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Chapter 14

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PSYC 320
Sunaina Assanand

Chapter 14 Notes- Stress, Coping, and Psychopathology Stress: when circumstances place ppl in situations that tax or exceed their resources and endanger their well-being, they feel stressed Sources of Stress for Men and Women  Physiological reaction to stress is the same for men and women  Pressure to become involved in more housework and caring for children is one source of stress for men  Fulfilling multiple roles (spouse, parent, employee) is stressful  Family roles: o Being married is a mental health advantage to wives and husbands  Lower levels of mental disorders o Unmarried men are at higher risk of mental health problems than unmarried women o Employment is also a positive factor for both men and women o Combo of marriage and employment was associated w/ low levels of mental health problems o Unmarried women w/ children are at increased risk for mental health problems o Men who occupy spouse, parent, and employee roles are at lowest risk for mental health problems o Being unhappily married presents a mental health risk for both men and women o Couples that believed that that their partners were supportive in emotional ways and in household/childcare work were more satisfied w/ their marriages o When married mothers are employed and experience strain in each role, their risk for mental health problems increases o When family demands are equal for unemployed men and women, they have comparable rates of depression and anxiety disorders  When demands of family fall more on women, they are more at risk for depression  Single fathers experience even greater burdens and also increased risks for mental health problems o Employed women tend to have less satisfying jobs and more responsibility for child care and household work---family strain that spills over into work o Men find it easier to have both role of worker and father b/c they have higher-paying jobs and fewer home responsibilities o Influences of various roles on psychological health (who it affects more)  Caregiving: F>M  Marriage: F=M  Parenthood: F=M  Child caregiving: F>M  Employment: F=M  Homemaker role: F>M  Breadwinner role: M>F  Employed wife: M>F  Violence o Men and women can be victims o Men more often the perpetrators as well as victims o When women are victims, their experience is traumatic, b/c violence is perpetrated more often by family and friends than by strangers o Women more likely to be injured in violent encounters by persons they know o Violence is a risk to mental health o Intimate partner violence increases risk for depression, suicide, PTSD, and substance abuse for women o Men and women equally vulnerable to mental disorders when they had experienced violence o Both men and women who are victims of sexual abuse are at increased risk for depression, PTSD, substance abuse or dependence, phobic disorder, panic disorder, and OCD o Men more likely to develop drug and alcohol problems, and women more likely to develop depression o Being a victim or witness to community violence increases risk of psychological disorders, especially PTSD o Being a victim of violent crime was larger risk than being a witness for men, but either experience increased risk for women o Childhood sexual abuse more common for girls than boys  Linked with depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem o Childhood victimization in general is especially harmful  Discrimination o Skin color, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation common reasons for discrimination o Substantial relationship between perceptions of discrimination and mental health problems o Frequent sexual discrimination also linked mental health problems  More depression, anxiety, and physical complaints o Individuals who perceive discrimination tend to ruminate over the experience--- creates distress  Tendency to avoid health-enhancing behaviors and to perform unhealthy behaviors  Poverty o Poverty may be underlying factor for both physical and emotional disorders b/c it is related to both violence and discrimination o Those who live in poverty 2 1/2x more likely to receive diagnoses of mental disorders o Low income, unemployment/underemployment, divorce, single parenthood, problems in access to services, and lack of power and resources are all sources of stress that are associated w/ poverty and contribute to poor mental health o Living in poverty also exposes ppl to greater risks of violence o Little access to care= problems get more serious before they receive care o Poverty affects women and ethnic minority families more than other groups (single mothers most of all) o Poverty has negative impact on ability to cope Coping Resources and Strategies  Lacking (or believing that they lack) the resources to cope w/ events in their lives makes ppl vulnerable to stress  Stress varies according to perception, which depends on the evaluation of resources for coping  Men often have more power and greater financial resources to deal w/ stress than women have  Women’s roles generally carry obligations for providing care for others, whereas men’s roles more often provide them w/ emotional support o Providing care is stressful  Social support o Providing emotional and material resources o Four diff. elements: emotional concern, instrumental aid, information and advice, and feedback o Poor quality of support and small network size both relate to development of anxiety and depression o Women have advantage in creating networks that provide them w/ social support o Men have material support but lack emotional intimacy o Men’s social support often comes from relationships w/ women o Among married couples, women provided more (positive) social support than their male partners o Single and divorced men are at greater risk for mental health problems than married men--- b/c have less social support o Ppl with strong individualist values within an individualistic culture had smaller social networks, lower emotional competence, and poorer mental health o Advantages of extended families: wider range of social support; disadvantages: many demands for emotional and material support and advice  Coping Strategies o Coping is process of changing thoughts and behaviors to manage situations that involve potential stressors o Diff. coping strategies: Seeking social support, Problem-focused, Emotion-focused, Denial, Turn to religion, Disengagement o Men’s reactions to stress: fight or flight o Women’s reactions to stress: tend and befriend (primary coping strategy to seek social support; emotion-focused) o Men tend to tend and befriend under some stressful circumstances, too o Socialization view- women and men are socialized to react to stress differently (women w/ emotional coping and men w/ active, problem- solving strategies) o Structural view- gender-related diffs. in coping come from the diff. stressful situations men and women encounters o Girls used more maladaptive emotional coping than boys until adolescence, when boys increased in their emotion-focused coping o Adolescents w/ feminine gender-role orientation were more likely to use emotion-focused coping o Coping strategies used similarly by men and women--- situations just diff. o Women tend to use more social support than men o Boys who use social support showed fewer mental health problems o Men tend to rely on workplace social support whereas women tend to rely on family social networks for support o Possibility that reports of gender diffs. in coping are biased by memories funneled through gender role stereotypes  Few gender diffs. in coping may be research artifacts Diagnoses of Mental Disorders  Diagnosis: a statement of the classification of a physical or psychological problem  Good clinical classification system should provide info about cause of condition, enable clinicians to make predictions about course of disorder, and suggest course of treatment as well as methods of prevention  Personal bias in clinician’s personal judgment about diagnosis  The DSM Classification System o Standard for professionals who provide mental health care o Diagnosis on basis of five dimensions, or axes, which allow for comprehensive physical, psychological, and social diagnoses o First three axes provide diagnosis o Other two axes provide evaluation of stressors and overall functioning o Axis I- major clinical disorders o Axis II- mental retardation and personality disorders o Axis III- classification of physical disorders (compatible with International Classification of Diseases diagnosis system) o Axis IV- reporting of psychosocial and environmental problems related to diagnosis o Axis V- overall rating of functioning on Global Assessment of Functioning Scale o Controversy: lack of research support, adding and deleting diagnoses for political reasons, adding diagnoses that may not be abnormal  Gender Inequity in the Diagnosis of Mental Disorders o Descriptions of disorders that make women more likely to be diagnoses w/ problem behavior (b/c male behavior is considered norm) o Phyllis Chesler contended that women who overconform or underconform to the traditional feminine gender role are subject to diagnosis o Men who fail to conform to male gender role may be at increased risk for diagnosis o “Deviant” deviance from gender role is seen as more serious than “normal” deviance o DSM received criticism for its failure to consider life circumstances and culture of those receiving diagnoses o Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD): diagnosis applied to symptoms that are very similar to premenstrual syndrome--- some normal female functions have become “medicalized” and thus conside
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