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Chapter 15

Chapter 15

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2310
Paula Barata

Chapter 15- Stress, Coping and Health - stress viewed 3 different ways: stimulus, response and organism-environment interaction - 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 depletion - 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 distress - 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 - rape trauma syndrome: reaction to rape (nervous, paranoia, fear of repeat attack) 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 stress - coping self-efficacy: we perform behaviours necessary to cope well - optimism: positive outlook, positive view of future (lowers risk of anxiety/depression) - 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 Coping With Stress: FIG 15.11 PG 634 Probl
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