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United States (204,198)
Psychology (294)
01:830:340 (46)
Chapter 7


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Rutgers University
Sara Campbell

Chapter 7: Psychological and social factors that influence health behavioral medicine- interdisciplinary approach applying behavioral science to the prevention diagnosis and treatment of medical problems, aka psychosomatic medicine health psychology- subfield of behavioral medicine that studies psychological factors important in health promotion and maintenance Psychological and social factors influence health in two ways 1. they affect the biological processes that lead to illness or disease (stress) 2. long standing behavior patterns may put people at risk for physical disorders (50% of deaths in the US can be traced to behaviors in certain lifestyles for ex smoking) herpes example- biological cause but spreads rapidly because of people who choose not to wear a condom I. the nature of stress ■ term found by hans selye who injected rats but the illness of the rats was not caused by the injection but the stress of getting injected ■ developed responses to sustained stress theory ○ resistance- mobilize coping mechanisms to respond to stress ○ exhaustion- enter this stage is stress is too intense or lasts too long and the body will suffer from permanent damage ■ general adaption syndrome- reaction to sustained stress (Selye) stages of alarm, resistance (coping), and exhaustion which may lead to death ■ stress- physiological response of the body to a stressor which requires adaptation II. the physiology of stress ■ activates the sympathetic nervous symptom which prepares the body to fight or flight ■ endocrine activity inc-- HPA ○ CRF- secreted by the hypothalamus and stimulates the pituitary which activates the adrenal gland which secretes cortisol (stress H) ○ closely related to the limbic system ○ hippocampus is responsive to cortisol it turns off the HPA axis (negative feedback btwn the limbic system and HPA turns off the stress response) ○ Robert Sapolsky- worked with baboons showed that inc levels of cortisol during stress may kill nerve cells in the hippocampus ( if the hippocampus is compromised eventually its ability to turn of the stress response will diminish) ○ sustained stress= sustained levels of cortisol= brain damage III. contributions to the stress response ■ Robert Sapolsky- baboons at the lower rank had higher levels of stress and higher levels of resting cortisol *stress levels were related to psychological factors similar to how they are in humans ■ dominant males had lower levels or resting cortisol and produced more cortisol more quickly in response to stress ■ cortisol contributes to arousal and mobility short term but sustained levels damage the hippocampus ○ also damages muscle atrophy, infertility due to high testosterone, hypertension, and impaired immune response ■ subordinate baboons ○ increased levels of CSF in response to stress secreted by the hypothalamus which continuous stimulation of the pituitary makes it less responsive as well as makes the HPA less responsive and unable to turn off the stress response ■ Predictability and controllability*- in subordinate males also in group of males with no clear “winner” showed similar H profiles of the subordinate males even though they are still high on the raking IV. stress, anxiety, depression, and excitement ■ 30 year long study showed that those men who developed psychological disorders or became chronically stressed died at a higher rate ■ all have the same physical symptoms and feelings what you experience depends on your sense of control ■ self efficacy- perception of having the ability to cope with stress or challenges V. stress and the immune response ■ chance of getting sick directly related to the the amount of stress a person has experienced in the past year study also related to the severity of the cold ○ also related to ho sociable you are ■ stressful situations lowers immune system fx and is strongly associated with relationships ■ disorders impact immune system fx ‘lack of sense of control lowers immune response ■ the effects of chronic stress on the immune system last longer ■ how the immune system works ○ antigens- foreign materials ○ humeral (b cells) and cellular ■ have learned there are connections btwn the nervous system and immune system (study with rats and repressed immune system after drinking flavored water) ■ psychoneuroimmunology (PNI)- study of the psychological influence on the immune system ■ stress activated molecules in cells that activate genes (ex GABA activates interleukin which causes the inflammatory response) Psychological effects on Physical disorders I. AIDS ■ AIDS related complex- group of minor health problems that appear after HIV before full blown aids (night sweats, appetite loss, fever) ■ median time from initial infection to aids is 7.3 to 10 years or more ■ highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) used to slow progression ■ efforts in boosting the immune system may contribute to preventing aids ■ high levels of stress and low levels of social support have been shown to increase progression ■ cognitive behavioral stress management programs have shown positive effects on the immune system, effects shown to be better than the HAART drug (dec viral load) II. cancer ■ psycho-oncology- psychological factors involved in the course and treatment of cancer ■ study on women with breast cancer that spread to other body parts- showed those who received psychotherapy lived longer than those who did not (2 year prognosis) III. cardiovascular problems ■ stroke- cerebral vascular accident- block of blood vessel supplying the brain or rupture of blood vessel in the brain ■ hypertension- majority cases have no physical cause (almost 90%) and are called essential hypertension ○ twice as more common if black than white ○ autonomic NS and sodium regulatio
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