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Chapter 15

Chapter 15 Stress, Coping, Health.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 1000
Professor
Terry Biggs
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 15 Stress, Coping, and Health THE NATURE OF STRESS - View stress in 3 different ways o Stimulus  Stressors: events or stimuli that place strong demands on us o Response  Response that has cognitive, physiological, and behavioral component o Organism-environment interaction  Stress= pattern of cognitive appraisals, physiological responses and behavioral tendencies that happen because of an imbalance between situational demands and resources STRESSORS - Range in severity o From micro-stressors to catastrophic events to major negative events - Characteristics of stressors o Intensity/severity o Duration o Predictability o Controllability o Chronicity - Measuring stressful life events o Researchers made life event scales  Life event scales: quantify amount of life stress person experienced over given period  Asks if a particular event occurred, if event was positive or negative, if it was a major event THE STRESS RESPONSE - Four types of appraisal in response to stressor (Lazarus) o Appraisal of demands of situation  Primary appraisal  Evaluate the demands of the situation and significance to you o Appraisal of resources of available to cope with it  Secondary appraisal  If demands is greater than resources, will experience stress o Judgment of what consequences of situation could be  Seriousness of consequence and likelihood they will occur o Appraisal of personal meaning  What the outcome can imply about us  May relate to basic beliefs about yourself or world - Differences in appraisal patterns makes the variations in which individuals respond to a situation - As soon as we make appraisals, body follows o Autonomic and somatic feedback o Stress hormones CHRONIC STRESS AND THE GAS - Selye study body’s response to stress o Described physiological response pattern as GAS - GAS: General adaptation syndrome - 3 phases of GAS o Alarm reaction  Rapid increase in physiological arousal  Sudden activation of sympathetic nervous system  Activate smooth muscles, organs, glands  Increase heart rate, respiration o More blood = more oxygen  Dilate pupils o More sensitive to light o Enhance vision  Slows digestions o Allows blood to be diverted from digestive to muscle  Release of stress hormones  Cascade of messages from hypothalamus to pituitary gland to adrenal gland  Most important hormone= cortisol o Cortisol: trigger increase blood sugar, suppress immune system (anti-inflammatory effect)  Persistent secretion associated with clinical conditions  Body wants homeostasis so parasympathetic nervous system functions  Reduce arousal nd  If stress response continue, then enter 2 stage o Resistance  Body’s resources continue to be mobilized so person can function with a stressor  Can last for relatively long time  Length of stage depend on severity of stress, individual’s general health, support, and other factors  Eventually resources used up and can reach exhaustion o Exhaustion  Body’s resources dangerously depleted  More severe the stress, faster will reach this stage  Whatever system of body is the weakest is the first to breakdown STRESS AND HEALTH STRESS AND PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL-BEING - Some stressors so traumatic they have strong and long-lasting psychological impact - Rape trauma syndrome: reaction from trauma of rape o Victims feel nervous and fear another attack by rapist o Even if move homes, still have nightmares and frightened o Decrease in enjoyment of sexual activity  Orgasm might not be affected - More negative life events, more likely to have symptoms of psychological distress o But might not be true o Can go the other way around - 3 different paths between stress and distress o 1. More stress can cause more distress o 2. Distress can cause stress o 3. Third variable can cause both stress and/or distress  Neuroticism can be one factor  Neuroticism: personality trait that involve tendency to experience high levels of negative affect and behave in self-defeating ways PTSD - Dallaire – in charge of UN peacekeeping force for Rwanda o Had PTSD - PTSD: severe anxiety disorder caused by exposure to traumatic life events - 4 major groups of symptoms o Severe anxiety, physiological arousal, distress o Painful, uncontrollable reliving of events in flashback, dreams, fantasies o Emotional numbing and avoidance of stimuli associated with trauma o Intense survivor guilt where others were killed but individual survived - Some with PTSD show self-destructive and impulsive behavior - Civilian victims of war more likely to get PTSD than for soldiers - Women more likely to develop PTSD than men - Likelihood of developing PTSD based on o Social support o Presence of significant childhood stress o Personality factors o Coping strategies o Pre-existing psychological conditions - PTSD increase vulnerability to other disorders STRESS AND ILLNESS - Stress can lead to entire spectrum of physical illness - Some immediate some take time - Adults who experience high stress, increased risk of developing chronic health conditions later on - Experience several different stressors = increase risk of developing chronic health problem - Can trigger illness o Ex. long-term secretion of stress hormones  Hormones affect ability of heart and can damage lining of artery  Reducing fat metabolism can contribute to heart attach and strokes o Breakdown in immune system functioning o Contribute in health breakdown cause people to behave in ways to increase risk of illness  Ex. people with diabetes need to control disease but when under stress but it into back seat o Cortisol – important effect on brain and cognitive function  Hippocampus = learning and memory  Prolonged exposure to cortisol = deterioration of hippocampus - Mild stress early in life can be like a barrier to stressors later in life o Maternal behavior affect ability to overcome stress - Experiences when young have lasting impact on stress hormone levels and efficiency to recover from stress VULNERABILTY AND PROTECTIVE FACTORS - Vulnerability factors: increase people’s susceptibility to stressful events - Protective factors: environmental or personal resources that help people cope more effectively with stressful events SOCIAL SUPPORT - One of most important environmental resources - Relation between social isolation and poor health stronger in men - Social support enhance immune system functioning o Baron studied people whose spouses treated for cancer - When think they are part of a social system, experience greater sense of identity and meaning in lives o Results in greater psychological well-being - Reduce exposure to other risk factors - Having social support can increase feeling of control over stressors - Can apply social pressure to prevent people from coping with stress in bad ways - Pennebaker studies: suggest important of having to talk about upsetting experience o University students  Those who talked, fewer visits to health center o Need more research though  Possible that other factors like personality could have affected these results COGNITIVE PROTECTICE FACTORS: IMPORTANCE OF BELIEFS - Hardiness: stress-resistant personality pattern that involves 3 factors o Kobasa o 3 CS  Commitment  Hardy people = committed in well-rounded ways  Control  Hardy people= feel they have control over outcomes  Challenge  Hardy people= look at demands as challenges not threats o Control is the strongest in buffering stress - Coping self-efficacy: conviction we can perform behaviors necessary to cope successfully o Specific with a particular situation o Large stressors can be less demanding if we think we have resources to deal with them o Previous success in similar situation increase self-efficacy o Can increase by observing others cope with it o Experience low physiological response can give confidence and increase efficacy o Immune system more effective with high efficacy - Optimism o Pessimistic people greater risk for helplessness and depression when confronted with stressful events o Chang: optimists appraise themselves as less helpless in stress o Pessimist = twice as many doctor visits  Reduced immune functioning - Personality factors o Type A personality: live under great pressure and are demanding of themselves  Exaggerated sense of time urgency  Irritated at delays or failures  Competitive  Ambitious  Double risk of coronary heart disease  Behavioral patterns guarantees that these people will encounter many stressful situations  Alienate others, produce conflict, reduce social support o Type B personality: more relaxed, more agreeable, less time urgency - Finding meaning in stressful life events o Those able to find meaning in the event turn out less distressed o Religious beliefs can be good or bad-
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