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PSY 707 (11)
Chapter 1&4

Chapter 1 & 4 notes

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PSY 707
Marilyn Hadad

Chapter 1 Notes – Stress and Health  Robert Hooke’s law to explain mechanical elasticity noted how a structure like a bridge can endure heavy loads when stress places a strain on it.  Generally we have biological underpinning; Physiological components of stress reactions  Homeostasis the biological self-regulation process that enabled an organism to adapt to life’s demands o A spike in physiological activity is followed by a return to homeostatic baseline  Cannon’s Fight or flight reaction to a stressor; body responds with physiological activation to protect itself  Chronic stressors can be detrimental to one’s health.  Hans Selye  three stage model of chronic stress – General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) o First Stage – Alarm: elevate the body’s physiological arousal systems about normal homeostasis o Second Stage – Resistance: Continual wear and tear and drawing of resources from different systems of the body o Final Stage – Exhaustion: Body’s system breaks down as it exhausts its biological resources after repeated exposure to stressors; organs fail and possible death s o If organism is subjected to repeat stressors is must repeat this process  Distress: Negative stress  Eustress: Positive stress o Seen as a challenge in a way that is motivating, satisfying and enjoyable  Selye defined stress as nonspecific responses the body makes to demands  Holmes and Rahe define stress as any major life events that require adjustment to one’s normal living patterns o Created the Social Readjustment Scale (SRRS) to measure life changes o The idea spurred debate over whether stress is determined by objective life events or subjective appraisals of these events  Richard Lazarus created scales to capture perceived everyday life difficulties or hassles rather than purely objective life events. o Hassles are irritants and pressures we experience in everyday life o Uplifts: positive encounters and experiences – a counterbalance to hassles  Appraisal: A cognitive mediational approach  denotes that more than simply perceiving the situation, we make judgments about the significance of the event. o We evaluate it as either a threat or a challenge  Each appraisal has its own Core relational meaning: depending on the meaning we give to the appraisal, there will be a different emotional response  It is more precise to use the word Stressor to refer to the cause and Stress to refer to the effect of the stressor.  Stress is: the constellation of cognitive, emotional, physiological and behavioural reactions the organism experiences as it transacts with perceived threats and challenges.  Biomedical model focuses on biological factors that contribute to health o Assumes health and illness are dichotomous states; a person is either healthy or not o Divides the mind and body into separate entities o Focuses on illness as caused by physical agents (ie. Bacteria etc.) o Sick person is a victim of unfortunate circumstances  Biopsychosocial model views health as a product of biological, psychological, and social influences o Regards health as being on a continuum from very ill to super well o Views mind and body as an interactive whole o See illness as caused by social and psychological factors as well as physical agents o Sick person contributes to their illness through engaging in unhealthy behaviors  Behavioural Medicine is the field of study that applies elements of behavioural sciences to illness prevention and treatment o Assists those who wish to maximize their health goals through behavioural approaches to illness prevention  Health psychology promotes and maintains health as well as to treat illnesses o Wellness encompasses a global approach to health; including stress management and emotional self-regulation; healthy living o When working as a whole (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being) are believed to lead to the highest level of satisfaction  Health is a state of complete physical mental, emotional and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity  In Stress Management the goal is to work toward staying in an optimal zone of functioning and life satisfaction through using health promoting strategies.  Antonovsky’s Salutogenic model uses the health continuum approach advocated by proponents of the biopsychosocial model rather than the diseased-healthy dichotomous model o Emphasis on what people do right to facilitate health rather than on risk o Law of Entropy – all ordered systems become disordered and chaotic o Salutogenic model views stressors as factors that create tension. Depending on how tension is managed, the outcome may move the person toward the entropic end of the continuum, have no effect move the person toward the wellness end  Antonovsky considers stressors to be omnipresent o Adaption involves finding inputs (Generalized resistance resources) from resources that enable us to resist entropy o GRRs reduce pressure on us to move toward the negative end of the pole when encountering stressors and are important in shaping our worldview o Sense of Coherence (SOC) 3 factors that are influenced by our life experiences o Comprehensibility: degree to which we can make cognitive sense of the stimuli we perceive; more consistent and predictable the experiences the more we can make sense of them and understand how to adapt to future similar stimuli o Manageability: our ability to access internal and external coping resources; coping with demands o Meaningfulness: ability to emotionally make sense of demands and to perceive these demands as challenges rather than burdens
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