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Chapter 15

Chapter 15 - Stress, Coping, and Health

3 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
Psychology 1000
Professor
Laura Fazakas- De Hoog

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Chapter 15 "Stress, Coping, and Health" The Nature of Stress - life event scales - asks people to indicate not only whether a particular event occurred but also their appraisal of whether the event was a positive or negative one and whether or it was a major event or a "day-to-day" event - four aspects of appraisal process are of particular significance: (1) appraisal of the demands of the situation (primary appraisal) (2) appraisal of the resources available to cope with it (secondary appraisal) (3) judgments of what the consequences of the situation could be (4) appraisal of the personal meaning, that is, what the outcome might imply about us - chronic stress and the GAS - general adaptation syndrome (GAS) - body's responses to a stressor, which includes successive phases of alarm reaction, resistance, and exhaustion - alarm reaction - body's natural tendency to maintain stable internal state of homeostasis results in parasympathetic nervous system activity - resistance - body's resource continue to be mobilized so that the person can function despite presence of stressor - exhaustion - body's resources are dangerously depleted if stressor is intense and persists for too long - stressors are events that place physical or psychological demands on people - stressful defined by balance between demands and resources Stress and Health - post-traumatic stress disorder - represents what can happen to victims of extreme stress and trauma - severe anxiety disorder that is caused by exposure to traumatic life events, to severe stress - 4 major symptoms... (i) severe anxiety, physiological arousal (stress response), distress (ii) painful controllable reliving of events in flashbacks, dreams, fantasies (iii) emotional numbing and avoidance of stimuli associated with trauma (iv) intense "survivor guilt" in instances where others were killed but the individual survived - stress and illness - exposure of hippocampus to prolonged elevations of stress-related hormones causes deterioration of hippocampus and accompanying memory impairment - stressor lasting a few hours can release sufficient stress hormone to induce structural changes in hippocampus that last for a month+ - life stress can decrease immune functions, worsen pre-existing medical conditions, and increase risk of illness and death - cognitive protective factors: the importance of beliefs - how one thinks about a situation and themselves are important protective and vulnerability factors: (1) hardiness - "three C's": commitment, control, challenge - believe they are doing something important - view themselves in control over outcomes - see it as challenge or opportunity, not threat (2) coping self-efficacy - the conviction that we can perform behaviours necessary to cope successfully - those experiencing increase in self-efficacy while confronting stressful situation have immune system begins to function more effectively (3) optimism - pessimists are at greater risk for helplessness and depression when they confront stressful events (4) personality factors - Type A - characterized by high levels of competitiveness and ambition, as well as aggressiveness and hostility when things get in their way - crucial component seems to be negative emotions - Type B - more relaxed and agreeable, have far less sense of time urgency - Type C - almost mirror image of Type A - highly sociable and "nice" people who are very inhibited in expressing negative emotions (5) finding meaning in stressful life events - researchers discovered that those who were able to find meaning in loss experienced less distress during the first year - physiological reactivity - responses of autonomic and endocrine systems appear to underlie ma
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