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SOC 205 (7)
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13 - Health Psychology.pdf

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 205
Professor
Barry Mc Clinchey
Semester
Fall

Description
Psych  101:  Introduc▯on  to   Psychology   Health  Psychology   Striking  Insights   •  Pa▯ent  X   – 53-­‐year-­‐old  male   – Cause  of  death:  heart  damage  due  to  lack  of   oxygen   – True  cause  of  death?  Stress   – Can  a  person  literally  be:  “scared  to  death”?   Striking  Insights   •  Most  people  acknowledge  at  least  a  folk  idea  that   stress  can  make  you  sick   – the  common  cold   – sleeplessness   – eventual  heart  a▯acks  and  strokes   •  What  about…   – Asthma?   – Rashes?   – Cancer?   What  is  Health  Psychology?   •  Study  of  posi▯ve  and  nega▯ve  impacts  of   human  behaviour  on  health,  survival  and  well-­‐ being   What  is  stress?   •  Stressors:  specific  events  or  chronic  pressures   that  place  demands  on  a  person  or  threaten   – Rarely  result  in  sudden  death   – Cumula▯ve  effects  influence  health   •  Stress:     – produced  by  life  events   – Defini▯on:  physical  and  psychological  response  to   internal  or  external  stressors   Sources  of  Stress   •  What  “gets  to  us”?   – catastrophes   – daily  life  events   – It’s  all  really  about  our  perceived  control  over   stressors   Stressful  Events:  Holmes  &  Rahe   •  People  o▯en  get  sick  a▯er  major  life  events   – Suggest  that  major  life  changes  cause  stress  and   stress  causes  illness   • 43  life  events   • Each  event  has  a  different  weight   for  stress  (=  “Life  Change  Unit”)   How  to  Score  the  Scale   How  to  Score  the  Scale   •  Why  are  posi▯ve  events  included?   – Do  produce  less  stress   – Happiness  can  counteract  the  stress   – S▯ll  require  readjustment,  which  many  find   extremely  stressful   •  Stressful  life  event  scale  for  undergrads   – The  CUSS:  College  Undergrad  Stress  Scale   To  do  the  full  test  and  score:   h▯p://psycdweeb.weebly.com/ uploads/3/5/2/0/3520924/ tradi▯onal_college_student_stress_sc ale.pdf   So  let’s  talk  about  chronic  stressors   •  Chronic  stressors   – sources  of  stress  that  occur  con▯nuously  or   repeatedly   •  strained  rela▯onships,  nagging  rela▯ves,  too  much  work,   money  trouble   •  People  repor▯ng  lots  of  daily  hassles   – Report  more  physical  and  psychological  symptoms   – Nega▯ve  effects  o▯en  greater  and  longer-­‐las▯ng   •  This  is  o▯en  related  to  environment   – Noise  and  school  children   Perceived  Control  over  Stressful  Events   •  Events  are  most  stressful  when  can’t  be   controlled   – Feeling  that  you  have  control  is  highly  related  to   how  well  you  handle  stress   – “Panic  bu▯on”  experiment   Physical  Reac▯ons  to  Stress   •  Fight-­‐or-­‐flight   – an  emo▯onal  and  physiological  reac▯on  to   emergency  that  increases  ac▯on   General  Adapta▯on  Syndrome   •  Hans  Selye   – Studied  rats   – Enlarged  adrenal  cortex,   shrunken  lymph  glands,  etc.   – GAS:  a  3-­‐stage  physiological   stress  response     •  “What  does  not  kill  me   makes  me  stronger.”   – Not  really.   General  Adapta▯on  Syndrome   General  Adapta▯on  Syndrome   Three  phases:   1.  Alarm  phase   –  Ini▯al  reac▯on,  body  mobilizes,  need  energy   –  This  is  the  flight-­‐or-­‐fight  reac▯on   –  Resistance  to  stress  is  low   2.  Resistance  phase   –  Body  adapts  to  arousal   –  Body  shuts  down  other  processes,  like  diges▯on,  produc▯on  of   sperm,  growth,  etc.   3.  Exhaus▯on  phase   –  Resistance  collapses   –  The  cost  of  resistance  is  calculated,  results  in  gradual  damage   –  results  in  aging,  irreversible  organ  damage,  even  death   Stress  effects  on  immunity   •  Immune  System   – a  complex  response  system  protec▯ng  the  body   from  bacteria,  viruses  and  foreign  substances   – Example:  Alzheimer's  caregivers   •  Social  status  and  health   Stress  and  Cardiovascular  Health  
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