Chapter 13.pdf

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Sherry Fukuzawa

Chapter 13: Stress,Coping,and Health Notes biopsychosocial model - holds that physical illness is caused by a complex interaction of biological, psychological,and sociocultural factors. health psychology - concerned with how psychological factors relate to the promotion and maintenance of health and with the causation,prevention,and treatment of illness. The Nature of Stress stress - any circumstances that threaten or are perceived to threaten one’s well-being and that thereby tax one’s coping abilities. • the threat may be to immediate physical safety,long-range security,self-esteem,reputation,peace of mind,or many other things that one values 1. Stress as an Everyday Event: • everyday problems and the minor nuisances of life are also important forms of stress • a major stressful event,such as going through a divorce,can trigger a cascade of minor stressors,such as looking for a lawyer,changing bank accounts,taking on new household responsibilities,and so forth • an individual’s response to a stressor is a function of a number of factors,including the type of stressor and its controllability,biological factors such as age and gender,and the individual’s previous experience with stress • minor stressors may have significant harmful effects on mental and physical health 2. Appraisal: Stress Lies in the Eye of the Beholder: the experience of feeling stressed depends on what events one notices and how one chooses to appraise or • interpret them • often,people aren’t very objective in their appraisals of potentially stressful events • anxious,neurotic people report more stress than others • people’s appraisals of stressful events are highly subjective Major Types of Stress acute stressors - threatening events that have a relatively short duration and a clear end point. • Example: dealing with the challenge of a major exam,having your home threatened by severe flooding chronic stressors - threatening events that have a relatively long duration and no readily apparent time limit. Example: persistent financial strains produced by huge credit card debts, the demands of caring for a sick • family member over a period of years. 1. Frustration: frustration - occurs in any situation in which the pursuit of some goal is thwarted. • things like traffic jams,difficult daily commutes,and annoying drivers are routine sources of frustration that can elicit anger and aggression • most frustrations are brief and insignificant • some frustrations can be source of significant stress, such as fails and losses 2. Conflict: conflict - occurs when 2 or more incompatible motivations or behavioural impulses compete for expression. • higher levels of conflict are associated with higher levels of anxiety,depression,and physical symptoms approach-approach conflict - a choice must be made between 2 attractive goals. • this type of conflict is the least stressful • has reasonably happy ending whichever way you decide to go • approach-approach conflicts over important issues may sometimes be troublesome, because whichever alternative is not chosen represents a loss of sorts avoidance-avoidance conflict - a choice must be made between 2 unattractive goals. • most unpleasant and highly stressful approach-avoidance conflict - a choice must be made about whether to pursue a single goal that has both attractive and unattractive aspects. • can be quite stressful • any time you have to take a risk to pursue some desirable outcome • often produce vacillation - you go back and forth,best by indecision 3. Change: life changes - any noticeable alterations in one’s living circumstances that require readjustment. changes in personal relationships,changes at work,changes in finances,and so forth can be stressful even when • the changes are welcomed • Holmes and Rahe developed the Social Readjustment Rating Scale(SRRS) to measure life change as a form of stress • people with higher scores on SRRS tend to be more vulnerable to many kinds of physical illnesses and to many types of psychological problems as well 4. Pressure: pressure - involves expectations or demands that one behave in a certain way. • you are under pressure to perform when you’re expected to execute tasks and responsibilities quickly, efficiently, and successfully • pressures to conform to others’ expectations are also very common • a strong relationship has been found b/w pressure and a variety of psychological symptoms and problems • pressure is often self-imposed Responding to Stress 1. Emotional Responses: a) Emotions Commonly Elicited: • there have been found strong links b/w specific cognitive reactions to stress and specific emotions • Example: self-blame tends to lead to guilt,helplessness to sadness,and so forth • common emotional responses to stress include: a. annoyance,anger,and rage b. apprehension,anxiety,and fear c. dejection,sadness,and grief • positive emotions also occur during periods of stress • after 9/11 people experienced negative emotions as well as positive,such as gratitude • frequency of pleasant emotions correlated positively with a measure of subjects’ resilience,whereas the frequency of unpleasant emotions correlated negatively with resilience • positive emotions help people bounce back from the difficulties associated with stress • broaden-and-built theory of positive emotions: • positive emotions alter people’s mindsets,broadening their scope of attention,and increasing their creativity and flexibility in problem solving • positive emotions can undo the lingering effects of negative emotions,and thus short-circuit the potentially damaging physiological responses to stress • positive emotions can promote rewarding social interactions that help to built valuable social support, enhanced coping strategies,and other enduring personal resources • positive emotions widen people’s scope of attention,promote healthy coping responses,initiate upward spirals in emotional well-being,and facilitate flourishing mental health • studies have found an association b/w positive emotions and lower levels of stress hormones and reduced mortality in some populations • recent finding suggests that positive emotional style is associated with an enhanced immune response b) Effects of Emotional Arousal: painful emotions can serve as warning that one needs to take action • • however,strong emotional arousal can also interfere with efforts with stress • ex. high emotional arousal can interfere with attention and memory retrieval and can impair judgement and decision making • inverted-U hypothesis: • predicts that task performance should improve with increased emotional arousal-up to a point,after which further increases in arousal become disruptive and performance deteriorates • when performance is