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Chapter 10

Chapter 10 Textbook notes

Health Studies
Course Code
Anna Walsh

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HLTB01 Chapter 10 Stress, Coping, and Health
-3 major ways of defining stress:
-1) Physiological state of the organism (sometimes referred to as a strain)
-2) Characteristic of the environment (or stressor)
-3) View stress as a transaction between the person and the environment
Stress as a Physiological State
Classic Theories
-Canon was the first physiologist to systematically describe the physiological effects of
-Canon posited that the perception of a threat activated the sympathetic nervous system
(SNS), which readies the organism for fight or flight
-SNS reacts to stress in 2 ways: 1) the sympathetic nerves directly enervate the heart, the
bronchi in the lungs, the gut, and the kidney;2) the sympathetic/adrenal medulla (SAM)
system secretes adrenaline and noradrenaline into the blood, which also stimulates the
organs muscles and blood vessels
-once the threat is resolved, parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) activation returns the
body to homeostasis by decreasing heart rate and respiratory rates, as well as BP and
returning blood flow to the internal organs
-the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activation is a slower but more sustained
response to a wide variety of stressors, chemical toxins, and psychosocial problems
-stress can affect the functioning of nearly every organ system in the body, either through
SNS or HPA activation
-Selye dualistic process has three stages
-1) alarm stage: fight/flight and involves the adrenal glands as well as SNS activation
-2) adaptation: a return to physiological homeostasis (due in part to PNS activation) or
enhanced functioning
-3) exhaustion: the organism may fall ill or die if the stress continues this was a result of
the body’s supplies of hormones becoming depleted
Modern Theories
-there are individual differences in stress reactions
-Mason there are different stressor profiles
-the activation of the HPA is an attempt to buffer the prolonged SNS activation
-Sapolsky proposed that Selye was wrong stressed organisms do not die because their
hormones become depleted, but because of the toxic effects of the stress response itself
-chronic stress (PTSD) is associated with lower levels of cortisol thus, chronic stress can
deplete glucocoticoids
-men and women differ in their preference for company or solitude while awaiting a
stressful procedure
-could be a three-dimensional response to stress: fight-flight-affiliate
Stress and the Development of Chronic Illness
-stress can result in heart disease, cancer, CVD risk factors
-stress appears to show a relationship between development of certain types of tumors
(breast cancer)
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