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Ch 6 -7 Part 3 Stress and Coping .docx

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PSYC 3170
Joseph Baker

Part 3 Stress and Coping Chapter 6 Stress What is stress? Negative emotional experience accompanied by predictable biochemical, physiological, cognitive + - behavioral changes directed either toward altering stressful even or accommodation to its effect - Mind-body relationship and how individual perceptions, behaviors, predispositions are intertwined w/social and environmental context to influence health What is a stressor? - Stressors are stressful events themselves - Study of stressor help define conditions that are more likely to produce stress than others but can’t fully explain experience of stress  Dependent situation, for example if music playing is your favorite rock it may not be stressful to you but may be noisy to neighbor  Losing a job may be financial burden creating stress to one but on other hand it is opportunity to try new field for someone else Person – Environment Fit - Stress is consequence of person’s appraisal process: assessment of whether personal resource sufficient to meet demands of environment - Determined by person – environment fit  When resource are more than adequate person may feel little stress but more sense of challenge When resource is probably sufficient they may feel moderate stress   When person feel resource is not enough to meet environment stressor - Stress results from process of appraising events, assessing potential response, responding to events What theories and models are used to study stress? Fight or flight - Cannon’s (1932) fight or flight response  When organism perceived threat the body rapidly aroused ad motivated thru SNS and endocrine system to either attack threat or flee  Before fight/flee was in response to predator, now it is in regards to fighting aggressively in response to stress or flight in social withdrawal or thru substance use like alcohol/drugs - Can be adaptive to enable organism to respond to threat - Can be harmful as it disrupts emotional/physiological functioning Selye’s General Adaptation Syndrome - Selye’s (1965, 1976) is considered father of field of stress research  Initially explore effects of sex hormones on physiological functioning then became interested in stressful impact his interventions had  Exposed rats to extreme conditions like cold or fatigue and found regardless it produced same pattern of physiological responding  Enlarged adrenal cortex, shrinking of thymus +lymph glands, ulceration of stomach + duodenum - Compared to Cannon’s adrenomedullary response to stress, Selye’s style was adrenocortical response to stress - General adaptation syndrome When organism confronts stressor it mobilizes itself for action and is nonspecific w/respect  to stressor regardless of cause, individual will respond with same physiological pattern of reaction  Over time the repeated/prolonged exposure to stress there will be wear + tear on system 3 phases:   Alarm: organism becomes mobilized to meet threat  Resistance: organism makes effort to cope w/threat thru confrontation  Exhaustion: if organism fails to overcome threat + depletes physiological resources in process of trying - Still used today as  It offers general theory of reaction to variety of stress over time  Posits physiological mechanism for stress-illness relationship Exhaustion was basis for disease  Criticism to General Adaptation Syndrome - Limited role to psychological factors mainly because research was done on animal not human - Assumption that response to stress are uniform, but now evidence show otherwise - Assess stress as outcome whereas people experience many effects of stress while stressful event is going on and also in anticipation of its occurrence Tend and Befriend - Taylor developed theory tend and befriend  In addition to fight or flight, human respond to stress with social + nurturing behavior, especially true for women - Befriending is affiliating with others + seeking social contact during stress may be characteristics of females ad may help in self-preservation + protection of offspring  Men used to be responsible for hunting and gathering leaving women behind to take care of offspring thus they were protective of self and offspring (offspring were often immature and unable to survive without attention) - May depend on underlying biological mechanism  Oxytocin may have significance for female response to stress Stress hormone released in response to some stressful events + effects especially  influenced estrogen  Also act as impetus for affiliation: increase mothering, warm touching between couple, leads to calmer and more relaxed behavior Women more likely to turn to others in response to stress than men - - This theory brings social behavior into stress process Psychological Appraisal and Experience - Important determinant of whether event is response to as stressful Primary Appraisal Processes - Lazarus maintained when individual confront new or changing environment they engage in process of primary appraisal to determine meaning of event Event may be positive, negative, neutral -  Negative or potential negative events are further appraised for possible harm/threat/challenge  Harm is assessment of damage done by event  Threat is possible further damage that may be brought about by event  Primary appraisal have important effect on physiological response like when bp goes up when threat is high or when challenge is low  Challenge is potential to overcome or profit from event  Associated with more confident expectations of ability to cope w/event, more favorable emotional reaction to event and lower bp - Importance of primary appraisal is stress not only intrinsic but depends on viewers appraisal of it  Experiment of viewing