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Psychology 101 Ch 14


What Causes Stress? Traumatic events, chronic lifestyle conditions, major life changes, and even minor hassles can all cause stress.
Stress A type of emotional response Cognitive appraisal plays a role Leads to individual differences
Traumatic Stressors A situation that threatens one’s physical safety, arousing feelings of feel, horror, or helplessness e.g., sudden life changes
Catastrophic Events- Sudden violent calamities e.g., natural disasters, terrorist attacks
Cohen and Ahearn 5 stages natural disaster Psychic numbness Automatic action Communal effort Letdown Recovery
Narratives Formulate accounts of what happened Stories help explain ourselves to others
Trauma in the Media- news coverage expands the experience Can create second-hand traumatization e.g., perceived greater personal risk and threat
Vicarious Traumatization- Severe stress caused when one is exposed to others’ accounts of trauma
Grief Emotional response to loss Painful complex of feelings Sadness, anger, helplessness, guilt, despair Attempt to make sense of loss Normal process of adapting to major life changes
Posttraumatic stress disorder – (PTSD) delayed stress reaction individual involuntarily re-experiences mental and physical responses that accompanied the trauma e.g., natural disasters, life-threatening accident, witness to a murder
Symptoms of PTSD Distracted Disorganized Memory difficulties Emotionally numb Less likely to feel pleasure Feel alienated by others Trouble sleeping Guilt about surviving Difficulty concentrating
Chronic Stressors Stressful conditions with a gradual onset, lower intensity, and long lasting
Social stressors- Pressures in our social, cultural, and economic environment (e.g., unemployment, racism)
Burnout A syndrome of emotional exhaustion, physical fatigue, and cognitive weariness
Chronic Stressors Major Life Events- e.g., beginning of end of a relationship, new job, starting college Daily Hassles – Situations that cause minor irritation or frustration
Social Readjustment Ratings Scale A psychological rating scale designed to measure stress levels by means of values attached to common life changes
How Does Stress Affect Us Physically? The physical stress response begins with arousal, which stimulates a series of psychological responses that – in short term- are adaptive, but which can turn harmful after prolonged stress
Fight-or-flight response – A sequence of internal processes that prepares the organism for struggle or escape
Acute stress A temporary pattern of arousal caused by a stressor with a clear onset and offset
Chronic stress A continuous state of stressful arousal persisting over time
General adaptation syndrome (GAS) – A pattern of general physical responses that takes essentially the same form in responding to any serious chronic stressor
Alarm reaction the body mobilizes it’s resources to cope with a stressor
Resistance the body seems to adapt to the presence of the stressor
Exhaustion the body depletes it’s resources
Tend-and-befriend model Stress response model proposing that females are biologically predisposed to respond to stress by nurturing and protecting offspring and seeking social support
Immune system bodily organs and responses that protect the body from foreign substances and threats
Immunosuppresion impairment in the function of the immune system
Psychoneuroimmunology Multidisciplinary field that pulls together psychologists, neurologists, and immunologists Interest in mind-body connection
Who is Most Vulnerable to Stress? Personality characteristics impact our individual responses to stressful situations and, consequently, the degree to which we feel exposed to potential stressors
Personality and Stress Type A behavior pattern characterized by intense, angry, competitive, or perfectionistic responses to challenging situations
Personality and Stress Type B behavior pattern characterized by a relaxed, unstressed approach to life
Locus of Control Individual’s expectations about our ability to influence the outcomes in our life. Internals-belief that one has the ability to gain the outcomes desired Externals-factors outside one’s control will determine outcomes
Locus of Control Influence on Health Comparison of internal vs. external Research with seniors varying level of control
Learned helplessness – Pattern of not responding to noxious stimuli after an organism learns that its behavior has no effect
Hardiness Mental quality of resistance to stress, based on a sense of 3 characteristics: challenge, commitment, and control
Optimism See a future of bright possibilities Fewer physical symptoms of illness Recover more quickly from certain disorders Live longer
Resilience Capacity to adapt, achieve well-being, and cope with stress, in spite of serious threats to development
How Can We Reduce the Impact of Stress on Our Health? Healthy coping strategies reduce the impact of stress on our health, and lifestyle choices reduce both our perceived stress and its impact on our health
Defending– reducing the symptoms of stress reducing one’s awareness of stress
Coping taking action to reduce or eliminate cause of stress Problem-focused Emotion-focused coping
Emotion-focused coping Responding to stress by controlling one’s emotional responses
Problem-focused coping Responding to stress by identifying, reducing, and eliminating the stressor
Cognitive restructuring reappraising stressors goal to create a less-stressful perspective seeing a situation in a more positive light cornerstone of cognitive-behavioral therapy
Social Comparison Type of cognitive restructuring Compare oneself to others in similar situation
Downward social comparison Compare to those worse off
Upward social comparison Compare to those better off
Positive Emotions Health inducing Increases longevity
Psychological Debriefing Brief, immediate counseling focused on venting emotions and discussing reactions to the trauma Based on belief it is best to express negative feelings
Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) Group sessions to trauma survivors Few studies to test its effectiveness
Social support – Emotional support, tangible assistance, informational support Resources others provide to help an individual cope with stress Reduces physical and psychological ailments Increases longevity
Physical coping strategies include Exercise Nutrition and diet Using drugs as stress relievers is more of a defense than a coping strategy
Subjective well-being (SWB) – An individual’s evaluative response to his or her life, including cognitive and emotional reactions
Behavioral medicine Medical field specializing in the link between lifestyle and disease
Health psychology Psychological specialty devoted to understanding how people stay healthy, why they become ill, and how they respond when ill
Created by: andreag718