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ACUTE STRESSORS:
EXAMINATION STRESS
Kiecolt-Glaser; Blood samples were taken from
medical students one month before the exam period
and during the exam period. Immune system
functioning was tested by measuring NK cell activity
in the blood; NK cell activity was significantly
reduced in the second sample compared with the
sample taken before the exam period. This suggests
short term stressors reduce the immune system
functioning.
Marucha; Inflicted a punch biopsy in the mouth of
students during the summer holidays and three days
before an exam. Wounds given before the exam
took 40% longer to heal.…read more

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CHRONIC STRESSORS:
RELATIONSHIP STRESS
Kiecolt-Glaser; Tested the impact of interpersonal
conflict on wound healing. Blister wounds on the
arms of married couples healed slower, after they
had discussions which were conflicting rather than
supporting. They also found poorer immune system
functioning in women who had separated in the past
year.
Malarkey; 90 newly wed couples over a 24 hour
period. They were asked to discuss and resolve
marital issues likely to produce conflict. Marital
conflict produced significant changes in adrenaline
and non-adrenaline which could lead to poorer
immune system functioning.…read more

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ENHANCE THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Evans; Looked T sIgA activity, which helps
prevent infection. He arranged for students to
give talks to other students. These students
showed an increase in sIgA, whereas levels
decreased during examination periods stretching
over several weeks.. Evans proposed stress has
twp effects on the immune system; Up-
regulation for acute stressors and down-
regulation chronic stressors.…read more

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META-ANALYSIS
Segerstorm and Miller 2004; Meta-analysis of
293 studies over the past 30 years found:
Short term, acute stressors can boost the
immune system.
Long term, chronic stressors led to suppression
of the immune system.
The longer the stress, the more the immune
system shifted from potentially adaptive changes
to potentially detrimental changes.…read more

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EVALUATION
Lazarus; there are many reasons why a relationship
between stress and illness is difficult to establish.
1) Health is effected by different factors like lifestyle, so
there may be little variance left that can be accounted for
by stress.
2) Health is generally fairly stable and slow to change, so it
makes it difficult to demonstrate that exposure to
particular stressors have caused a change in health.
3) To demonstrate how stress effects long-term health
would include continuous measurement over time, which
would be expensive and impractical; so most studies have
been done over a short period of time.…read more

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