Stress

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  • Created by: charlia
  • Created on: 09-04-15 21:51
What happens in the sympathomedullary pathway? (bodys response to stress)
SNS prepares the body for action in conditions of acute stress (fight or flight). SNS causes increased heart rate/bp. Causes adrenal medulla to release adrenaline into the bloodstream (increased oxygen supply). PNS restores body to resting state.
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What happens in the pituitary-adrenal system? (BRS)
Activated under conditions of chronic stress. Hypothalamus releases corticotrophin releasing factor which causes pituitary gland to release ACTH which goes to adrenal cortex which leads to release of cortisol.
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What are the possible positive and negative effects of cortisol? (BRS)
P: lower sensitivity to pain N: lowered immune response
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How can the stress response lead to cardiovascular problems?
Because repeated activation of the stress response can affect the heart/blood vessels. Increased BP associated with the SNS can cause damage to vessel linings. Ongoing stressors e.g. marital issues, more likely to have a heart attack. May be unsuited
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How can the stress response lead to immune system problems?
Too much cortisol suppresses the immune system which increases the likelihood that a person will become ill. Kiecolt-Glazer found that exposure to short term stressors can decrease immune system functioning. Long-term may have even more adverse effec
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What individual differences are there in how male and females display bodily responses to stress?
Males tend to have a fight or flight response where as women have a 'tend and befriend' response. Taylor found that females have higher levels of oxytocin which is associated with reduced cortisol responses and faster recovery. Men are more vulnerabl
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Which psychologist studied stress-related illness and the immune system?
Key study: Kiecolt Glaser et al (1984) Second study: Kiecolt-Glaser et al (2005)
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What was the procedure of Keicolt Glasers first study on stress-related illness and the immune system?
Natural experiment using medical students about to take an exam. Reseachers assessed immune system functioning (killer nk cell activity) one month before the exam and during the exam. Questionnaire to measure other life stressors e.g. financial
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What were the findings of Keicolt Glasers first study on stress-related illness and the immune system?
NK cell activity reduced during the exam period compared to one month before. Students repairing highest loneliness had lower immune system functioning and higher levels of cortisol.
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What was the procedure of Kiecolt Glasers second study on stress-related illness and the immune system?
Studied the effects of unhappy relationships on immune system functioning. Volunteer sample of married couples aged between 22 and 77 years.
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What were the findings of Kiecolt Glasers second study on stress-related illness and the immune system?
Blister wounds healed more slowly on couples that showed high levels of hostile behaviour toward eachother, healed at 60% of the rate of wounds of couples that showed low levels of hostility
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What research support is there for Kiecolt-Glaser from Segerstrom and Miller? (stress-related illness)
Found that short-term stressors could boost immune system where as long term suppress it, ST pressures prompted the immune system to deal with potential challenges. Suggests the more long lasting the stressor, the more damaging the effect on system
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There are individual difference in immune system changes due to stress, expand on this.
Found that women show more adverse immune system changes in how they react to LT stressors. Older couples also showed more adverse immune system changes in response to marital conflict.
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Why is it difficult to establish a causal relationship between stress and the immune system?
Health is affected by many factors e.g. genetics, lifestyle. So difficult to disentangle the specific effects that could be attributed to stress. Health is hard to change so difficult to demonstrate that exposure to a stressor has caused the change.
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Which psychologists studied life changes?
KS: Rahe et al SS: Holmes and Rahe - the SRRS
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What was the procedure of Rahe et al's study? (life changes)
Male sample of 2,664 sailors of various ranks from three US navy ships. Completed and SRE which measure life events experienced over the 2 years prior to a six-month tour of duty. Record kept of any illness' at sea.
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What were the findings of Rae et al's study? (life changes)
Small but positive correlation between scores on the SRE and reported levels of illness. High score on SRE higher levels of illness. The relationship between life events and illness was more evident in married rather than single sailors.
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What was the procedure of Holmes and Rahe's study? (life changes)
Developed SRRS. Based on 43 life events take from an analysis of over 5000 patient records. 400 participant who rated each event on readjustment needed. Marriage given 50, the highest was death of a spouse, 100.
