At the beginning of the twentieth century, the main causes of death were:
Nowadays, some major contributing factors to illness and death are:
Physical Disorders have known or strongly inferred physical causes and for the most
part, observable physical pathology.
Psychosomatic or Psychophysiological disorder – psychological factors affected
somatic (physical) function. These terms used to be used, but less often today.
Knowledge derived from behavioural science is applied to the prevention,
diagnosis and treatment of medical problems.
Psychologists, physicians and other health professionals work closely together to
develop new treatments and preventative strategies.
Considered a subfield of behavioural medicine
Studies psychological factors important in health promotion and maintenance.
Psychological and social factors influence health and physical problems in two distinct
1. They can affect the basic biological processes that lead to illness and disease
Negative emotions and stress can lead to physical disorders/diseases
AIDS is directly affected by stress which may promote its deadly progression.
2. Long standing behaviour patterns may put people at risk of developing
certain physical disorders
Poor eating habits
No exercise A variety of things we choose to do put us at risk for AIDS – unprotected sex
or sharing needles.
Smoking is a major behavioural contributor to mortality.
General Adaptation Syndrome
Sequence of reactions to sustained stress described by Hans Selye
1. ALARM response to immediate danger or threat
2. With continuing stress, pass into a stage of RESISTANCE, in which we mobilize
various coping mechanisms to respond to the stress.
3. If the stress is too intense or lasts too long, we may enter a stage of
EXHAUSTION, where our bodies suffer permanent damage or death
Stress Body's physiological response to a stressor, which is any event or change that
Cortisol = stress hormone
Self-efficacy Person's perception that he or she has the ability to cope with stress or
Immune System Body's means of identifying and eliminating any foreign materials
(e.g., bacteria, parasites, even transplanted organs) that enter.