Chapter 11 Stress and Health

What is Stress?
Is a term used to describe the physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral responses to events that are appraised as threatening or challenging.
What is Stressor ?
Event that cause a stress reaction. -For example, traffic, rude people, losing one’s keys, owing money, combat, major tornado or fire, a parent worrying about a teenager who isn’t yet home from an evening out.
What is Distress?
The effect of unpleasant and undesirable stressors
What is Eustress
The optimal amount of stress that people need to promote health and well-being (Not all stress is bad).
General Adaption Syndrome (GAS) – Alarm Phrase
A stressor is perceived and a fight or flight response is activated by the sympathetic nervous system. -Adrenal glands release hormones that increase heart rate, blood pressure, and the supply of blood sugar, resulting in a burst of energy.
General Adaption Syndrome (GAS) – Resistance Phase
The body mobilizes its resources to attain adaption, despite the continued presence of the stressor. -For example, if the stressor is starvation (possibly due to anorexia), the person might experienced a reduced desire for physical activity to conserve energy, and the absorption of nutrients from food might be maximized.
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General Adaption Syndrome (GAS) Exhaustion Phase
Continued stress response itself becomes harmful to the body. -high blood pressure, ulcers, weakened immune system, etc.
What Causes Stress – Cognitive Appraisal
How we think about or appraise a situation or event. There is a two-step process (Primary & Secondary Appraisal) in assessing the degree of threat and harm of a stressor and how one should react to that stressor (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984).
What Causes Stress – Primary Appraisal
Estimating the severity of a stressor and classifying it as a loss (harm or loss that has already occurred), threat (something that could be harmful in the future), or challenge (something to be met and defeated).
What Causes Stress – Secondary Appraisal
Estimating the resources available for coping with the stressor. -For example, social support, money, time, energy, ability, or any number of potential resources, depending on the threat.
Major Sources of Stress – Catastrophe
An unpredictable, large-scale event that creates a tremendous need to adapt and adjust as well as overwhelming feelings of threat. -For example, loosing one’s home in a tornado, wars, floods, airplane crashes, World Trade Center (9/11) disasters are catastrophic.
What Causes Stress – Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
A disorder resulting from exposure to a major stressor, with symptoms of anxiety, nightmares, poor sleep, reliving the event, and concentration problems, lasting for more than on month.
What Causes Stress – Major Life Events
Cause stress by requiring adjustment
Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS)
Assessment that measures the amount of stress in a person’s life over a one-year period resulting from major life events
College Undergraduate Stress Scale (CUSS)
Assessment that measures the amount of stress in a college student’s life over a one-year period resulting from major life events
Daily Sources of Stress – Hassles
The daily annoyance of everyday life. -For example, little frustrations, delays, irritations, minor disagreements, and similar annoyances.
Daily Sources of Stress – Children
Children experience stress from various daily hassles: age 3-5; getting teased, age 6-10; getting bad grades, ages 11-15; felling pressured to use drugs, ages 16-22; trouble at school or work.
Daily Sources of Stress – Pressure
The psychological experience produced by urgent demands or expectations for a person’s behavior that come from an outside source. For example, when people feel they must work harder, faster, or do more as in meeting a deadline or studying for final exams.
Daily Sources of Stress – Uncontrollability
The degree of control that the person has over a particular event or situation. -The less control a person has, the greater the degree of stress.
Daily Sources of Stress – Frustration
The psychological experience produced by blocking of a desired goal or fulfillment of a perceived need. -For example, when a car breaks down, a desired job offer doesn’t come through after all, or experiencing a theft of one’s belongings (losses, rejections, failures, and delays) are all sources of external frustration.
Daily Sources of Stress – Conflict
Psychological experience of being pulled toward or drawn to two or more desires or goals, only one of which may be attended.
Daily Sources of Stress – Approach-Approach Conflict
Conflict occurring when a person must choose between two desirable goals.
Daily Sources of Stress – Avoidance-Avoidance Conflict
Conflict occurring when a person must choose between two undesirable goals.
Daily Sources of Stress – Approach-Avoidance Conflict
Conflict occurring when a person must choose or not choose a goal that has both positive and negative aspects.
Social Sources of Stress – Job Stress
Workload, lack of variety, or meaninglessness, lack of control over decisions, lack of job security, long hours, poor work conditions (Murphy, 1995).
Social Sources of Stress – Burnout
Negative changes in thoughts, emotions, and behavior as a result of prolonged stress or frustration (Miller & Smith, 1993).
