced by familiarity with the event, its
controllability, its predictability, and so on.
↓ ↓ ↓
Emotion Response: annoyance, Physiological Response: autonomic Behavioural Response: coping efforts, such as
anger, anxiety, fear, dejection, arousal, hormonal fluctuations, lashing out at others, blaming oneself, seeking
grief. neurochemical changes, and so on. help, solving problems, and releasing emotions.
General Adaptation Alarm Phase: body mobilizes to meet the immediate threat, through arousal responses (fight or flight response).
Syndrome Resistance Phase: body‟s alarm is maintained in an effort to resist the stressor. Maintaining this state makes the body more
susceptible to other stressors. Often the body wins and the stressor is eliminated.
Exhaustion Phase: If resistance fails, the body‟s energy is consumed, increasing vulnerability to physical problems and illness.
Energy for immune system responses to bacteria, viruses, etc. are depleted.
Negative Emotions and Being ill causes negative emotions: terminal illness can cause depression and chronic pain can cause irritability.
Health Negative emotions can impair health by impairing recovery from illness or injury.
Negative Emotions Type A Personality: determined to achieve, always busy, irritable, and get frustrated with people blocking them from goals.
Can Cause Illness Type B Personality: calm, relaxed, less intense, and are less focused on achievement.
Type A people are more likely to develop heart disease than Type B people because of their relatively high levels of hostility