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Chapter 10.docx

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Dan Dolderman

Chapter 10: Health and Well-Being Gary Stocklaufer: Fat man denied the right to adopt because judge claimed that he was in greater risk of illness or death. - In 2007, Chinese government banned obese foreigners from adopting Chinese children. Can Psychosocial Factors Affect Health? - Behaviors and attitudes affect health - Health psychology: research on health and on psychology - Wellbeing: positive state that includes striving for optimal health and life satisfaction - Rely on the experimental and statistical methods of psychology to understand the interrelationships among thoughts (health-related cognitions), actions and physical and mental health. o The look on how behavior and social systems affect our health o How ethnic and gender differences in healthy behaviors influence health outcomes o ALSO the inverse of these relationships The Biopsychosocial Model of Health Incorporates Multiple Perspectives for Understanding and Improving Health - Biopsychosocial model: a model of health that integrates the effects of biological, behavioral, and social factors on health and illness o Page 441 figure 10.2 Behavior Contributes to the Leading Cause of Death - Identifying Regression to the Mean o Belief that an unrelated factor is responsible for the return of a more normal state  Belief that the doctor helps make you feel better… but in all actuality: An extreme event will most likely be followed by a less extreme event  You would have got better even if you didn’t go see the doctor Placebos Can Be Powerful Medicine - Placebo effect: a drug or treatment, unrelated to the particular problem of the person who receives it, may make the recipient feel better because the person believes the drug or treatment is effective o For a placebo to improve health, the participant must believe it will  brain and body produce healing effects o Reduces anxiety  reduce pain and help recovery o Pain is lessened when the person is more calm o The drug that makes pain relievers ineffective, makes placebos ineffective (naloxone does this) - Recognizing Placebo Effects When Evaluating Treatment Claims o Saying that cooper bracelets help arthritis How Do People Cope with Stress? - Stress results in the way we think about events in our lives - Stress: a pattern of behavioral, psychological and physiological responses to events that match or exceed an organism’s abilities to respond - Stressor: an environmental event of stimulus that threatens an organism - Coping Response: any response an organism makes to avoid, escape from, or minimize an aversive stimulus - The greater the number of changes, the greater the stress and the more likely the stress will affect our physiological state o Eustress: stress of positive events o Distress (duress): the stress of negative events o Major life stressors: changes or disruptions that strain central areas of people’s lives  Unpredictable and uncontrollable catastrophic events are especially stressful o Daily hassles: small, day-to-day irritations and annoyances  Combined effects are be comparable to the effects of major life changes  these daily hassles are ubiquitous, they pose a threat to coping responses by slowly wearing down personal resources  More intense and frequent hassles = poorer the physical and mental health of the participant  Interpersonal difficulties have a cumulative effect on health Stress has Physiological Components - Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis: - Stressful event  brain  hypothalamus  (chemical message) pituitary gland TO KIDNEYS  (hormones) adrenal glands  MAKES cortisol o Also results in increasing energy o Hormones have long-lasting effects, stress affects organs after the stressor has been removed  Stress disrupts working memory, especially when the demands on working memory are high o Chronic stress = memory impairments b/c cortisol damages neurons (hippocampus: primary structure for memory) There are Sex Differences in Reponses to Stressors - Ability to deal with stressors is important to survival and reproduction - Fight-or-flight response: the physiological preparedness of animals to deal with danger o Increased heart rate, redistribution of the blood supply form skin and viscera (digestive organs) to muscles and an increase in glucose released from the liver. o Less critical autonomic activities, such as food digestion, can occur after the stressor is removed, are postponed. - Women have been less studied due to menstrual patterns - Tend-and-befriend response: females’ tendency to protect and care for their offspring and form social alliances rather than flee or fight in response to threat - Oxytocin: a hormone that is important for mothers in boding to newborns o Produced by hypothalamus and released into the bloodstream through pituitary gland o Tend to be high during socially stressful situations o Especially important in women’s stress response - Estrogen, plays a role in understanding the differences in how different sex respond to stress o When high for women (between menarche – the onset of menstruation – and menopause), they have reduced response to stress, relative to men and women later in life  Could be a reason