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What's a major weakness for life changes questionnaires?
Ignore the fact that there are individual differences in the impact of life event e.g. retirement/divorce. Sherbourne et al found that the impact of bereavement was greater for younger individuals. They may provide quantitative measures.
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One limitation of life changes as a source of stress is that they may be less important than daily hassles, explain this
Life-changing events are relatively rare in the lives of most people whereas minor stresses such as a missed buss are common. Delongis et al found no relationship between life events and health in a sample of married couples.
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Why does research not show a causal relationship (life changes)
studies have only yielded correlational data. A third variable e.g. anxiety may affect both the life-changing event and any resulting illness. Brown claims that people with high anxiety are likely to report experience of negative event and more ill
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Which psychologists studied daily hassles and stress?
Key study: Bouteyre et al Second study: Gervais
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What was the procedure of Bouteyre et al's study? (daily hassles)
Studied french psychology students making transition from school to university. 207 females, 26 males. Mean age was 20.48 years. Students completed the beck depression inventory, social support questionnaire and the daily hassles scale
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What were the findings of Bouteyre et al's study? (daily hassles)
41% of those surveyed suffered from depressive symptoms. Positive correlation of .33 between these symptoms and scores on the daily hassle sac ale. Students with social support less likely to develop depression.
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What were the findings of Gervais' study? (daily hassles)
Asked nurses to keep diaries for a month recording all daily hassles and uplifts experienced while at work. Nurses also asked to rate they performance at work and note any physical symptoms of strain.
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What did Gervais' study find? (daily hassles)
Daily hassles increased job strain and lowered job performance. Nurses diary entree suggest that daily uplifts counteracted the impact of daily hassles. Uplifts improved performance
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Much of the research into daily hassles is based on the collection of retrospective data/recall, explain why this is a weakness
accuracy of such memories can vary according to the time interval. Rubin and Baddeley refer to the phenomenon of 'telescoping' events that occurred prior to a reference period intrude and are recalled as being more recent. Overcome my diary method.
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Bouteyre et al's study only produced correlational data, what's a weakness of this?
Can't draw causal relationships between daily hassles and physical/emotional wellbeing. Does not demonstrate that depression was directly due to hassles, a third variable e.g. finances may be the cause of both.
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What real world applications are there of research into daily hassles?
Research shown that an accumulation of daily hassles can mean some are more likely to experience road rage during their commute home. Participants who reported a difficult day at work reported higher levels of stress on their joinery home.
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Which psychologists studied workload as a source of workplace stress?
Key study: Johansson et al. Second study: Naylor and Malcomson
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What was the procedure of Johansson et al's study? (workload)
Group of sawmill finishers performed repetitive jobs that required high levels of attention and responsibility. Control group of cleaners used. Adrenaline measured several times a day at work/home, participants rated themselves on wellbeing/efficienc
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What were the findings of Johansson et al's study? (workload)
High risk group (finishers) had higher illness rates and higher levels of adrenaline than the low risk group. Finishers adrenaline over twice as high at work than at home. In control group levels less than 1.5x higher at work.
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What was the procedure of Naylor and Malcomson's study? (workload)
644 secondary english teacher in canada. Teachers completed a survey on their levels of workload and stress. Asked to identify the most significant aspect of stress in their professional lives.
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What were the findings of Naylor and Malcomson's study? (workload)
Female and younger teachers reported the worst impact and least coping ability. More than 85% reported that their work resulted in significant levels of fatigue and more than one-third reported problems related to work life.
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What research support is their from Kivimaki et al? (workload)
Found that employees with high levels of job strain were 50% more likely to develop CHD than those with low levels. However they only examined the impact of one work stressor yet several others are associated with CHD.
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What research disagrees that workload is a significant source of stress?
Marmot et al did not find that workload was a contributory factor in stress-related illness in his study of civil servants. Job control was the main factor in the development of CHD. Control could be more influential.