gruesome film those who knew of why rituals were done experience less stress than those who had no info and only saw the pain received Secondary Appraisal Process - initiated at same time primary appraisal occurring - assessment of one’s coping abilities + resources and if they will be sufficient to meet harm, threat, challenge - subjective experience of stress is balance btwn primary and secondary appraisal  when harm and threat are high and coping ability is low, substantial stress is felt  when coping ability is high, stress may be minimal response may be response involuntary reaction to stress or voluntary in effort to cope   cognitive response to stress include beliefs about harm or threat an event pose + beliefs about its cause or controllability  involuntary = distractibility + inability to concentrate; performance disruption on cognitive task and intrusive, repetitive or morbid though emotional response = fear, anxiety, excitement, embarrassment, anger, depression can be  insistent, prompting rumination which may keep biological response elevated  behavioral response are limitless and depend on nature of event either fight against stressor or flight withdrawal are two main categories Physiological of Stress - stress cause psychological distress and lead to changes in body for ST/LT consequence for health - 2 interrelated systems are sympathetic adrenomedullary (SAM) and hypothalamic pituitary adrenocortical (HPA) axis Sympathetic activation - When events are harmful/threatening, cerebral cortex will set of reactions transmitted to hypothalamus to initiate early response in SNS - Sympathetic arousal stimulates medulla of adrenal glands and secrete catecholamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine - Sympathetic arousal leads to increased BP, HR, sweating, constriction of peripheral blood vessels HPA activation - Hypothalamus release corticotrophin releasing factor CRF and stimulate pituitary gland to secrete ACTH which stimulates adrenal cortex to release glucocorticoids  Cortisol is significant as it conserve stores of carb and reduce inflammation and also help body return to stead state following stress by inhibiting release of CRF - Repeated activate of HPA will compromise its functioning altering daily cortisol pattern, general flattening of diurnal rhythms, exaggerated cortisol response to challenge, protracted cortisol response following stressor or alternatively no response Effects of LT stress - Excess discharge of catecholamine, epi + norepi will lead to suppression of immune functions  Increase bp, hr, variations in normal heart rhythms, produce neurochemical imbalance contributing to development of psychiatric disorder  Catecholamine effect lipid levels + free fatty acids leading to development of atherosclerosis and CV disease - Corticosteroids compromise functioning of immune system and prolonged cortisol secretion  Leads to problems in verbal functioning, memory, concentration b/c of effect in hippocampus - Pronounced HPA activation cause depression, storage of fat in abdominal fat rather than hips leading to higher waist to hip ratio which is marker for chronic stress - Research show HPA activation consequence are more significant than sympathetic activation Sympathetic adrenal activation may no be pathway for disease, HPA is required as well   Explain why exercise is protective for health as it produce sympathetic arousal not HPA activation  Exercise may engage different neurobiological + emotional system and patterns of activation than those engaged in stress - Stress may impair response to hormonal signals that terminate inflammation  Parents of cancer patients reported more stress and had flatter daily slopes of cortisol secretion, also had suppress production of IL-6 which was inflammatory cytokine which link to coronary artery disease - Chronic stress was result of chronic insomnia as sleep is restorative activity Individual differences in stress reactivity - Reactivity is degree of change that occurs in autonomic, neuroendocrine or immune response as result of stress and varies from different ppl Genetic predisposition to illness - - Can affect vulnerability Physiological Recovery Process - Inability to recover quickly from stress is marker for cumulative damage - Athletes who had higher degree of stress showed longer cortisol recovery which may widen window of susceptibility for illness and injury Allostatic Load Initial response of body to stress may be arousal but later exhaustion will lead to cumulative - damage  leads to allostatic laod  Physiological system w/in body fluctuate to meet demands from stress, state known as allostasis  allostatic load build up as physiological cost of chronic exposure to fluctuating or heightened neural or neuroendocrine response resulting from repeated/chronic stress  build up has LT cost and is assessed by number of indicators  cell mediated immunity, inability to shut off cortisol, lowered HR variability, elevated epi, high waist to hip ratio, volume of hippocampus (believed to decrease), memory problems, high plasma fibrinogen, elevated bp  as these all relates to aging, extend allostatic load build is thought of accelerated aging and also related to illness What makes events stressful? Assessing stress - self-reports of perceived stress: life change, emotional distress; behavioral measures like task performance under stress, physiological measures of arousal like HR, BP - self-reports may be biased, biological markers may enhance due to number of factors in addition to stress, behavioral measure are subject to multiple interpretation catecholamine is enhance by other factors, individual often present themselves in  desirable ways, performance decline may due to motivation or fatigue  therefore researchers often use multiple measures Dimensions of stressful event - events