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PYA2 – Stress Sources of Stress. Stressors – Life Changes, Hassles and Uplifts BATs Distinguish between life events and daily hassles. Describe the strengths.

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Presentation on theme: "PYA2 – Stress Sources of Stress. Stressors – Life Changes, Hassles and Uplifts BATs Distinguish between life events and daily hassles. Describe the strengths."— Presentation transcript:

1 PYA2 – Stress Sources of Stress

2 Stressors – Life Changes, Hassles and Uplifts BATs Distinguish between life events and daily hassles. Describe the strengths and weaknesses of questionnaire measures of life changes. Outline studies by Holmes and Rahe and De Longis. Evaluate studies in terms of methodological and ethical issues.

3 Sources of Stress You need to know about 3 types of stressor: Life Changes Hassles and Uplifts Workplace stressors

4 Sources of Stress Stressors are more to do with how a person thinks about a situation than the actual situation (cognitive appraisal). The way we deal with stressors is moderated by individual differences like personality, culture and gender.

5 Life Changes Major events, e,g marriage and divorce, that have a psychological impact on the individual. Stressors can be positive as well as negative (going to Uni, marriage, having a baby). Can also feel stressed when something doesn’t happen e.g not getting a job, not passing exams.

6 Over to you … In small groups put the Life Change cards into order – most stressful at the top. Does every group agree on the order? Now compare your order with that of Holmes and Rahe who created the SRRS (Social Readjustment Rating Scale) on p 136

7 Over to you … Now use the Student SRRS to assess your Life Change score A total score of more than 150 indicates that someone may be overstressed. The amount that someone can take varies between individuals.

8 Why do life changes lead to stress? Holmes and Rahe (1967) – life changes are linked to stress and illness. They often observed, when treating patients, that a major life event preceded a physical illness. Events were positive and negative, but always involved change. Change requires ‘psychic energy’ to be used up (it is stressful).

9 Rahe et al (1970) Read p 137 and summarise this research on the sheet provided. What do you think the strengths and weaknesses of this study are? – think methodology and ethical issues

10 Aim – Used the SRRS developed by Holmes and Rahe (1967) to test their hypothesis that the number of life events a person experienced would be positively correlated with illness. Studied ‘normal’ population instead of those already ill in hospital. Procedures – Opportunity sample of 2,700 men on US Navy cruisers. Did military version of SRRS before tour of duty, noting all life events experienced over past 6 months. Illness score calculated on basis of number, type and severity of illnesses during 7 months tour of duty. Sciving did not score!! Star Study – Rahe et al 1970


12 Findings – An LCU (life change units) and illness score were calculated for each man. Positive correlation of +0.118. Because of the large sample this was significant. Conclusion – Findings support the hypothesis. Possible that the link is stress (life changes cause stress, stress causes illness, so life changes are sources of stress). +ve and –ve life events were included on SRRS, so it is change rather than negativity that is important. The overall amount of psychic energy needed to cope with an event that creates stress. Star Study – Rahe et al 1970

13 Rahe et al 1970- Criticisms Strengths SRRS was a landmark development in stress research Weaknesses Is SRRS valid? Focus on acute life events rather than ongoing (chronic) stressors. Does not distinguish between desirable and undesirable events. Does not take into account what social support the men had, which may influence how they coped. A crude measure of stress which may explain the weak correlation Weaknesses Unreliable data Men may not have remembered the life events accurately in previous 6 months. May repress bad events.

14 Hassles and Uplifts It is often the everyday annoyances that give us the most stress These are known as Daily Hassles - see p140 These are not particularly relevant to students Make up 10 uplifts and hassles of your own (in small groups) and rank them Compare with other groups

15 Hassles and Uplifts Use worksheet 62 or your list to assess the hassles (and uplifts) in your life.

16 Research methods-Correlational analysis A correlational analysis was done to see if there was a relationship between hassles/life changes and illness. We have a set of hassles scores construct a questionnaire to find out an illness score

17 Some ideas for questionnaires How many times have you had time off school/work in the last 6 months? None 3 - 5 5 I often get ill before exams – do you.. Strongly agree agree not sure Disagree strongly disagree You can then score each question e.g. qu 1 1 =none, 2= <3 Qu 2 – strongly agree = 5, strongly disagree = 1

18 Is there a relationship between hassles and illness? Write a hypothesis for this experiment. Now use the questionnaire that has been made to find the illness scores for everyone in the group Also find the hassles score for each of you Is there a relationship between the two variables? If you do this on Excel it will work out the correlation coefficient for you Was your prediction correct?

19 Kanner et al 1981 – hassles Scale Read p 139 in Exploring Psychology and p60 of Revision guide Briefly outline what they did and what they found What are the problems with this type of research?

20 De Longis et al (1988) – Hassles and Uplifts Revised the Hassles score to make it easier to use Rated 53 things as a hassle OR an uplift on a 4 point scale Measures their PERCEPTION of stress not just the number of stressful events Better because stress is the extent to which an individual feels they can cope with a threat. They found people experiencing more stressors had more symptoms of stress e.g. flu, sore throat, headache and backache

21 Daily Hassles v Life Changes Daily Hassles are now accepted as comparable to, if not greater than, life changes as a significant source of stress. Flett et al (1995) – they differ because life events often lead to greater social support (being sought and given) than everyday hassles so people are able to deal with the stress of a Life Event better Study of 320 students (50:50 men and women) – rated amount of support that would be given in a Life Event or Hassle scenario More support given in Life Event

22 Plenary Distinguish between Life Events and Daily Hassles Which is most stressful and why? Homework Describe what is meant by either Life Changes or Daily Hassles. Evaluate the extent to which they are important causes of stress. (12 marks)

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