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Lecture 5


9 Pages

Course Code
PSYC 3170
Jennifer Mills

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HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY LECTURE 5: OCTOBER 12TH, 2012 TOPIC: STRESS AND COPING ➔ Three Views of Stress ◦ Focus on the environment: stress as a stimulus (stressors) ◦ Reaction to stress: stress as a response (strain) ◦ Relationship between person and the environment: stress as an interaction (coping) ➔ Stressors ◦ Examples: ▪ Traffic (stress of being late) ▪ Exams ▪ Seeing accidents on the side of the road ▪ University life ▪ The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale • Number one stressful event is the death of a spouse • Stressful because they put demands on us (money, time) ◦ Example: moving, getting a new job (stressful but not unpleasant) ➔ Stressors ◦ Catastrophes ◦ Major life events ◦ Chronic stressful circumstances ➔ Acute vs. Chronic Stress ◦ Acute Stress-sudden typically short-lived, threatening event (e.g., robbery, giving a speech) ▪ Produces immediate, severe stress symptoms ▪ Those who are shy or introverted may be more stressed to give a speech in the spur of the moment ▪ Chronic Stress-ongoing environmental demand (e.g., marital conflict, work stress, personality) ▪ Type APersonality feels more stress than Type B ▪ It is how we interpret everything around us. Two people can be in the same situation and one can be stressed while the other is not. • Vacation: one person is excited and pumped while the other person worries about forgetting something or missing work and school ▪ Stress is subjective: our perception of an event. ➔ Acute Stress Experiment Rozanski 1988 ◦ Subjects -39 individuals with coronary artery disease ◦ Stress Tasks (0-5mins each) ◦ Mental arithmetic ◦ Stroop-colour word conflict task ◦ Stress speech (talk about personal fault ◦ Graded exercise on bicycle (until chest pain or exhaustion) ◦ Outcome-stress response ▪ Example: • the word yellow is written in red. Need to identify colour quickly. • Had to prepare for a speech on the spot ➔ Results ◦ Stress response was significantly greater with speech threat than with other mental stress tasks ◦ Stress response to speech threat was same level as graded exercise ◦ Heart abnormalities with lower heart rate during speech than during exercise (64 vs. 94 beats/min, p< .001) ◦ These examples show how those with heart disease or heart issues are not only affected by physical exertion but also by mental aspects as well. ◦ Those with heart disease need a better understanding of how mental stress is a factor. ➔ Chronic Stress Experiment- Frankenhaeuser, 1989 ◦ Subjects- 30 female and 30 male workers in managerial or clerical jobs ◦ Outcome: blood pressure, heart rate, and catecholamine (norepinephrine) measured throughout workday and non-workday. ➔ Results ◦ No gender differences in the effect of paid work on blood pressure and heart rate ◦ In both men and women, blood pressure and heart rate were higher on a workday than a non-workday. ◦ Interaction between gender and time of day based on catecholamines (women have a higher response in the morning compared to the end of the day) → more sensitive measure. ▪ This is a demonstrated of a “double day” that working women experience (work and take care of home). 8Pm is most stressful part of day. ➔ By looking at more sensitive responses we can claim more valuable info on the environment on stress reaction, see group differences on how people respond to different environments, need a biopsychosocial model to explain-possible women have more fluctuated levels of stress hormones and men's might be more stable, women may engage in different behaviours and have different interpretations of events, women doing a double day are more prone to stress, social: gender roles with men and women as cultural and societal. ◦ Could be estrogen, many women are more anxiety prone and feel depressed before their menstrual cycle and such. ➔ Three Views of Stress ◦ Focus on the environment: stress as a stimulus (stressors) ◦ Reaction to stress: stress as a response (strain) ◦ Relationship between person and the environment: stress as an interaction (coping) ➔ Fight or Flight Response ~Canon ◦ REFER TO PPT. ◦ It is universal ◦ It is inherited and hard wired ◦ Differs among cultures ◦ Different behaviours -nausea, sweaty palms, sweaty feet, exhausting → hard to stop it and reassure yourself you are okay, fast heart rate, high blood pressure and adrenaline etc. Sometimes it goes away