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How did Johansson et al's study reduce investigator bias? (workload)
Measure of stress hormones in the urine is an objective measure of stress levels - reduces the chance of investigator effects and has higher validity than self report measures of stress levels.
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Which psychologists studied personality factors: type a/b?
KS: friedman and rosenman SS: Myrtek
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What was the procedure of Friedman and Rosenman's study? (type A)
3,000 men aged 39-59, california. Men were examined for signs of CHD and interviewed/observed to see how they responded to everyday pressures e.g. waiting in a long queue. Classified as either type A or B. Type A: competitive, impatient, urgent.
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What were the findings of Friendmand and Rosenman's study? (type A)
After 8 years twice as many type A men had died of cardiovascular problems. Over 12% of type A has experienced a heart attack, 6% of type B. Type A men had a higher bp and cholesterol.
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What was the procedure of Myrtek's study? (type A)
Meta-analysis covering all prospective studies carried out up to 1998. Correlated the relationship between Type A behaviour and development of CHD. Also looked at whether there was a relationship between hostility and CHD.
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What were the findings of Myrtek's study? (type A)
Relationship between type A behaviour and CHD not significant. There was a significant relationship between hostility and CHD. So low that it was considered to have no practical means for the prediction and prevention of CHD.
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Why was F+R's study being longitudinal an advantage? (type A)
It was a longitudinal study which does give us a good idea of the long term effect of personality factors on stress related illness.
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Why may F+R's study lack external validity? (type A)
Because the study used an all male sample it is unknown if the results could be generalized to a female population.
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Why may the affects seen in F+R's study be indirect? (type A)
eople who demonstrate type A behaviour may be more likely to smoke, drink excessively and lead generally less healthy lifestyles. Perhaps this, rather than the behaviour type itself causes CHD.
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Which psychologists studied control as a workplace stressor?
KS: marmot et al SS: McCarthy et al
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What was the procedure of Marmot et al's study? (control)
Longitudinal study of 10,308 civil servants aged 35-55 (67% men, 33% women). Completed a questionnaire on job control, workload and level of social support. Independent check made of participants job responsibilities. Checked for CHD symptoms.
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What were the findings of Marmot et al's study? (control)
After 5 years, those who reported low levels of job control more likely to have developed CHD. Independent of other risk factors e.g. smoking/physical acidity. Work load and work support not related to risk of CHD
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What was the procedure of McCarthy et al's study? (control)
227 men who had experienced a first time coronary event. Each man matched with a man of a similar age and background (in order to study relationship between coronary event and their job characteristics)
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What were the findings of McCarthy et al's study? (control)
Low job control significant factor in the likelihood of a coronary event. Older workers reported lower levels of job control and were more susceptible to coronary events. Higher
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Research into the impact of workplace stressors pisses the point that there are individual differences in how people react to, and cope with, stressors, expand on this weakness (control)
Schaubroeck et al. found that some workers are less stressed by having no control or responsibility. Lack of control may only be experienced as stressful by some individuals.
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Why was Marmot et al's study being longitudinal an advantage? (control)
It was a longitudinal study which does give us a good idea of the long term effect of job control as a source workplace stress
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How could it be concluded the findings of Marmot et al's study are attributed to an individuals life rather than the control?
People who have lower control occupations are more likely to smoke live in stressful environments and have poorer diets- all linked to cardio disease
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Which psychologists looked at the relationship between hardiness and stress?
KS: Kobasa et al. SS: Maddi et al
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What was the procedure of Kobasa et al's study? (hardiness)
Data from 259 business executives. Questionnaires used to assess stressful life events and illness symptoms over a 2 years. Also assessed constitutional predisposition (e.g. family history of illness). Separate scales measured the three components
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What were the findings of Kobasa et al's study? (hardiness)
all three factors (stressful life events, constitutional predisposition, hardiness) had an effect on illness. Hardiness had the largest. Scoring high on the three hardiness components decreased the likelihood of a person becoming ill
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What are the three components of hardiness?
