Chapter 9 Book Notes

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16 Dec 2010

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Health, Illness, and Optimal Aging- Biological and Psychological Perspectives
Chapter 9 : The Interface between Physical and Mental Health
-Sigmund Freud is credited with developing the first Western scientific theory of mind,
and he believed that eventually psychological phenomena would be traced back to
neurophysiological events.
-Mothers of asthmatic children are often overprotective because their children are quite ill
-Having a chronic illness can lead to depression and frustration
-Mind and body are intimately connected in a bidirectional or transactional manner
-Bidirectional- reciprocal relationship between physical and psychological health
-Transactional- continuous process of change among multiple variables (Ex. Downward
-Personality Processes- to acknowledge the physiological factors studied in connection
with health and aging including: traits, affective states, psychological symptoms and
beliefs and attitudes
-Personality processes:
oStrong association between personality processes and diseases such as coronary
heart for disease (CHD) and overall mortality.
-More recent research has reinstated the relationship between personality and disease
-Three Primary negative emotions linked to the development of a disease and its
progression: (1) hostility (2) depression (3) anxiety
-Positive effects -which all control the negative effects: self-efficacy, optimism, and
emotional stability
Psychological Risk Factors and Health
-Traditional risk factors of CHD: high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cigarette smoking
-Type A Personality also known now as Type A Behaviour Pattern (TABP)
-Two primary ways of assessing TABP:
oStructured Interview:
Type A people are easily aggravated and express hostility
Annoyed by people who are slow [Interrupt & finish sentences]
Angry and hostile when challenged in social situations
oSelf-Report Questionnaires:
Miller, Smith, Turner, Guijarro, Hallet (1996)- conducted a
study and concluded that individuals higher in hostility are more likely to
develop CHD & exhibit higher rates of overall mortality.
-Demographic differences also exist. The relationship between hostility and CHD is
stronger for men than for women and may be stronger for younger than for older people,
although the results are inconsistent.
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Health, Illness, and Optimal Aging- Biological and Psychological Perspectives
-Williams (2000) data: showed the relationship between Type A and coronary heart
disease (CHD) was strongest for those between their 30’s to 40s
-From age 46 to 55, type A and Type B individuals had about equal rates of CHD
-After age 56, Type Bs were lipids such as low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) and
triglycerides. Relationships maybe moderated by factors such as: genetics, gender,
ethnicity, diet, smoking, and stress levels.actually higher – due to survivor effects
-People who are most vulnerable to effects of hostility tend to die earlier –confounding
fact that hostility decreases with age
-People with hostility have poorer health behaviour habits: more likely to smoke, drink
excessively, weight more, less active. Also those with high hostility exhibit greater
cardiovascular reactivity to stress [larger increases with blood pressure, more elevated
heart rates]
-They also exhibit higher levels of serum
-Friedman and Booth-Kewley (1987) found relatively consistent effects of anxiety on heart
disease and overall mortality
-Types of Anxiety: phobias, self-report anxiety, and worries
-Review on anxiety and CHD shows that emotional distress, especially anxiety, may be
associated with a release of catecholamines, which stimulates heart rate.
-Acute emotional distress and hyperventilation associated with vasospasmcuts off blood
flow to the heart muscles [esp. with those with ischemic disease]
-Vasospasm leads to ischemic problems and changes in blood platelets –promoting blood
-Increased heart rate increase demands for oxygen
-Heart disease- loss of normal autonomic nervous system control of heart rate & rhythm
-Decrease in parasympathetic control results in loss of beat-to-beat rate variability – hear
is vulnerable to sympathetic nervous system stimulation via catecholamines
-High anxiety can lead to arrhythmias under stress, leading to arrest and sudden death
-Heart rate variability also decreases with normal aging but is especially marked among
those with diabetic neuropathy and vascular disease. Chronic anxiety and depression are
also associated with decreased heart rate variability.
-Strongest association between negative affect and health in late life is found with
-Middle-aged men are more affected from spousal loss than older men
-Health problems in older adults both reflect and cause depression
-Reciprocal relationship- with depressed individuals more likely to have a higher rate of
impaired functional and cognitive health than their non-depressed peers
-Impairment may lead to greater depression
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