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PSYC 2600 (51)
Chapter 18

Chapter 18.odt

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PSYC 2600
Elizabeth Nisbet

Chapter 18 Stress Coping Adjustment and HealthThe Adjustment DomainPersonality helps or hinders us to adjust to the challenges and demands of life Stress exists for everyonebut how we perceive interpret respond to and cope with stress will differ depending in part on our personality PsychologistsHealth Professionals in the Adjustment Domain work to understand why some personalities are more resistant to stress better able to cope and better able to adjustAn important goal with a practical application Models of the personalityillness connectionOne important variable present in all the models is Stress the subjective feeling produced by events that are uncontrollable or threatening it refers to how people respond to a particular situationThe Interactional Model suggests that objective events happen to people but personality factors determine the impact of those events by influencing peoples ability to copeIn the transactional modelpersonality has three potential effects It can influence coping as an interactional model it can influence how the person appraises or interprets the events Here it is not the event that causes stress but how the event is appraised or interpreted by the person it can influence the events themselves Here people dont just respond to situations they also create situations through their choices and actionsThe health behavior model adds another factor to the transactional model In this model personality does not directly influence the relationship between stress and illness Instead personality affects health indirectly through healthpromoting or healthdegrading behaviors The Predisposition Model holds that personality and illness are both expressions of an underlying predisposition or a third variable unlike the other models which state that personality influences the relationship between stress and illness either directly or indirectly Illness is the presence of an objectively measurable abnormal physiological process Illness behavior on the other hand is the action that people take when they think they have an illnessThis model suggests that personality influences the degree to which a person perceives and pays attention to bodily sensations and the degree to which a person interprets and labels those sensations as an illness which then influences the persons illness behaviors such as reporting the symptoms and going to the doctorThe concept of StressEvents that cause stress are called stressors which have several common attributesstressors are extreme they produce a state of feeling overwhelmed or overloadedstressors often produce opposing tendencies such as wanting or not wanting an activity or objectstressors are uncontrollable Stress can have a positive or negative effect on the individualpositive eustress when it helps performance or negative distress when it causes upset or illnessExternal Sources of Stress Environmental social interpersonal organizational life events daily hassles Internal Sources of Stress Lifestyle choices negative selftalk thought patterns stressful personality typeStress Response when stressors appear people typically experience a pattern of emotional and physiological reactions your hearts beats faster your blood pressure goes up and the your palms and the soles of your feet begin to sweat eg fight or flight responsesIf the person is exposed to a particular stressor daily then the physiological fight or flight response becomes the first step in a chain of events called General Adaptiation Syndrome GAS by Hans Selye 1976
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