PSYC 2310 Chapter Notes - Chapter 15: Natural Disaster, Transtheoretical Model, Motivational Interviewing

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Published on 22 Nov 2011
University of Guelph
PSYC 2310
Chapter 15- Stress, Coping and Health
- stress viewed 3 different ways: stimulus, response and organism-environment
-stressors: stimuli or events placing strong demands on us
- cognitive, psychological and behavioural components
-stress a response to perceived imbalance between situational demands and
resources needed to cope
-microstressors: everyday hassles
-catastrophic events: unexpected and affecting large numbers (ie. natural disaster)
-life event scales designed to quantify amount of life stress a person has
experienced over given period of time
The Stress Response:
1. appraisal of demands of situation (primary)
2. appraisal of resources available to cope (secondary)
3. judgements of consequences
4. appraisal of personal meaning (what outcome says about us)
primary appraisal: initial appraisal of a situation as benign, irrelevant, or threatening:
perception of severity of demands
secondary appraisal: judgement of adequacy of personal resources to cope
- body responds to appraisals made
- physiological response by endocrine and autonomic systems
Chronic Stress and the GAS: (defined by Selye)
-general adaptation syndrome (GAS): three phases of response pattern to
strong/prolonged stressors
- alarm reaction due to sudden activation of sympathetic nervous system and
release of stress hormones by endocrine system (increased heart rate, sweating,
trembling etc)
- resistance stage body’s resources mobilized so person functions despite stressor
presence, changes in blood sugar levels etc, can last for a while, until bodily
- exhaustion stage, body’s resources extremely depleted, increased vulnerability to
disease, collapse and even death
Stress and Health:
- measures of major negative life events and microstressors associated with
negative psychological outcomes
- causal links difficult to identify in relation b/w negative events and psychological
- life stress decreases immune function, worsen medical conditions, increase risk of
illness and death
-neuroticism: higher tendency to experience negative emotions and stressful
situations through maladaptive behaviour
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-rape trauma syndrome: reaction to rape (nervous, paranoia, fear of repeat
Vulnerability and Protective Factors:
-vulnerability factors: increase susceptibility to stressful events (lack of support,
coping skills, tendencies to become anxious/pessimistic)
-protective factors: environmental/personal resources helping coping (social
support, coping skills, personality factors like optimism)
- social support strongest environmental resource (rely on others for help)
- enhances immune system functioning
- greater sense of identity and meaning, higher psychological well-being
Cognitive Protective Factors:
-hardiness: commitment, control and challenge *control strongest in buffering
-coping self-efficacy: we perform behaviours necessary to cope well
-optimism: positive outlook, positive view of future (lowers risk of
-finding meaning in stressful life events: religious beliefs (find higher meaning
in loss) etc.
Psychological Reactivity:
- responses of autonomic/endocrine systems underlie negative psychological/health
consequences of stress
-psychological toughness: between 2 hormones secreted by adrenal glands,
catecholamines (epinephrine/norepinephrine) and corticosteroids (cortisol), both
mobilize fight or flight response
consists of: low resting level of cortisol, low levels of secretion, quick return to
baseline after stress, low resting level of catecholamines, quick catecholamines
response during stress and quick decline after
FIG 15.9 PG 631
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Document Summary

Microstressors: everyday hassles catastrophic events: unexpected and affecting large numbers (ie. natural disaster) life event scales designed to quantify amount of life stress a person has experienced over given period of time. The stress response: appraisal of demands of situation (primary, appraisal of resources available to cope (secondary) Gate control theory proposes experience of pain results from opening and closing of. Health promotion and illness prevention: health psychology psychological/behavioural factors in prevention/treatment of illness, maintenance of health: health-enhancing behaviours: maintain/increase health (exercise, diet, safe sex, medical checkups etc, health-compromising behaviours: promote development of illness (smoking, fatty diet, unprotected sex) Hiv by high risk sexual/drug-abuse behaviours (ie. sharing needles) prevention approach. Substance abuse highly associated with other disorders large maladjustment. Multimodal treatments combine aversion training, stress management, coping- skills training, positive reinforcement for change. Motivational interviewing: engage own motivation to change these behaviours.

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