Social Sources of Stress – Poverty
Lack of sufficient money to provide the basic necessities of life (Schmitz et al., 2001).
Social Sources of Stress – Acculturative Stress
Stress resulting from the need to change and adapt to the dominant or majority culture (Berry & Kim, 1998). -For example, person from one culture must live in another.
Stress and Personality – Type A Personality
Person who is ambitious, time conscious, extremely hardworking, and tends to have high levels of hostility and anger as well as being easily annoyed (Friedman & Rosenman, 1974) -For example, take work with them on vacation or a laptop to the beach. They find it difficult to relax and do nothing. Often successful but frequently unsatisfied ( always want to go faster and do more). Easily gets upset over small things. They are more likely to develop a heart attack.
Stress and Personality – Type B Personality
Person who is relaxed and laid-back, less driven and competitive than Type A, and slow to anger (Rosenman et al., 1975). -For example, would rather take a book to the beach to cover their face with it instead of reading. They are easy going and can relax without guilt.
Stress and Personality – Type C Personality
Pleasant but repressed person, who tends to internalize his or her anger and anxiety and who finds expressing emotions difficult, especially negative ones (Temoshok & Dreher, 1992). -Associated with a higher incidences of cancer and thicker cancerous tumors. They are often lonely, feel a sense of despair over the loss of a loved one or a loss of hope.
Stress and Personality – Hardy Personality
A person who seems to thrive on stress but lacks the anger and hostility of the Type A personality (Kobasa, 1979). -This type tends to be the healthiest. They have: Commitment; to values, sense of identity, and family, Control; sense of control over lives, Challenge; see stressful events as a challenge.
Stress and Explanatory Style – Optimists
People who expect positive outcomes; Longer life and increased immune system functioning (Maruta et al., 2002). For example, “I can finish this term paper. I’m just going to have to devote more time to working on it.”
Positive Implications of Optimism (Seligman, 2002).
Optimists are less likely to develop learned helplessness, are more likely to take care of their health by preventive measures, are less likely to be depressed and have better immune systems.
Stress and Explanatory Style – Pessimists
People who expect negative outcomes; Higher death rate, physical and emotional problems, less energy, and less ability to take part in social activities (Maruta et al., 2002). -For example, “I will never get this term paper finished, it’s too hard and there’s so much going on that it’s impossible!”
Coping Strategies
Actions that people can take to master, tolerate, reduce, or minimize the effects of stressors.
Coping Strategies – Problem-Focused Coping
Coping strategies that try to eliminate the source of a stress or reduce its impact through direct actions.
Problem-Focused Strategies – Active Coping
Actively trying to remove or work around the stressor.
Problem-Focused Strategies – Planning
Thinking about how to manage a stressor
Problem-Focused Strategies – Instrumental Social Support
Seeking concrete advice, assistance, or information.
Problem-Focused Strategies – Suppression of Competing Activities
Putting other activities on hold in order to deal with the stressor
Problem-Focused Strategies – Restraint Coping
Waiting to act until the appropriate time.
Coping Strategies – Emotion-Focused Coping
Coping strategies that change the impact of a stressor by changing the emotional reaction to the stressor.
Emotional-Focused Strategies – Emotional Social Support
Seeking encouragement, moral support, sympathy, and understanding from others.
Emotional-Focused Strategies – Venting Emotions
Talking about distressing feelings.
Emotional-Focused Strategies – Positive Reinterpretation/Growth
Reinterpreting the stressor in a positive way or a challenge.
Emotional-Focused Strategies – Behavioral Disengagement
Reducing efforts to deal with the stressor.
Emotional-Focused Strategies – Mental Disengagement
Turning to other activities to distract attention from the stressor.
Emotional-Focused Strategies – Social Support System
The network of family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and others who can offer support, comfort, or aid to a person in need. -Less loneliness and depression (Beehr et at., 2000). Can promote positive emotions (Tugade & Fredrickson, 2004).
Stress and Religion/Spirituality
Meaning: finding purpose and reinterpreting stressors in a positive light.
Comfort: a sense of hope and internal peace.
Control: a sense of “control” over the uncontrollable.
Social Support/Intimacy: from religious community and the divine.
Life Transformation: an opportunity to make positive changes.
Ways to Deal with Stress – 3 Types of People (according to Dr. Ano)
Repress-ers: people who minimize and deny their levels of stress.
Accept-ers: people who realistic evaluate and deal with their stress.
Exaggerate-ers: people who panic and “freak out” to even minimal levels of stress.