PSYCH*1200 [Exam Review]
Chapter 15: Stress and Health
The Nature of Stress:
-Stress has been viewed in 3 different ways
as a stimuls stimuli/events in the environment that place demands on us
as a respone physiological, cognitive, behavioral components.
as organism-environment interatistress is a pattern of cognitive appraisals, physiological
responses, and behavioral tendencies that occurs in response to an imbalance between the
demands of the situation & resources needed to meet them.
Eliciting Stimliplace demands on us that danger our well-being and require us to adapt
o Range of severity
Microstressor daily hassles & annoyances
Catastrophic evensoccur unexpectedly, affects a large number of people
Major negative evens stressful life event (victim of abuse/illness, loss of
o can also be events which..
the person has little or no control over.
occur suddenly and unpredictably
impact a person over a long period of time
life event scales measure the amount of life stress a person has experienced over time.
The Stress Response:
4 parts of appraisal process for stressful situations
o 1) Primary appraisal appraisal of the demands of situation
what do I have to do?
o 2) Secondary appraisal appraisal of the resources available to cope with it
how can I cope?
o 3) judgments of consequences of situation could be
what are the costs to me?
o 4) appraisal of the personal meaning (what the outcome implies about us)
what does this say about my beliefs in myself?
Distortions/mistaken appraisals can occur at any of these stages, and casue an inappropriate stress
Chronic stress and the GAS
o General Adaptation Syndrome Physiological reaction to prolonged stress (Hans Selye)
o Three phases
activation of sympathetic nervous system & release of stress hormones
o adrenal gland releases epinephran & noneprinephran & cortisol to
maintain the increased arousal continue to recruit resources until
depletion PSYCH*1200 [Exam Review]
o adrenal glands can no longer function normally resources are
dangerously depleted. (increased vulnerability to disease)
Stress and Health:
o stress effects psychological well-being of people who experienced catastrophic events the
o Rape-trauma syndrome nervous & fear for long time period afterwards.
o Confounding variables of stress:
o Negative life events
o Psychological stress
o Possible third factor (neuroticism tendency of negative emotions & maladaptive
Stress and illness
o Consequences of stress
o Increase in chronic condtiarthritis, bronchitis, emphysema, ulcers
Men heart disease
o Increased chance of health prol8% among women, 6% among men
o Decreased immune functin demonstrated to occur within 24 hours
o Worsen pre-existing conditostress hormones contribute to blocked arteries
o Stress causes adrenal glands to secrete cortosil, elevated levels for long periods can damage
the hippocampus & memory.
Vulnerability and Protective Factors
o increase susceptibility to stress
o lack of support network
o poor coping
o skills pessimism
o environmental or personal resources that help cope with stress
o social support
o coping skills
-blunts impact of stress
-produces greater sense of identity and meaning in peoples lives
-may prevent maladaptive ways of coping (alcohol, drugs)
-enhances immune system (produce more immune cells)
o 3 Cs
control they have control over situation & outcome * strongest PSYCH*1200 [Exam Review]
commitment belief that what they do is important
challenge view situation is a challenge & opportunity- not a threat
-coping self-efficacy belief we can successfully cope with stressor
-specific to situation
-increased efficacy from
-low levels of arousal
-shown to increase immune system functioning
-higher beliefs about success in the future, loweres anxiety.
-Type A high competitiveness, ambition, aggressiveness, hostility, urgency
-men & woman have 2x risk of coronary heart disease
-Type B agreeable, relaxed, less sense of time urgency
-Finding meaning in stressful life events
-spiritual beliefs can help with effective coping
-some beliefs can have negative effect on adjustment ( punished)
-individual differences in reactivity (autonomic & endocrine) affect well-being
-physiological toughness protective factor
-involves relationship of 2 hormone types from the adrenal gland during stress.
-catecholamines (epinephrine, noeprinephrine)
-both mobolize fight or flight response in face of strssors
-cortisol arousal effects last longer, more damaging (unless catecholamine are
much higher levels over longer time)
(1) low resting cortosil levels, low cortosil secretion response to stress, quick return to baseline
cortosil levels after stress is over.
(2) low catecholamine level, quick & strong response to stress, quick decline in secretion &
arousal after stress
Coping with Stress
-Problem-focused coping confront & deal directly with demands, or adapt situation-no stress.
-studying, dealin with problems
-Emotional-focused coping dont deal directly, manage the emotional response that result.
-denying, avoiding, accepting stress
-negative outcomes with denial & avoidance
-positive with identifying & changing thought patterns (relaxing)
-Seeking social support turning to others for assistance & emotional support
o Effectiveness of coping strategies