after wards very suddenly and sometimes it takes a long way. Example: car accident: still feel shaky and startled by what happened even though you know the risk is gone now. ◦ Cortisol → most direct measure of fight or flight (anxiety) ◦ Why your body might produce these substances more? → when you are stressed you require more energy. Example: produce more free fatty acids. ◦ Platelets → they are in your blood and get sticky, clump together more easily and could cause a blood clot if the fight or flight response continues for a long time. ◦ This has to do with the resources the body needs to deal with stress. Body prioritizes these aspects needed. Energy needed in muscles, heart and brain, not needed as much in skin though. Lower priority organs get less circulation of blood flow. ◦ Digestive tract → lower priority, blood flow decreases from lower intestine ◦ Irritable Bowel Syndrome → digestive system becomes more blood deprived → prone to inflammation and ulceration. ◦ Very stressed → norm response is too lose your appetite (physiological level) because your digestive tract is shut down. People have to go to the bathroom a lot because your body is trying to remove all the food that is not at the moment necessary. ◦ Body prioritizing and redistributing the resources needed during stress. ◦ Objective measure of stress response instead of asking → measure cortisol (can do a spit test -all you need is saliva). ➔ Hanz Selye's GeneralAdaptation Syndrome-associated with stress research ◦ REFER TO PPT ◦ How the fight or flight response relates to real events people encounter ◦ Does not matter if it is actually threatening or not.All that matters is if the person perceives it as stressful and threatening. ◦ Individual differences ◦ Phobias -spiders, birds, heights, needles etc. Body goes in fight or flight response when perceiving you may encounter a spider for instance. ▪ Have fight or flight response ▪ Perception of danger or threat ▪ Stressor from environment ▪ Certain phobias such as snakes and needles is very hard to make extinct especially being so common. ▪ Are there more women afraid of spiders than men? • Could be because men want to be tough and it is not acceptable to scream when seeing a spider → gender roles, conditioning, learning ◦ Resistance ▪ Threat is gone but fear and anxiousness (fight/flight response) persists ▪ Your defenses are very high-body remains in an heightened immunity during this stage. Fending off foreign invaders (bacteria, viruses). However, this all takes a lot of energy. If the stress continues then your body will go into exhaustion which leads to your body having a prolonged physiological reaction → causes abnormalities in stress glands, weakened immune system,decreased resistance, vascular areas (small blood vessels) become damaged, and death due to exhaustion. ▪ Chronically Stressed • Hypertension • Heart Disease • Immune Deficiencies ➔ This theory has a lot of gaps because it does not account for individual differences ➔ It assumes everyone responds the same way ➔ This applies to animals well-simpler organisms-adaptation seems more valid. It is overly simplistic to explain humans and stress ➔ Three Views of Stress ◦ Focus on the environment: stress as a stimulus (stressors) ◦ Reaction to stress: stress as a response (strain) ◦ Relationship between person and the environment: stress as an interaction (coping) ➔ Cognitive Model of Stress ~Lazarus and Folkman ◦ PrimaryAppraisal-what does this event mean to me? Will I be in trouble? ◦ Outcome → irrelevant, good, or stressful? ◦ If stressful, evaluate further: ◦ Harm-loss-amount of damage ◦ Threat-expectation for future harm ◦ Challenge-opportunity to achieve growth, mastery, or profit ▪ Example: multitasking between many courses, exams etc. Specifically: get called into work just before your exam. • This would be stressful because you are relying on the few hours more of studying the night before the exam. Only irrelevant if you truly felt prepared for the exam. If I say no to my manager at work what would happen? ◦ Lose job, not get the shifts you want ◦ How much is the test worth? 5% (not as stressful) 40% (lots of stress) → amount of damage ◦ Threat for future home: if I do not do well on this test I will get a bad mark in this course, fail, get a bad GPA, not be able to go to grad school, not be able to get a job, die alone. ◦ Challenge – I know this so well I do not need to study the lecture, I will skip the last chapter. Job: I am going to do
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