Unit 1 - Stress

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Stress

  • emotion
  • state of psychological arousal predicted by physical and psychological pressures
  • stressor - physical or psychological stimulus that threatens your wellbeing
  • reactions to stressors
    • hypothalalmus
    • pituitary gland stimulates autonomic nervous system ANS and produces adrenaline
    • increased heart rate, sweating, raised blood pressure
    • fight or flight
  • long term effects
    • adrenaline prohibits anti-body productions
    • impaired immune system - infections etc
    • ulcers - noradrenaline = production of digestive juices
    • raised blood pressure - Chronic Heart Disease
    • depletion of body's resources
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Research

HOLMES AND RAHE 1967

Social Readjustment Rating Scale

  • 5000 patients' records
  • 43 life events (preceding illness)
  • 400 participants rated
  • made a scale with life scale units LCUs
  • advantages
    • triggered research into stress and helps prevent future health problems
  • disadvantages
    • can't control life events
    • interpretations
    • small correlations
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Research

DELONGIS 1982

Daily Hassles Measurements

  • daily hassles vs. life events
  • 100 people given questionnaires over one year
  • 117 hassles, rating frequency and intensity
  • advantages
    • correlate with health status and bodily symptoms
  • disadvantages
    • individual differences - degrees of stress
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Research

FRIEDMAN AND ROSENHAM 1959

Stress and Personality

  • identification of personality types - different responses to stress
  • Type A are hostile, Type B are relaxed, Type C are conventional and helpless
  • three studies, 1959, 1974, 1986
  • Type A run a higher risk of heart disease and higher blood pressure than type B's
  • longitudinal study
  • 3200 middle aged managers and executives
  • questionnaires over 8.5 years
  • 8 years later, 257 participants had developed coronary heart disease
  • 70% of them who had developed CHD were Type A
  • Type A more prone to stress related illnesses
  • more stress, more hormones, more fight or flight response
  • 22 years later, 214 men had died from CHD, 56% of those were Type A
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Research

  • advantages
    • large scale study Haynes et al 1980 included women - applied to high risk people
    • a lot of other studies back up this investigation
  • disadvantages
    • cannot generalise to females or different age groups
    • death is not a good indicator as people may have taken preventative measures
    • individual differences
    • correlation not cause-effect
    • androcentric
    • sample problems
    • unequal split
    • defining types
    • research into hostility rather than types
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Research

BRADY 1958

ulcers in 'executive monkeys'

  • backs up link between stress and illnesses

KIECOL-GLASER 1984

immune system under stress

  • backs up link between stress and illnesses
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