plotted as a function of arousal,the resulting graphs approximate an upside-down U • in these graphs,the level of arousal at which performance peaks is characterized as the optimal level of arousal for a task • as the task becomes more complex,the optimal level of arousal(for peak performance)tends to decrease 2. Physiological Responses: a) The Fight-or-Flight Response: fight-or-flight response - a physiological reaction to threat in which the autonomic nervous system mobilizes the organism for attacking(fight) or fleeing(flight) an enemy. • mediated by the sympathetic division of the ANS • immediate acceleration in breathing and heart rate and a reduction in the digestive processes • it’s an adaptive response in the animal kingdom • most human stresses can’t be handled simply through fight or flight b) The General Adaptation Syndrome: • the concept of stress was identified and named by Hans Selye • he stated that stress reactions are non-specific, meaning that the reactions don’t vary according to the specific type of stress encountered general adaptation syndrome - a model of the body’s stress response,consisting of three stages:alarm, resistance,and exhaustion. 2)Alarm stage: • an alarm reaction occurs when an organism first recognizes the existence of a threat physiological arousal occurs as the body musters its responses to combat the challenge • • fight-or-flight response 3) Resistance stage: • as stress continues,the organism proceeds to the this stage • physiological changes stabilize as coping efforts get under way physiological arousal continues to be higher than normal, but it may level off somewhat as the organism • becomes accustomed to the threat 4) Exhaustion stage: • if the stress continues over a substantial period of time,the organism enters this stage if the stress can’t be overcome,the body’s resources may be depleted • • chronic overactivation of the stress response can have damaging physiological effects on a variety of organ systems c) Brain - Body Pathways: • there are 2 major pathways along which the brain sends signals to the endocrine system in response to stress • the hypothalamus appears to initiate action along these 2 pathways ✴ See diagram on next page 1)First pathway: • a key part when the hypothalamus activates the sympathetic division of the ANS involves stimulating the central part of the adrenal glands(the adrenal medulla)to release large amounts of catecholamines(radiate through the body,producing the fight-or-flight response) in the blood stream • heart rate and blood flow increase,and more blood is pumped to your brain and muscles • respiration and oxygen consumption speed up,which facilitates alertness • digestive processes are inhibited to conserve energy • the pupils of your eye dilate,increasing visual sensitivity 2) Second pathway: • involves more direct communication b/w the brain and the endocrine system • the pituitary gland secretes a hormone(ACTH) that stimulates the outer part of the adrenal glands (the adrenal cortex) to release another important set of hormones - corticosteroids • corticosteroids stimulate the release of chemicals that help increase your energy and help inhibit tissue inflammation in case of injury Stress Pituitary Gland Hypothalamus Adrenocorticotropic ANS hormone (ACTH) (sympathetic division) • stress can interfere with Adrenal Medulla neurogenesis Adrenal Cortex 3.Behavioral Responses: Secretion of corticosteroids: Secretion of catecholamines: -increased protein and fat mobilization coping - active -increased cardiovascular response -increased access to energy storage efforts to -increased respiration -decreased inflammation master,reduce,or -increased perspiration -increased blood flow to active muscles tolerate the -increased muscle strength demands -increased mental activity created by stress. •coping efforts can be adaptive or maladaptive • the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS) measures 3 stable coping dimensions: • task-oriented coping • emotion-oriented coping • avoidance-oriented coping a) Giving Up and Blaming Oneself: learned helplessness - passive behaviour produced by exposure to unavoidable aversive events. • occurs when individuals come to believe that events are beyond their control this coping strategy is also referred as “behavioural disengagement,”and it’s associated with increased distress • • many studies suggest that learned helplessness can contribute to depression new research suggests that when people struggle to pursue goals that turn out to be unattainable,it makes • sense to cut one’s losses and disengage from the goal people who are better able to disengage from unattainable goals report better health and exhibit lower levels • of a key stress hormone • high self-criticism is also known as “catastrophic thinking” • blaming oneself causes,aggravates,and perpetuates emotional reactions to stress that are often problematic • negative self-talk can contribute to depressive disorders b) Striking Out at Others: aggression - any behaviour that is intended to hurt someone,either physically or verbally. • frustration-aggression hypothesis held that aggression is always caused by frustration • this behaviour is also known as displacement catharsis - refer this displacement release of emotional tension (Freud) • the interpersonal conflicts that often emerge from aggressive behaviour may increase rather than relieve stress c) Indulging Oneself: • stress sometimes leads to reduced impulse control,or self-indulgence • when trouble by stress,many people engage in excessive consumption,which is viewed as a substituted form of satisfaction Internet addiction - consists of spending an inordinate amount of time on the Internet and inability to control online use • people who exhibit this condition tend to feel anxious,depressed,or empty when they are not online d) Defense Coping: • modern psychologists have broadened the scope of defence mechanisms concept and added to the list some additional defence mechanisms • defence mechanisms shield the individual from the emotional discomfort from stress • defences are also used to suppress dangerous feelings of anger,guilt,and dejection • defence mechanisms work through self-deception; accomplish their goals by distorting reality so that it doesn’t appeal so threatening • they can operate at varying levels of awareness,but they’re largely unconscious they are mostly seen as a avoidance strategy,which rarely provides a genuine solution to problems • e) Constructive Coping: constructive coping - relatively healthful efforts that people make to deal with stressful events. • some key themes include: 1) Constructive coping involves confronting problems directly. It’s task-relevant and action-oriented. It entails a cons
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