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Stress - Chapter 3 - Psychology 3/4 2017
Terms in this set (74)
Process involving cognitive and behavioural efforts to manage specific internal and/or external stressors that are appraised as taxing.
A specific method (behaviour or psychological) that people use to manage or reduce stress produced by a stressor.
Coping Strategy Effectiveness (depends on)
Depends on nature of stressor, stressful event, individual (appraisal, personality, etc.)
Based on coping-specific effectiveness, approach coping strategies, avoiding strategies
Context-specific effectiveness (Definition)
When there is a good match between coping strategy used and stressful situation
Situational Detriments of coping effectiveness:
Physical Environment, stressor, individual
People with good coping skills understand...
that a coping strategy that works well in one strategy, doesn't always work in another.
Coping flexibility (people with good coping flexibility can)
Recognise if a flexible coping strategy is appropriate
Select a coping strategy that suits the situation
Recognise and discontinue ineffective coping strategies
Produce and implement an alternative
Individuals with high coping flexibility vs those with low
High: can readily adjust if a strategy is proving ineffective
Low: Individuals with low coping flexibility continue to use the same strategy in different stressful situations
Approach Coping Strategy
An effort to confront stressor and deal directly with its effects.
Activity is focused towards stressor, its causes, and a solution to address it or minimise/eliminate its effective.
People tend to experience fewer psychological symptoms
Avoidant Coping Strategies
An Effort that evade the stressor and deal indirectly with it and its effects.
Activity is focused away from stressor
No attempt to confront stressor and its causes.
Effective short term but not effective long term as it can cause negative psychological and physical effects.
Exercise as a coping strategy (def)
A physical activity that is usually planned and performed to improve or maintain one's physical condition.
Exercise as a coping strategy
Aerobic is better
for physical and mental health, although anaerobic is better than none
Uses up stress hormones
by increasing demands on the body
Strenuous activity can produce physical changes in the body that improve psychological health
psychological and physiological arousal
internal or external stressors
by the individual as
challenging or exceeding their ability to cope.
Any event, person, or situation that produces stress and challenges an individual's ability to cope
Originates from within person
E.g. personal problem that causes concern about the potential consequences or the experience of physical pain that may be perceived as signalling an untimely illness.
Originates outside the individual
E.g. too much homework
Classification of stress - mild
Low arousal levels, short term, can enhance performance
Classification of stress - acute
Sudden high levels of arousal, short term, generally not harmful unless over exposed
Classification of stress - episodic acute
High levels of arousal, happens often in repetitive episodes, generally not harmful unless over exposed
Classification of stress - chronic
Medium to high levels of arousal, long term, can be harmful due to prolonged increased arousal
Positive psychological response to a stressor
Short term, and generally not considered harmful to the body
Negative psychological response to a stressor
Can be short or long term
can have serious consequences
on physical and mental health
Source of stress - Daily pressures/hassles
Stress sourced from daily hassles - minor day to day annoyances that occur (daily)
Type of stressor involving little pressures of everyday living that are irritants
Can build up
Source of stress - Life Events
Involves change that forces us to adapt to new circumstance
Such events usually have immediate consequences and require long term adjustments (depends on individual regarding amount of stress)
Source of stress - Major Stress
An event that's extraordinary stressful or disturbing for almost everyone who experiences it
Source of stress - Major Stressor Examples
Natural disasters, acts of violence, interpersonal violence, accidents
Source of stress - Major Stressor Physical Symptoms
Hyper-vigilance, disturbed sleep, easily startled
Source of stress - Major Stressor Behavioural Symptoms
Social withdrawal and isolation, avoidance of related places and activities
Source of stress - Major Stressor Cognitive Symptoms
Source of stress - Major Stressor Emotional Symptoms
Fear, depression, guilt
Source of stress - Catastrophe def
Uncontrollable, unpredictable, intense event that causes prolonged and widespread suffering
Stressor disrupts and threatens lives and effects an entire community all at once
AKA catalystic event or disaster
Source of stress - Catastrophe Types with examples
Natural (flood, cyclone, bushfire), man-made (war, genocide, terrorism, etc.)
Source of stress - Catastrophe Individual responses
Intense and unpredictable feeling
Sensitivity to environmental factors
Strained interpersonal relationships
Source of stress - Catastrophe Community Responses
Feeling loss of control over present and future
Concerns over economic loss
Anger of loss of security and safety with community
Perceived stress refers to the extent to which an individual considers the experience they have undergone as either exacerbating (worsening) or alleviating (lessening) their stress
When threat is perceived the sympathetic NS is activated.
