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Chapter 15 – Stress A comprehensive summary of key terms and aspects of the required learnings / teachings from Ch. 15

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Western University
Psychology 1000
Laura Fazakas- De Hoog

Chapter 15Stress Coping and HealthThe Nature of StressStress viewed as in three different ways stimulus response and organismenvironment interaction o Stimulus stressorssituations that place demands on organisms that tax or exceed their resources o Stressa pattern of cognitive appraisals physiological responses and behavioural tendencies that occurs in response to a perceived imbalance between situational demands and the resources needed to cope with themStressors o Stressors range in severityMicrostressorsdaily hassles and everyday annoyances we encounterCatastrophic eventsnatural disasters acts of war etc o Life event scalesquestionnaires that measure the number of positive and negative life events that have occurred over a specific period of timeThe Stress Response o Four aspects of appraisal process are of particular significancePrimaryappraisal of demands of situationSecondaryappraisal of resources available to cope with itJudgments of what consequences of situation could beAppraisal of personal meaning what the outcome might imply about usChronic Stress and the GAS o General adaptation syndrome GASa physiological response pattern to strong and prolonged stressorsConsists of three phasesAlarm reactiona rapid increase in physiological arousal o Occurs due to sudden activation of sympathetic nervous system and release of hormonesResistancebodys resources continue to be mobilized so that the person can function despite the presence of a stressor o Length of stage depends on severity of stress individuals health available support and other factors o Adrenal glands release epinephrine norepinephrine and cortisol to maintain arousalExhaustionbodys resources are dangerously depleted o Occurs when stressor is intense and persists for too longStress and HealthStress and Psychological WellBeing o Studies of results of catastrophic events has found average increase of 17 in rates of psychological disorders o Rape trauma syndromea pattern of cognitive emotional and behavioural responses that occurs in response to being raped o Neuroticisma personality trait that involves the tendency to experience high levels of negative affect and to behave in selfdefeating waysPeople high in neuroticism have heightened tendency to experience negative emotions and to involved in stressful situations through maladaptive behavioursStress and Illness o Stress can combine with other physical and psychological factors to influence the entire spectrum of physical illness o Stress can trigger illness by causing a breakdown in immune system functioning o Stressors can release sufficient stress hormones to induce structural changes in the hippocampus that last for a month or longer
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