Sympathomedullary Pathway (SAM):
- Deals with short term stressors.
- Hypothalamus activates the sympathetic nervous system
- Then stimulates the adrenal medulla to release the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline into the bloodstream.
- This gets the body ready for fight or flight
- slows down reproductive and digestive system
- increases blood supply to legs
- heart pumps faster
- breathing rate increases
- pupils dilate
- Deals with long term stressors.
- Hypothalamus causes pituitary gland to release ACTH
- ACTH travels through the bloodstream to the adrenal glands.
- Cortisol released by adrenal cortex- responsible for quick bursts of energy, lower sensitivity to pain, impaired cognitive performance, lowered immune response
Studys in to relationship between stress and immun
Kiecolt-Glaser et al (1984):
- 75 medical students
- Blood test 1 month before and during exams
- Higher NK cells in first blood sample
- Findings- short term stressors reduce immune system increasing vulnerability to illness.
Kiecolt-Glaser et al (2005):
- Effects of inter-personal relationships on wound healing
- Blisters on arms of married couples
- Healed slower after conflicting discussions.
Study into work place stress
Marmot et al:
- 7372 participants- civil servants from london.
- They completed an questionnaire and checked for signs of cardiovascular disease
- 5 years later- checked for cardiovascular disease, asked about employment grade, job control and social support.
- Lower grade (lack of control) was the cause of stress.
Johansson et al:
- Natural experiment 24 participants
- Two groups: 10 in low risk and 14 in high risk
- Those in high risk has 2X as much adrenalin and felt rushed.
Karasek's stress model
Life changes: an event which requires a readjustment.
SRRS-Holmes & Rahe:
- Based on 43 life event
- Marriage used as a base line of 50
- 394 participants- scores from all participants were totaled and averaged
Rahe et al:
- Military version of SRRS given to 2700 men before they went on tour.
- Low LCU score had low illness and those with high LCU score had higher levels of illness
Delongis et al:
- 75 married couples
- Gave participants a life events questionnaire and a HSUP questionaire.
- They found no realtionship between life events and health.
Daily Hassles VS Daily uplifts
Daily Hassles- Frustrating demands that happen in everyday life.
Daily Uplifts- The minor positive experience of everyday life
Hassle and Up Lifts scale:
- HSUP measures respondent's attitudes towards daily situations.
- Provides a way to evaluate the positive and negative
Bouteyer et al:
- Studied relationship between daily hassles & mental health of students between school and uni
- First year Psych students completed hassle part of HSUP & Becks depression inventory.
- 41% suffered from depression.
- High correlation between scores on scale & incidents of depressive symptoms.
Accumulation effect- a build up of daily hassles resulting in more serious stress reactions such as anxiety and depression.
Amplification effect- major life changes may make people more vulnerable towards daily hassles.
- Achievement striving
- working to deadlines
- Unhappy doing nothing
- Hostile and aggressive
- Easy going
- Control- you can influence events in your life
- Commitment- involved in world around them and strong sense of purpose
- Challenge- viewed as an opportunity rather than stressor.
Studies into Personality factors and stress
Freidman and Rosenman- Western Collaborative Group Study:
- 3000 men 39-59, California,they were examined for signs of CHD and personalities were assessed in an interview.
- After 8 1/2 2X as many type A experienced heart attack and had high blood pressure.
Kabasa and Maddi- American buisness executive:
- 800 Americans completed the SRRS
- 150 were classified as high stress- some of these had low illness.
- Hardy personality encourages resilience-those high stress, low illness were high on Hardy
- Measured hardiness in students in 5 unis
- Low hardiness were disproportionately represented in drop-outs & high scores were more likely to finish their degree.
- Meta-analysis of 35 studies.
- Found association between CHD and 1 component of Type A- Hostility but no other association between type A and CHD
- Benzodiazepines (BZ)
- Slows down activity of central nervous system.
- BZ's enhance action of GABA- a neurotransmitter- the body's natural form of anxiety relief.
- Also reduce serotonin activity- reduces anxiety
- Pharmacological effects- not just placebo
- Kahn et al- 250 patients, 8 weeks- BZ's significantly superior to a placebo.
- BZ's are addictive- even really low doses- limited to 4 weeks.
- Side effects- increased aggressiveness, cognitive side effects & tired.
- Treats the symptoms rather than the problem- not long term.
Stress management- Physiological- Biofeedback
- Machine measures muscle tension, skin temp and electrical conduction in skin.
- As device pick up higher readings the noise gets louder and will have to find a way to calm down and lower readings to stop annoying noise.
- Will understand what helps calm them down and can apply to later situations.
- Results often impressive
- Lasting effects
- Harmless- no side effects- not unethical etc.
- Meuret: biofeedback on breathing pattern effective for people with panic disorder
- Requires motivation and commitment.
- Time- lots of sessions- training
- Specialist equipment.
Stress management-Psychological-Hardiness Training
- Aims to increase self-confidence and sense of control and consists of 3 stages:
- Focusing- taught to recognise biological signs of stress & identify source of stress.
- Reliving stress encounter- relive stress encounter & helped to analyse situation & their response. Gives them insight into current coping strategies & how to be more effective.
- Self improvement- insight can now be used to move forward & learn new techniques. Taught to see stressor as a challenge to take control of.
- Fletcher- UK olympic swimmers experience hardiness training- ensure they are committed to their training & challenge of increasing performance levels & able to control stressful aspects of daily life
- Considerable effort required- might not be necessary when results can be achieved more simply.
- Might not be suitable for certain personalities.
Stress management- Psychological-SIT
Stress Inoculation Therapy (Meichenbaum): Form of cognitive behavioural therapy
- Suggests a form of coping before problem arises and consitis of 3 stages:
- Conceptualisation phase- therapist and client establish relationship. Client learns nature and impact of stress- taught how to view stressors as problem to be solved.
- Skill acquisition phase- coping skills (tailored to client) taught and practiced in the clinic and rehearse in real life.
- Application phase- given opportunity to apply new coping skill in different situations.
- Treats cause and symptoms
- Preparation for future- long term
- Meichenbaum- compared SIT with Systematic desensitisation and found SIT could help with other phobias aswel.
- Time consuming- lots of sessions
- Requires lots of motivation
- Complex and range of activities could be reduced.