why women live 5-8 years longer The General Adaptation Syndrome Is a Bodily Response to Stress - Hans Selye (1930s): injected rats with other animal hormones to prove that stress could affect physical health -  Non specific stress response: reduces the organisms potential ability to resist additional stressors o Enlarged adrenal glands o Decreased levels of lymphocytes (specialized with white blood cells) in the blood, and stomach ulcers o Damaged lymphatic structures (part of immune system) - General adaptation syndrome: a consistent pattern of responses to stress that consists of three stages: alarm, resistance and exhaustion o Alarm: emergency reaction that prepares the body to fight or flee  increased resistance level  Physiological responses are aimed at boosting physical abilities while reducing activities that make the organism vulnerable to infection after injury  Immune system kicks in and body begins to fighting back o Resistance: the defenses maximize to prepare for a longer, sustained attack against the stressor; immunity to infection and disease increases somewhat as the body maximizes its defenses  maximized normal resistance level o Exhaustion: a variety of physiological and immune systems fail  falls below the normal resistance level  Bodily organs that were already weak before stress are the first to fail Stress Affects Health - Prolonged action of stress hormones (cortisol) negatively affects health o Increases blood pressure, cardiac disease, diabetes, declining sexual interest, and dwarfism (suppression of growth hormones) - Many people cope with stress by engaging in damaging behaviors The Immune System - Psychoneuroimmunology: response of the body’s immune system to psychological variables - Short term stress boosts the immune system, whereas chronic stress weakens it, leaving the body less able to deal with infection - Decreased lymphocyte production renders the body less capable of warding off foreign substances o If very stressed, and gets sick… the affects are worse o However, smoking, maintaining poor diet, and not exercising had very small effects on the incidents of cold o When the underlying physiological basis of the stress response is activated too often or too intensely, the function of the immune system is impaired, and the probability and severity of ill health increases. o More desirable events that occur in life, the greater antibody production is  effect of event on antibodies lasted two days - Changes in social roles or identity have the greatest impact Heart Disease - Narrowing of blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients due to plaque (fatty deposits) o Pieces of plaque break off from the wall, blood clots form around the plaque and interrupt blood flow o If the clot blocks a blood vessel feeding the heart, it causes a heart attack o If it blocks the brain, it causes a stroke - People coping with these negative states through behaviors that are bad for health - Over time, stress causes a wear and tear on the heart, making it more likely to fail - Chronic stress leads to overstimulation of the sympathetic nervous system, causing higher blood pressure, constriction of blood vessels, elevated levels of cortisol, increases release of fatty acids into the bloodstream and greater buildup of plaque on arteries - Type A behavior pattern: a pattern of behavioral characterized by competitiveness, achievement orientation, aggressiveness, hostility, restlessness, inability to relax, and impatience with others o Hostility is the most toxic factor o Depression as well - Type B behavior pattern: a pattern of behavior characterized by relaxed, noncompetitive, easygoing, and accommodating behavior - Chronic pulmonary disease: a progressive condition in which airflow to the lungs is reduced - Allostatic load theory of illness: when people are continually stressed, they are unable to return to bodily states that characterize normal stress levels o Similar to homeostasis: body’s ability to maintain a steady state, or constancy o When people are continually stressed, the aloostatic loads on their bodies are too great for the bodies to return to their normal resting states and recover from the effects of stress  More positive emotions should return to their normal resting states more quickly and more frequently Coping is a Process - Use cognitive appraisals that link feelings with thoughts to think and manage feelings more objectively - Richard Lazarus (1993): two part appraisal process o Primary appraisals: decide whether stimuli are stressful, benign, or irrelevant. o Secondary appraisal: used when stressful, evaluate response options and choose coping behaviors  Affect people’s perceptions of and reactions to potential stressors in the future and help people prepare for stressful events o Anticipatory coping: coping that occurs before the onset of a future stressor (when parents rehearse how they will tell their children their divorce) Types of Coping - Susan Folkman and Richard Lazarus o Emotion-focused coping: prevent an emotional response to the stressor, adopting strategies, to numb the pain.  Passive strategy  Avoidance, minimizing the problem, trying to distance oneself from the outcomes of the problem or engaging in behavior
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