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Chapter 16

[Textbook Note] Chapter 16 - Stress and Health.docx

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Steve Joordens

Chapter 16 – Reading Notes Stress and Health 16.0  Stressors: Specific events or chronic pressures that place demands on a person or threaten the person’s well-being.  Stress: The physical and psychological response to internal or external stressors.  Health psychology: The sub-field of psychology concerned with ways psychological factors influence the causes and treatment of physical illness and the maintenance of health. 16.1  Stressors are personal events that affect the comfortable pattern of our lives and little annoyances that bug us day after day. 16.3  Chronic stressors: Sources of stress that occur continuously or repeatedly. 16.4  Stressors challenge you to do something, to take some action to eliminate or overcome the stressor.  Events are most stressful when there is nothing to do; no way to deal with the challenge.  A lack of perceived control underlies other stressors. o Stressful effects of crowding  You can’t control getting away from the crowded conditions. 16.6  Stress can produce changes in every system of the body and mind, stimulating both physical reactions and psychological reactions. 16.7  Fight-or-flight response: An emotional and physiological reaction to an emergency that increases readiness for action.  Hypothalamus  stimulating nearby pituitary gland  releases hormone known as ACTH  ACTH travels through bloodstream  stimulates adrenal glands atop the kidneys  adrenal glands are stimulated to release hormones (catecholamine)  increase sympathetic nervous system activation  decrease parasympathetic activation  increase respiration and blood pressure & make more oxygen available to the muscles to energize attack or initiate escape  adrenal gland also release cortisol (hormone that increases concentration of glucose in blood to make fuel available to muscles).  General adaptation syndrome (GAS): A three-stage physiological stress response that appears regardless of the stressor that is encountered.  GAS is nonspecific; response doesn’t vary no matter what the source of the repeated stress.  GAS occurring in 3 phases: o Alarm phase – In which the body rapidly mobilizes its resources to respond to the threat. Energy is required and body calls on its stored fat & muscle. Equivalent to Cannon’s fight-or-flight response. o Resistance phase – Body adapts to its high state of arousal as it tries to cope with stressor. Continuing to draw resources of fat & muscle, shuts down unnecessary processes (digestion, growth, sex drive stall, menstruation stops, and production of testosterone & sperm decreases). Body is taxed to generate resistance and puts a hold on the fun stuff. o Exhaustion phase – Body’s resistance collapse, many of the resistance-phase defenses create gradual damage as they operate, leading to costs for the body can include susceptibility to infection, tumour growth, aging, irreversible organ damage or death.  Immune system: A complex response system that protects the body from bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances.  Lymphocytes: Cells that produce antibodies that fight infection. White blood cells including T cells and B cells.  Psychoneuroimmunology: The study of how immune system responds to psychological variables, such as the presence of stressors.  Stressors can cause hormone known as glucocorticoids to flood the brain, wearing down the immune system and making it less able to fight invaders.  Atherosclerosis: Gradual narrowing of the arteries that occurs as fatty deposits, or plaque, builds up on the inner walls of the arteries. o Narrowed arteries reduced blood supply. o When an artery is blocked by a blood clot or by detached plaque, it will result in a heart attack.  Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman (1974) conducted a revolutionary study that demonstrated a link between work-related stress and coronary heart disease.  Type A behaviour pattern: A tendency toward easily aroused hostility, impatience, a sense of time urgency, and competitive achievement strivings. 16.8  Primary appraisal: The interpretation of a stimulus as stressful or not.  Secondary appraisal: Determine whether the stressor is something you can handle or not.  Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Chronic physiological arousal, recurrent unwanted thoughts or images of the trauma, and avoidance of things that call the traumatic event to mind.  Comparing people with and without PTSD, the hippocampus was found to be smaller in volume among individuals with PTSD.  Burnout: A state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion created by long-term involvement in an emotionally demanding situation and accompanied by lowered performance and motivation. 16.11  Repressive coping: Characterized by avoiding situations or thoughts that are reminders of a stressor and maintaining an artificial positive viewpoint.  Rational coping: Facing the stressor and working to overcome it. o Acceptance – Coming to realize that the stressor exist and cannot be wished away. o Exposure – Attending to the stressor, thinking about it,
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