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Chapter 13—Stress, Health, and Coping

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1 Chapter 13—Stress, Health, and Coping
PSYC 2301 INTRO TO PSYC Chapter 13—Stress, Health, and Coping

2 What is Stress Stress-a negative emotional state occurring in response to events that are perceived as taxing or exceeding a person’s resources or ability to cope Stressor-events or situations that produce stress

3 Health Psychology Focus on stress and how psychological factors influence health, illness, and treatment Biopsychosocial model-health and illness are determined by the complex interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors

4 Sources of Stress Life events and change
Holmes and Rahe-Social Readjustment Rating Scale People who had more than 150 life change units within a year had an increased rate of physical or psychological illness

5 Life Events Approach Problems Scores are not very good predictors
Not take into account a person’s subjective appraisal of an event, response to that event, or ability to cope with the event Assumes that change in itself, whether good or bad, produces stress

6 Daily Hassles Ordinary irritations in daily life Cumulative

7 Conflict Feeling pulled between two opposing desires, motive, or goals
3 basic types of conflicts approach-approach avoidance-avoidance approach-avoidance

8 Social and Cultural Factors
When people live in an environment that is inherently stressful, they often experience ongoing, or chronic, stress. People in the lowest social economic levels of society tend to have highest levels of psychological distress, illness, and death Stress can also result when people encounter different cultural values

9 Physical Effects on Stress
Stress can indirectly affect a person’s health by prompting behaviors that jeopardize physical well-being Stress can directly affect physical health by altering body functions, leading to symptoms, illness, or disease

10 Stress and the Endocrine System
Hypothalamus Sympathetic nervous System Adrenal medulla Secretion of catecholamines Increases respiration Increases heart rate Increases blood pressure Increases blood flow to the muscles Digestion is inhibited Pupils dilate Acute Stress Hypothalamus Pituitary ACTH release Secretion of corticosteroids: Increases release of stored energy Reduces inflammation Reduces immune system response Prolonged Stress

11 General Adaptation Syndrome
Alarm stage-intense arousal occurs as the body mobilizes internal physical resources to meet the demands of the stress-producing event. Resistance stage-the body actively tries to resist or adjust to the continuing stressful situation Exhaustion stage-symptoms of the alarm stage reappear, only now irreversibly.

12 Stress and the Immune System
Stress can diminish the effectiveness of the immune system. The most important elements of the immune system are lymphocytes--the specialized white blood cells that fight bacteria, viruses, and other foreign invaders.

13 Ader and Cohen Conditioning the immune system
Challenged the prevailing scientific view that the immune system operated independently of the brain and psychological processes Triggered interest in other possible influences on the immune system, including the effects of stress and emotional states

14 Psychoneuroimmunology
The scientific study of the interconnections among psychological processes, the nervous and endocrine systems, and the immune system. The central nervous system and the immune system are directly linked The surfaces of lymphocytes contain receptor sites for neurotransmitters and hormones, including catecholamines and cortisol Lymphocytes themselves produce neurotransmitters and hormones

15 Stressors That Can Influence the Immune System
Janice Kiecolt-Glaser and husband, immunologist Ronald Glaser, found that even commonplace events can adversely affect the immune system

16 Factors That Influence the Response to Stress
Psychological factors Personal Control Explanatory Style: Optimism vs. Pessimism Chronic Negative Emotions Type A Behavior and Hostility

17 Factors That Influence the Response to Stress
Social Factors Social support benefits health Relationships with others also can be a significant source of stress Gender differences in the effects of social support

18 Coping The ways we try to change circumstances, or interpretations of circumstances, to make them less threatening. Problem-Focused Emotion-Focused

19 Coping: How People Deal with Stress
Problem-Focused Confrontive Coping Planful problem solving

20 Coping: How People Deal with Stress
Emotion-Focused Escape-avoidance Seeking social support Distancing Denial Positive reappraisal

21 Culture and Coping Strategies
Individualistic Emphasize personal autonomy and personal responsibility in dealing with problems; favor problem-focused strategies Collectivistic Emphasis is placed on controlling personal reactions to a stressful situation; favor emotion-focused strategies

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