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health psychology

specialty in psychology that focuses on the interrelationships between psychological factors and physical health


pressure or demand placed on an organism to adjust or adapt.


a state of emotional or physical suffering, discomfort, or pain


sources of stress


annoyances of daily life that impose a stressful burden

chronic stress

continuing or persistent stress


a negative emotional state that occurs when one is prevented from reaching a goal


a state of tension brought about by opposing motives operating simultnaeously

post traumatic distress disorder

a psychological disorder involving a maladaptive reaction to traumatic stress.

type A behavior pattern

behavior pattern characterized by impatience, time urgency, competitiveness, and hostility

acculturative stress

demands faced by immigrants in adjusting to a host culture

general adaptation syndrome

Selye's term for the three-stage response of the body to persistent or intense stress

alarm reaction

first stage of the general adaptation syndrome, involving mobilization of the body's resurces to cope with an immediate stressor

fight or flight response

the body's built in alarm system that allows it to quickly mobilize its resources to either fight or flee when faced with a threatening stressor.

resistance stage

the second stage of the general adaptation syndrome, characterized by the body's attempt to adjust or adapt to persistent stress

exhaustion stage

the third stage of the general adaptation syndrome characterized by depletion of bodily resources and a lowered resistance to stress-related disorders or conditions.

corticotrophin-releasing hormone

a hormone relased by the hypthalamus that induces the pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotrophic hormone.

adrenocorticotrophic hormone

pituitary hormone that activates the adrenal cortex to release corticosteroids

adrenal glands

a pair of endocrine glands just above the kidneys that produce various stess related hormones.

adrenal cortex

outer layer of the adrenal gland that secrets corticosteroids.


adrenal hormones that increase the body's resistance to stress by increasing the availabilty of stored nutirents to meet the increased engery demands of coping with stressful events.

adrenal medulla

Inner section (medulla) of each adrenal gland; secretes epinephrine and norepinephrine

immune system

the body's system of defense against disease


white blood cells that protect the body against disease-causing organism.


substances such as bacteria and viruses that are recognized by the immune system as foriegn to the body and that induce it to produce antibodies to defend against them.


Specialized proteins that aid in destroying infectious agents


injection of a weakened or mild form of a pathogen to produce immunity withou causing a full blown infection.

psychological hardiness

cluster of traits [commitment, openness to challenge, internal locus of control] that may buffer the effects of stress


A state of physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive stress relating to work or other commitments.

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