Outline and Evaluate

Some studies and parts of stress

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  • Created on: 15-04-14 14:49
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Outline the body's response to acute stress
Acute Stress If the Hypothalamus decides the stress is Acute it activates the SAM system
1 Activates the sympathetic branch of the ANS (autonomic nervous system)
2 Then stimulates the adrenal medulla which is part of the adrenal gland. These are
located just above the kidneys.
3 The adrenal medulla secretes the hormone adrenaline and noradrenaline into the
4 This prepares the body for Fight or Flight and as such causes a number of physical
changes. E.g. Increased alertness, pupil dilation, increase respiration, increase heart
rate, reduced activity in digestive system
5 Body cannot maintain this increased level for long periods of time. After a few minutes
the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system is activated. This is a countershock
response and serves to return the body back to its normal resting state.
Outline the body's response to chronic stress
Chronic If the hypothalamus decides the stress is chronic it activates the HPA axis.
1 Hypothalamus activates the HPA axis which is known as the pituitary adrenal system
2 This stimulates the pituitary gland in the brain
3 The pituitary gland causes the release of several hormones including ACTH e s for
4 The release of ACTH stimulates the adrenal cortex to release corticosteroids (a range of
hormones) the key one being cortisol
5 The release of the hormones has a number of physiological effects on the body. Some
of these are positive and negative. Good being a constant supply of energy to muscles.
Bad is the suppression of the body's immune system as a way of conserving energy.

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Outline and evaluate research into the relationship between the immune system and
stress-related illness.
Cardiovascular disorders and Williams (2000) tested to see if anger was linked 6 years later the health of participants was tested. 256
anger (acute stressor) to heart disease.…read more

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Stress and Cardiovascular disorders Sheps et al (2002) conducted a landmark Focused research on volunteers with
study, the first study large enough to show ischemia. Gave men 173 men and women a
that stress can be fatal for people with variety of psychological tests. Public
existing coronary artery disease speaking test. Bloody pressure soared in
half of them sections of muscle of left
ventricle beat erratically.…read more

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Measuring hassles and uplifts The Hassles and uplifts scale ­ Delongis et Instead of focusing on the more h
al 1982: Measures respondents attitudes stressful life events, The HSUP pro
toward daily situations way of evaluating both the positiv
negative events that occur in e
person's daily life.…read more

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Discuss research into workplace stress
Workload and control: Marmot et al (1997) investigated the Marmot suggested that in civil service
job-strain model of workplace stress. higher-grade employees would experience
Model proposes that workplace creates high workload whereas low-grade civil
stress and illness in two ways: 1 High servants would experience low job control.
workload (creating greater job demands) 2 Therefore, both grades are likely to
Low job control (over deadlines, experience high levels of stress, but for
procedure) different reasons.…read more

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Consequences of work place stress: Kivimaki et al (2006) carried out a The analysis involved over 83,000
Stress and coronary heart disease: meta-analysis of 14 studies looking at the employees across Europe, US and Japan
relative risk of coronary heart disease in and found that employees with high levels
associations with work stress of job strain were 50% more likely to
develop CHD. Russek (1962) studied
incidence of CHD in medical professionals.…read more

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Research on Life Changes
Using Life changes to Holmes and Rahe (1967) developed Social In order to establish stressfulness of event
measure stress Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) based on 43 enlisted help of 400 participants. Participants
life events taken from their analysis of 5000 were asked to score each event in terms of
patient records. how much readjustment would be required
by the average person. Asked to provide
numerical arbitrary baseline value of 50.
Totalled and averaged to produce life
change units.…read more

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Spurious relationship Most studies of relationship between life Brown (1974) suggests that people with high
changes and illness have produced levels of anxiety would be more likely to
correlational data report negative life events and would also
be more prone to illness.…read more


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