ControL (being in control of ones life, not being controlled by external forces), Commitment (being involved with the world and a strong sense of purpose) challenge (seeing life problems as challenges rather than threats/stressors)
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What was the procedure of Maddi et al's study?
Natural experiment over a 12-year period from 1975 to 1987 at illinois bell telephone. Company reducing workforce dramatically. Each year data collected from a sample of 450 male and female supervisors.
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What were the findings of Maddi et al's study?
2/3 sample suffered from stress-related illness. 1/3 showed no evidence of stress-related illness and thrived, these scored significantly higher in the three components of hardiness. More likely to face stressful circumstances rather than deny them
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One criticism of Kobasas study comes from the concept of negative affectivity, explain this
individuals high in NA dwell more on their failures and negative aspects on themselves. Hardy individuals may just be low in NA. However, challenged by methods that dont use self-report e.g. maddi et al (physiological measure)
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Kobasa's research relied on self-report, explain why this is weakness (hardiness)
Some participants may provide false information due to social desirability. Therefore the study may not be measuring what it intends to and so has low internal validity
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What further evidence supports Kobasa's findings? (hardiness)
Lifton et al found that low hardiness was disproportionately represented among university drop outs, strength as supports that a person high in hardiness is more successful in coping with stress
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Explain stress inoculation training SIT (psychological methods of stress management)
Helps people cope with the aftermath of exposure to stressful events and to 'inoculate' themselves against a stressor before it arrives. Enhances individuals coping repertoires.
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What are the three phases of SIT? (psychological methods of stress management)
Conceptualisation - clients taught to think differently and break down the stressor into specific short term/long term. Skills acquisition - coping skills taught. Application - Leaned coping skills applied in increasingly stressful situations.
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What research support is there for the effectiveness of SIT?
Meichenbaum used SIT effectively to help individuals deal with stress associated with their snake phobia. SIT and SD both effective, but SIT helped clients sea with a different (untreated) phobia. SIT also inoculates against future stressors
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What is the main problem with SIT?
it's time consuming and requires high levels of motivation. This may limit it's usefulness as people are reluctant to invest time/effort.
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SIT works with non-clinical populations, explain this strength.
Such as students, Sheehy and Horan found that law students who received SIT displayed lower levels of anxiety and stress over time, and improved academic performance
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Explain hardiness training (psychological methods of stress management)
People can be trained in hardiness to help them manage stress better by becoming more resistant to it's effects. 3 stages: focusing (on sources and signs), reliving stress encounters (client given insight into current coping), self-improvement.
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What limitations are there of hardiness training?
Because of learned coping habits. It must first address learned habits. Lindquist et al found men tended to use more maladaptive coping strategies e.g. alcohol. Hardiness training is therefore not a rapid solution
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What are the biological methods of stress management?
Drug therapies: benzodiazepines (slow down activity in the central nervous system by enchanting GABA) or beta-blockers (bind to cells of the heart, block their activity, heart beats slower so bp falls and person feels calmer).
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What's a limitation of drug therapies as a method of stress management?
Can be addictive and lead to withdrawal symptoms. With regular use the body comes to depend on BZs for normal function. Tolerance develops so larger doses needed to produce same effect. Use of BZs tends to be limited to short-term treatment
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What side effects can drug therapies as a method of stress management have?
BZs include drowsiness, confusion and memory impairment. There are no side effects associated with psychological methods. Side effects make patients less likely to continue with treatment, decrease its effectiveness.
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Card 2

Front

What happens in the pituitary-adrenal system? (BRS)

Back

Activated under conditions of chronic stress. Hypothalamus releases corticotrophin releasing factor which causes pituitary gland to release ACTH which goes to adrenal cortex which leads to release of cortisol.

Card 3

Front

What are the possible positive and negative effects of cortisol? (BRS)

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

How can the stress response lead to cardiovascular problems?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

How can the stress response lead to immune system problems?

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Preview of the front of card 5
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