There are two models explaing the physiological responses to stressor: fight-flight-freeze and general adaptation syndrome (GAS)
Fight-flight-freeze response def
Involuntary, physical response to a sudden and immediate threat (or stressor) in readiness to fight (confront) or flight (escape) or freeze (avoid detection)
this definition works for fight-flight as long as you ignore the freeze part
Fight-flight-freeze response Order (HPA)
1. Threat is perceived
2. Hypothalamus (H) is activated
3. Stimulates pituitary gland (P), which releases ACTH hormone
4. ACTH circulates in bloodstream, stimulating adrenal glands (A)
5. Adrenal glands secrete stress hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline, which boosts activity of sympathetic NS
Known as sympathetic adreno-medullary system (SAM)
Chain between hypothalamus, pituitary gland, adrenal glands is called HPA
Fight-flight response - activation and deactivation
Activated by sympathetic NS within seconds of facing threat
Once threat has past, the parasympathetic NS calms and restores the body to its normal levels of arousal
Freeze response in Fight-flight-freeze response
AKA tonic immobility
Reaction that results in an organism being in a physiological state involving high arousal of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, resulting in a condition characteristed by both energy conservation and a moblised state ready for action
Sympathetic nervous system is suppressed while parasympathetic nervous system is activted
Cortisol Release in Fight-flight-freeze response
Adrenal glands release cortisol
Main effect of cortisol is to energise by increasing blood sugar and metabolism
Also has an anti-inflammatory effect by blocking immune response white blood cells, slowing wound healing
HPA Axis as a reaction
HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis has slower (seconds-minutes), longer lasting (minutes to hours) reaction as the second wave response
Prolonged Exposure of cortisol
The intense physiological arousal of fight-flight response continues and can be harmful to individual's health.
Prolonged Exposure of cortisol - responses
Muscles tighten and contract - physiological response due to prolonged exposure: stress-induced headaches and migraines
Slowing digestive system - physiological response due to prolonged exposure: indigestion, stomach ulcers, bloating
Psychological factors that cause/influence stress response
Prior experience with stressor and stress response
Lazarus and Folkman's transaction model of stress and coping
Proposes that stress involves an encounter between an individual and their environment (transaction) and that a stress response depends upon both the appraisal of the stressor and the ability to cope with it
model of stress used to describe and explain individual differences in how people to respond to a stressor from a psychological perspective
Lazarus and Folkman's transaction model of stress and coping strengths - empahsizes?
Emphasizes personal nature and individuality of human stress response
Lazarus and Folkman's transaction model of stress and coping Limits
Difficult to test through experimental research
Lazarus and Folkman's transaction model of stress and coping - flow chart
Lazarus and Folkman's transaction model of stress and coping - primary appraisal
We evaluate/judge the significance of the situation
Am I in trouble?
Does this matter to me?
Lazarus and Folkman's transaction model of stress and coping - primary appraisal leads to
Irrelevant (no further action), benign-positive (no further action), stressful (engage in additional appraisal)
Lazarus and Folkman's transaction model of stress and coping - stressful leads to
Harm/loss (assessment of damage already occurred), threat (assessment of harm/loss that could occur), challenge (assessment of personal gain/growth that may come from situation)
Lazarus and Folkman's transaction model of stress and coping - secondary appraisal
Evaluate what coping options/resources are available and consider how to deal with stressful situations
What can be done?
How am I going to deal with this?
Lazarus and Folkman's transaction model of stress and coping - secondary appraisal leads to
Adequate or inadequate coping strategies --> leads to eustress or distress --> leads to problem-focussed coping and emotion-focussed coping
General Adaptation Syndrome
Three stage physiological response to stress that occurs regardless of the stressor encountered.
Hans Selye created it
General Adaptation Syndrome - Stage 1
Alarm Reaction - occurs when body first becomes aware of stressor
Contains two phases, the shock and countershock phases
General Adaptation Syndrome - Shock phase
Body acts as if injured (muscle tone, blood pressure, and body temperature drop).
Ability to deal with stressor falls below normal levels.
General Adaptation Syndrome - countershock phase
Body rebounds from shock by activating sympathetic NS
When fight-flight response occurs
General Adaptation Syndrome - Stage 2
Body's resistance to that particular stressor develops and rises above its normal levels but additional stressors resistance lessens
Stress hormones (Cotrisol and adrenaline) are released (to help heal any damage, but also suppress immune system
General Adaptation Syndrome - Stage 3
If stressor isn't dealt with successfully in resistance stage, and stress continues, individual enters stage of exhaustion
Body can no longer sustain resistance and effects of stressor can no longer be dealt with
, becoming more vulnerable to physical or mental disorders
General Adaptation Syndrome - Stage 3 psychological symptoms
General Adaptation Syndrome - Stage 3 physiological symptoms
General Adaptation Syndrome - strengths
Provides information about the physiological process
Limitations - General Adaptation Syndrome
Doesn't take into account cognitive processes of stress response
Ignores individual differences
Acculturative Stress - sources of stress
Stress people experience in trying to adapt to a new culture when living in it for a considerable period of time
Scale includes identified everyday pressures that can be stressors. Responses were collected to compare groups based on characteristics (e.g. age, sex, etc.). The higher the score, the greater the hassale.
Holmes and Rahe Social Readjustment Rating Scale
Scale included 43 life events that involved change and some level of adaptation
Each event was assigned a numerical rating that estimates its relative impact in terms of life change units
Commonly used for stress research
Perceived Stress Scale
Widely used self report instrument
Measures the degree to which situations in one's life are assessed as stressful
Acculturative Stress Scale for International Students
Designed to measure acculturative stress among international students
Brief Trauma uestionnaire
Self-report question used to determine whether an individual has experience a major stressor involving a psychological traumatic event.
Sources of Stress
Daily pressures, life events, acculturative stress, major stress, catastophe
Ability to effectively modify or adjust one's coping strategies according to the demands of different stressful situations
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