Stress

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  • Daily Hassles
    • Stress
      • Workplace stressors
        • Johansson
          • Sawmill study - finishers have low control and high demand and work is machine paced and in charge of other's pay
          • Cleaners had high control and low demand so low workplace stressors
          • Finishers had greater stress hormones in urine and more time off work sick
          • Natural study so high ecological validity
          • Supports the job strain model and Marmot's study
        • Marmot
          • 10,000 civil servants over 3 years. measured job control and stress related illnesses
          • Questionnaires measured high demand and low control. Assessed for heart disease
          • Low control leads to higher risk of heart disorder. increase risk by smoking and unhealthy eating
          • High demand had fewer heart problems
          • Natural so high validity
          • Longitudinal so more data collected
          • Unaware which aspect of low control causes illness
          • Self report social desirability bias
          • Correlational not causational
          • Not representative
        • Job strain model = Work overload + lack of control
      • Life Changes
        • Rahe
          • 2500 naval US personnel filled out questionnaire of past 6 months like SRRS
          • Kept health record for following 6 months tour of duty - correlational analysis carried out of association between illness and LCU scores
          • Significant positive correlation of LCU increasing with illness at +0.118
          • High mundane realism
          • High external validity
          • Correlation is weak - not causation
          • Can't show cause and effect
          • Gender bias
          • Low population validity
        • Holmes and Rahe
          • SRRS scale scores life events and potential to get ill. Tick life events experienced in pervious year
          • Events have LCU scores, 43 events. death of spouse = 100 LCUs and Christmas = 12 LCUs
          • 200+ LCUs = 50% increase illness, 300+ = 80% illness increase in coming year
          • Ignores individual differences eg- retirement happy or stressful
          • Past means everyone is differently effected
          • Intervening variables such as personalities and weak immune system
          • Weak correlation found so other variables
          • Correlations don't show cause and effect
          • SRRS self report so social desirability bias
      • Biological methods of stress
        • BZs - enhance action of GABA natural anxiety relief, quietens neurons in brain + makes hard to stimulate them
        • BBs - reduce activity of SAM pathway by inhibiting adrenaline reuptake, slow heart and reduces fight or flight. Act on cardiovascular system to reduce heart rate and blood pressure
        • Effective in combatting stress effects
        • Kahn et al - 250Ps for 8 weeks found BZs better than placebos
        • BBs used by musicians and some sports players
        • Lockwood - 2000 musicians, 27% took BBs and had greater feedback
        • Little effort needed from user
        • Addiction, dependency and withdrawl
        • Psychological dependence
        • BZs increase depression and impair memory
        • BBs increase risk of diabetes
        • Treat symptoms not cause
        • Stop working when intake stops
      • Bodily responses
        • SAM pathway SYMPATHO MEDULLARY
          • Hypothalamus stimulates the sympathetic branch of ANS
          • Mobilises body for action and stimulates adrenal medulla
          • Releases adrenaline and nor adrenaline into blood
          • Heart rate, blood pressure and respiration increases
          • Digestion decreases - body now ready for fight or flight
        • HPA pathway pituitary adrenal system
          • hypothalamus releases CRF which stimulates the pituitary gland which releases ACTH
          • ACTH stimulates adrenal cortex that releases cortisol which causes liver to release glucose
          • Immune system is then suppressed
        • Physical affects
          • Indirect illness through behaviour eg smoking
          • Directly by reducing immune system functioning
          • Prolonged stress shrinks thymus gland so fewer infection fighting cells
          • Kiecolt-Glaser showed lower cytokine levels take wounds longer to heal
          • Cohen's study showed stress levels increased with vulnerbality
      • Stress and the immune system
        • Cohen
          • 394 Ps completed a questionnaire on stressful life events of past year
          • Rated degree of stress and level of negative emotions
          • 3 scores combined and Ps exposed to common cold virus
          • 82% got infected by virus. Chance of developing a cold significantly correlated with stress index scores
          • Shows clear relationship between stress and poor health
          • Good population validity
          • Results can be generalised beyond the sample
          • No cause and effect
          • There is no direct measure on the immune system
          • Stress index is combined so don't know which aspect linked to stress
        • Kiecolt-Glaser
          • 13 women aged 47 to 81 who care for people with dementia (high natural stress) matched with average women
          • Tested for cytokines and measured themselves on stress scale. Given punch biopsy
          • carers wounds took 9 days longer to heal than other Ps, carers had lower cytokine levels
          • Natural so high ecological validity
          • Generalizable to real life situations eg hospital recovery
          • Gender biased
          • Questionable ethics as Ps were harmed
      • Perosnality
        • Friedman and Rosenman
          • 3200 volunteers 39-59 assessed 8 years. All healthy in 1960s, interviews found if Ps were A1, A2, X or B
          • 8 years later incidence of CHD was recorded, 257 men had CHD, 70% of them were type A
          • Longitudinal study so more reliable as more data
          • Can help people with type A modify life to reduce CHD risk
        • Type A - Competitive, angry, time pressure, prone to CHD
        • Hardy- Strong sense of control, more stress resistant
        • Lacks population validity
        • Correlational not causational
        • Self report bias
        • Self selecting participant so possible demand characteristics
        • TYPE B - less likely to experience fight of flight or raised blood pressure
      • Stress management
        • SIT
          • Helps clients think about stressful situations more positively and improve skills to deal with them
          • Conceptualisation -therapist client relationship made and diary of stressful events and how they managed them
          • Skills training - appropriate skills and strategies taught and practised that are tailored to client problems
          • Real life application - strategies used in real life, diary of daily life and monitor the therapy
          • Targets individuals sources and reactions to stress
          • Meichenbaum found SIT patients did better in exams
          • Deals directly with source of stress to help control it
          • Research needs follow up, may not give true picture of results
          • Self report bias results
          • Takes time, commitment and money
        • Hardiness training
          • Another form of CBT
          • Focussing - Client taught to recognise physiological signs of stress eg SAM pathway
          • Relieving stress encounters - encouraged to think about recent stressful situations and create coping strategies
          • Self-improvement - taught to see stressors as challenges they can face daily
          • Targets perception of stress and how to cope
          • Client can cope with a variety of stressful situations
          • The concept of hardiness is challenged by things
          • The sense of control is more important than the immeasurable concept of hardiness
          • Changing Ps personality takes a lot of time and effort
    • 100 Ps 45-64 complete 4 questionnaires once a month for a year on hassles, uplifts, life events and health status
    • Hassles significantly  correlated to health status, more hassles = more health issues. Daily uplifts had little effect on health
    • No relationship between life event stress and health
    • Natural study = high validity
    • Strong correlation
    • Delongis
      • Self report so data lacks reliability due to bias
    • Hassles depend on each individual
    • Age bias so not generalisable
    • Overlooks on going chronic stress
    • Correlational not causational
  • Rahe
    • 2500 naval US personnel filled out questionnaire of past 6 months like SRRS
    • Kept health record for following 6 months tour of duty - correlational analysis carried out of association between illness and LCU scores
    • Significant positive correlation of LCU increasing with illness at +0.118
    • High mundane realism
    • High external validity
    • Correlation is weak - not causation
    • Can't show cause and effect
    • Gender bias
    • Low population validity

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