are inherently stressful but the appraisal of it is what causes event to be stressful negative events: -  more likely to produce stress than positive events often b/c present extra work or special problem leading to exceed present resources show stronger relationship to psychological distress and physical symptoms than  positive ones may be b/c it has implications for self-concept producing loss of self- esteem or erosion of sense of mastery or identity uncontrollable events: -  more stressful than controlled ones as ppl feel they can predict, modify, terminate or have access to someone who ca influence it feelings of control not only mute subjective experience of stress but influence  biochemical reactions  believing that one can control stressor lead to lower cortisol level also tied to immunosuppressive effects  - ambiguous events  stressful b/c person has no opportunity to take action rather has to devote energy to try and understand stressor = time consuming and resource sapping - overloading - which stressors: some ppl more vulnerable to central domains than peripheral as important aspects  are overly invested in central life domains Must Stress be perceived as such to be Stressful? - perception of stress is important but objective defined stress show relation to adverse psychological + physiological stress Can people adapt to stress - when stressful event become permanent or chronic ppl either habituate or develop chronic strain - psychological adaptation most ppl able to adapt to moderate or predictable stressor   vulnerable population like children, elder, poor will be affected by environmental stressors and show sign of helplessness and difficulty in performing task  for highly stressful event + already stressed individual may not adapt can even when psychological adaptation occurred, physiological changes in response to stress may persist - physiological adaptation  low level stress may produce habituation but more intense stress damage from chronic stress which accumulate across multiple organ system as allostatic load model suggest  habituation more likely for HPA than for sympathetic chronic stress can impair CB ad neuroendocrine recovery from stressors through  such effects increasing risk for disease  LT stressful event were related to poorer immune functioning thus physiological habituation may not occur or be complete when stressor are LT and immune system gets compromised Must stressor be ongoing to be stressful? - Anticipating stress  Anticipation can be at least stressful as actual occurrence Study show CB activity before exam as high as during event  - After-effects of stress  Decrease in performance and attention span sometimes long after event occurred Observed in wide range of stressors like noise, high task load, electric shock,  bureaucratic stress, crowding, lab induced stress  Exposure to stress over long period of time deplete reserves and resistance breaks down  Study where student exposed to noise for 25 min lead to poor performance in puzzles How has stressed been studied? Studying stress in lab Acute stress paradigm finds ppl induced to perform stressful task show ST psychological - distress and storing indication of sympathetic activity and neuroendocrine response - Acute stress studies shown indicative of development of heart disease - Acute stress also useful in studying individual differences  Ppl high in hostility show heightened BP and CB responsiveness to lab stress compared to those not as hostile - Those who go thru acute stressor in presence of supportive other eve stranger has reduce stress response Inducing disease - Psychological stress lead to greater evidence of illness and increased production of IL-6 to viral challenge than those who were less stress Stressful life events Holmes and Rahe found that organism must make substantial adjustment to environment - when stress is high  Developed inventory to measure stress = SRRS social readjustment rating scale Because social and societal values change event significance change therefore  scale ratings have changed over the years to now revised recent life changes questionnaire RLCQ Problems measuring stressful life events -  Some items on list are vague  Events have preassigned values so individual differences aren’t taken into account Inventories usually include +/- events both events that one chooses or sudden  events that are out of control and usually sudden, negative ones are the one that predict illness Researchers don’t assess whether events have successfully resolve or not thus  weakens ability of life event to predict adverse health consequence  Chronic strain is part of everyday life rather than specific life event Individual difference cause ppl to be more prone to reporting than other or  sometimes ppl forget making scale unreliable  Difficulty in trying to estimate stress-illness relationship depends on time btwn two events – over 6 month, 1 yr - Scale is less used now Daily stress - Reduce psychological well-being over ST ad produce physical symptoms - Associated with unhealthy eating which may further influence health Cumulative impact of small stressors may wear down individual and predispose them to - become ill - Events may influence relationship btwn major life events and illness - Chronic stress may mute impact of daily life making it not noticeable against ongoing stress What are the sources of chronic stress? Post-traumatic stress disorder - Chronic strain that result from severely traumatic events whose residual effect may remain for years - Childhood sexual abuse, rape, explore to natural or human made disaster may produce chronic mental health and physical health effects LT effects of early stressful life experience - Chronic physical or sexual abuse in childhood or adulthoo
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