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Chapter 15 Psych Text Book Notes.docx

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Psychology 1000
Terry Biggs

Stress, Coping and Health – Chapter 15 Psych Notes: MS – muscular sclerosis: - neurological disorder - immune system attacks and breaks down myelin sheath of neurons - cannot transmit action potentials efficiently Psychological and physical well-being = complex interaction of environmental demands, personal and enviro. Resources THE NATURE OF STRESS: - stress seen as: o stimulus (stressor), response (cognitive, physiological and behavioural) and an organism-environment reaction o OR: o Inclusive model: transaction between the organism and the environment  Stress is a pattern of cognitive appraisals, physiological responses and behavioural tendencies STRESSORS: - place demands that endanger our well-being and require adaptation - microstressors (daily hassles) catastrophic events(unexpected and affect a lot of people), major negative events (death, crime, failures…) MEASURING STRESSFUL LIFE EVENTS: - life event scales – link between life events and well being (quantify amount of stress a person experiences over given period) - may be asked to record appraisal ( +/-), major vs. day to day event, predictability, controllability, duration. THE STRESS RESPONSE: - 4 aspects to the appraisal process: - Appraisal of the: o Demands o Resource availability o Consequences o Personal meaning - Lazarus: primary appraisal – initial thoughts to a situation (neutral, threatening, etc.) and the significance - Secondary appraisal – perceived ability to cope with demands - Potential consequences of failing to cope successfully - Psychological meaning of consequence – basic beliefs of yourself and the world - Autonomic and somatic feedback affect appraisals CHRONIC STRESS AND THE GAS - General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) - 3 phases: o alarm reaction – occurs due to sudden sympathetic NS (smooth muscles, organs, and glands)activation and release of stress hormones (cortisol – increase blood sugar, suppress immune system – allows function despite stressor presence) AKA FIGHT OR FLIGHT RESPONSE o Resistance Stage: Body continues in alarm reaction phase, however resources become depleted – high energy cost to suppress digestion, immune response, alter blood glucose levels, and elevate heart and respiration rate o Exhaustion: stressor too intense for too long may reach stage. Dangerous depletion of body’s resources. Increase vulnerability to disease, collapse and death STRESS AND PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL BEING: - more negative life events people report, more likely they are also to report symptoms of psychological distress. - Psych distress may cause more negative life events to occur because of their own behaviour - Neuroticism – heightened tendency to experience negative emotions and get themselves into stressful situations through their maladaptive behaviours POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD) - 4 major groups: o severe anxiety, physiological arousal, and distress o painful, uncontrollable reliving of events in flashback, dreams and fantasies o emotional numbing and avoidance on stimuli o survivor guilt – you survived where others died. - Some may also show self destructive and impulsive behaviour STRESS AND ILLNESS: - stress can combine with other physical and psychological factors to influence physical illness, from the common cold, cancer, heart disease and diabetes - psychological responses to stressors can directly harm other body systems - hormones- affect heart activity  excess secretion leads to artery lining harm - increase illness by behaving in ways to increase risk (e.g. stop exercising, stop taking meds) - stress hormones, cortisol, affect brain (hippocampus) extreme exposure  deterioration + memory impairment - prolonged stress  clinical conditions (depression and anxiety disorders) VULNERABILITY AND PROTECTICE FACTORS: - Vulnerability factors: increase people’s susceptibility to stressful events – poor coping techniques, poor social supports, anxiety, pessimistic - Protective Factors: environmental or personal that help people to cope more effectively SOCIAL SUPPORT: - one of the most important environmental factors - social isolation is an important vulnerability factor - enhances immune system functioning - experience greater sense of identity and meaning in lives - greater psychological well-being - reduces exposure to risk factors – social pressure to prevent people coping with maladaptive ways (alcohol/drugs, etc.) - make people less reactive to potentially threatening situations – generate a stress response less often – amygdala (mediate appraise the response to threats. Extensive connection with areas of the hypothalamus that lead to release of stress related hormones) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC – aversive experiences – relations to social exclusion and anxiety). - limit the impact of a potential threat even before stress response is generated - still may respond to stress but are better at coping and recovering from stress (prefrontal cortex regulate emotions and suppress negative emotions COGNITIVE PROTECTIVE FACTOR: THE IMPORTANCE OF BELIEFS: HARDINESS: - commitment – to family, work, other involvements - control – over outcomes - challenge – see demands of situations as a challenge – not a threat - less stress, higher performance COPING SELF-EFFICACY: - believe we posses the ability to cope successfully OPTIMISM: - optimists believe in the long run things will work out okay - pessimists have greater risk for helplessness and depression when faced with stress PERSONALITY FACTORS: - Type A people live under great pressure and are demanding of themselves and other. o Rapid talking, moving, walking and eating o Exaggerated sense of time urgency o Irritated with delays or failures to meet their deadlines o Highly ambitious and competitive o Aggressive and hostile when faced with block in accomplishing goal o Double the risk of coronary heart disease o Behaviour/attitude increase stressful situations o Reduce social support - Type B: more relaxed, agreeable and less sense of time urgency FINDING MEANING IN STRESSFUL LIFE EVENTS: - Humanistic theorists emphasize importance of humans seeking the meaning
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