- Created by: GemLouise
- Created on: 28-08-18 20:18
Selye was the first to use the term stress in a psychological context. He viewed the response as an attempt by the body to adapt to a stressor. This is is an effective protective response, in the short term, to an acute stressor. If the stressor is prolonged, serious damage can occur, including stress-related illnesses. Selye believe that the process of adapting to a stressor goes through 3 stages which he called the General Adaption Syndrome.
Kiecolt- Glaser- The role of stress in illness
Kiecolt- Glaser has investigated the effect of two chronic stressors:
Study 1 (1984): investigated the effects of exams, 75 medical students gave blood samples twice, one month before the exam period (low stress) and on the day of their first exam (high stress). They also completed questionnaires measuring sources of stress and self reported psychological symptoms.
Findings: the activity of NK and Killer T cells decreased between the two samples, evidence of an immune reponse being suppressed by a common stressor. THis decline was most apparent in students who reported feeling most lonely and in those experiencing other sources of stress such as significant events in their lives.
Study 2 (1991): comapred the health and immune functioning of two groups of people- caregivers looking after a relative with Alzheimer's and a matched non- caregivers.
Findings: over a period of 13 months, the caregivers showed an increase in antibodies to the EBV, a herpes virus. There was no such increase in the control group. The finding is a clear indicator of a weeaker cell-based immune response. The caregivers also had infectious illnesses on significantly more days, and a higher levels of depression with 32% of the caregivers meeting the criteria for clinical depression (only 6% in the control group).
Rahe- research into life changes
1970- Rahe used the SRRS (Social Readjustment Rating Scale) in a prospective study which aimed to measure life changes and then see who eventually became ill.
Procedure- They studied US Navy personel assigned to 3 ships. the ppts completed a version of the scale called the schedule of recent experiences. This covered the 6 months before their deployment on a tour of duty. A total LCU score was calculated for each ppts for this retrospective 6 month period. Once on board the ship for tour of duty, every illness, no matter how trivial, had to be reported to the medical unit. After the ships returned from their missions, an independent researcher reviewed all the medical records and calculated an illness score for each ppt. Neither ppts nor on board medical staff were aware of the aim of the study.
Findings: a significant positive correlation was foud between the LCU scores for the 6 months pre departure and the scoers for illnesses aboard ship.
Rahe concluded that life changes were a reasonably robust predictor of later illness.
Marmot- Research supporting the effects of control
Marmot led the whitehall I and II studies. These were major invesetigations into the job and health of thousands of civil servants working in whitehall, London.
Study: used detailed questionnaire to measure various aspects of workload and job control. ppts were also examined for symptoms of (CHD), and followed up after 5 years.
Findings: found no correlation between workload and illness, so job demands appeared not to be a significant workplace stressor.
As a control, the study painted a very different picture. Those employees who reported having a low degree of control at the start of the study were more likely to have CHD 5 years later, even when other risk factors were statistically accounted for. This was true across all job grades. So the status and the support given to higher grade civil servants did not offset the risk of developing CHD, if their jobs lacked control. A later analysis (Bosma et al 1998) confirmed that this relationship was not affected by individual differences in personality, or by coping skills.
Friedman and Rosenman- Stress and Personality
These two cardiologist suspected that thier patients (who mostly had CHD) shared some common personality characteristics. Their hypothesis was that CHD was associated was associated with a certain pattern of behaviour which they called type A personality.
Don Meichenbaum- Stress inoculation therapy
The rationale behind any psychiological method of stress management is that it is often not possible for us to change a stressful situation. We can't eliminate or even reduce many of the stressors we face because we have no control over them. So the laternative is to change the one thing we do have control over- ourselves. SIT is a cognitive behavioural approachto stress management, it advocates that we cahnge the ways we think about stress.
Don Meichenbaum and Cameron (1973) identified 3 phases of SIT. Each phase focuses on the practical steps needed to help the client. The phases are not completely distinct, they overlap and there may be some working backwards to an earlier phase to refresh before moving on.