[SOC363H1] - Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (38 pages long!)

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SOC363H1
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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1
Leture 6:tress
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Distinctions: Stressors, Stress, and Distress
The process
- Stressors exist in the environment, not in
people
- May precipitate stress in people, if the context
in which stressor occurs determines it is
threating which will then give rise to the necessity of coping with the stressors
- If coping is not successful in reducing or removing the stressor the stress may lead to distress: a
state of persistent anxiety and depression
Stressor: conditions of threat, demand, or structural constraint that, by their very existence, call into
question the operating integrity of the organism
Threats: the expectation or possibility of harm, requiring a response
Demands: overload, burden, being pushed
Constraints: severe and non-self-limiting social disadvantage, restriction of choice or
opportunities or access to means to achieve goals, or under-reward, or discrimination
Context
- The circumstances in which the stressors occurs
- The history of experience of similar or contrasting stressors
- The knowledge and skills resulting from coping with previous stressors
- The social contexts which determine the meaning of the stressor
- Social comparison with other lives
- Operative norms
Stress
- Traditionally, in the biological model the state of alert or physiological arousal in the body due to the
presence of the stressor
- The alar respose i four state Geeral Adaptatio “droe
Coping: behavioral, cognitive, or affective responses which are meant to control, remove, resolve, or
redefine the meaning of the stressor
- Only necessary if the stressor is determined to be threatening
- A multi-stage sorting
The Two Stress Models
1) Biological
- The General Adaptation Syndrome
o Stressors alarm response resistance exhaustion
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- Stressors here: extreme heat or cold, loud noises, shocks, overcrowding, hunger, weight, toxic
substances
- Stress is the state of wear and tear of the ody and a stressor is that whih produes stress
- Problems:
o The stressor is just a putative problem whether it is a threat is determined by context
Stressors cannot be identified by consequences only since people vary in what they find
stressful will not help in identifying generally threatening social environments
Ca’t hoose ol etree stressors
o Biological response not a necessary condition of a mental health response to stressors
Typically, insidious, long-term, routine problems may not activate biologically based
awareness
o Stressors have broader sociological consequences, spreading into many areas of life not just
an issue of mental health
o Translated to human research, stressors were thought to involve change by definition only
acute forms of stress evolved as the focus
Social Stress as Life Change Events
- Key elements of stress research was the problem posed by change, causing the need for adjustment
and coping
- Stressful Life Event: a discrete, observable, and objective event denoting a change in usual life
conditions, patterns, or activities, requiring some social or psychological adjustment on the part of
the individual
o Ex. fired from a job, getting a divorce, death of a loved on, assault, miscarriage
Multiple Forms of Stress
- Some things are stressful because they do not change
- Refers to states or conditions of life that are persistently threatening and are not self-limiting
2) Engineering
- Smith The Stress Metaphor
o The study of the impact of external forces on the structural integrity of objects
- The Bridge “tor… ad the searh for auses
- The Engineering Model:
o Stress is an external force acting against a resisting body
o The stress becomes a stressor when it exceeds the limits of
structural integrity the elastic limit of the material (A)
o The material adjusts by elongation or compression (coping),
producing a greater elastic limit (B)
o … Util an ultimate elastic limit is reached, and then breakdown (C)
- Beyond Life Events:
o In the engineering model, the phenomenology of stress varies
o Two basic forms: catastrophic event, continuous force
o Need to allo for soial stress that is a otiuous fore i people’s life
o Lead to the concept of chronic stress
Chronic Stress
- Life events are acute, self-limiting, have a natural course and point of resolution, a clear onset and
offset
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Document Summary

Stressors exist in the environment, not in people. May precipitate stress in people, if the context in which stressor occurs determines it is threating which will then give rise to the necessity of coping with the stressors. If coping is not successful in reducing or removing the stressor the stress may lead to distress: a state of persistent anxiety and depression. Stressor: conditions of threat, demand, or structural constraint that, by their very existence, call into question the operating integrity of the organism. Threats: the expectation or possibility of harm, requiring a response. Constraints: severe and non-self-limiting social disadvantage, restriction of choice or opportunities or access to means to achieve goals, or under-reward, or discrimination. The history of experience of similar or contrasting stressors. The knowledge and skills resulting from coping with previous stressors. The social contexts which determine the meaning of the stressor.

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