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  • 1. Cardiovascular disease-cause or correlation? By Bethan and Hannah
  • 2. Krantz et al –EVIDENCE FOR THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CVD AND STRESS Krantz et al (1991) looked at 39 people with myocardial ischemia and their reactions to low-level stress. It was found that those who had the highest myocardial ischemia readings when stressed had the highest increases in blood pressure This suggests there is a direct link between low-level cognitive stress and physiological reactions that lead to cardiovascular damage. This can be seen as unethical to cause distress to patients with CVD , but with the justification for stressing people who have a history of CVD’s is that cognitive stressors were no more than those found in everyday life It might be that the patients with CVDs would show heightened myocardial ischemia and blood pressure when relaxed as well as when moderately stressed
  • 3. Friedman and Rosenman (1974) The sample consisted of 3000 volunteers (male), all from California aged between 39 and 59 who were healthy at the start of the study . Structured interviews and observations of the pps behaviour were noted down and used to assess personality types, impatience, competitiveness and hostility 70% of those with CHD had been classified as Type A. they had higher blood pressure and levels of adrenaline and cholesterol Twice as many type A’s died than type B’s and type a were more likely to smoke and have a f
  • 4. Pros and Cons Pros A long term study with a large sample and therefore had high ecological validity It showed how psychological factors can be related to physiological effects Wel designed with a clear baseline as all the men were assessed have not suffering from CHD at the start Cons Sample was all male so can’t be generalised to females Self report measures may not be valid or reliable Not certain that the men would respond to the interview questions in the same way
  • 5. Russek (1962) Looked at heart disease in medical professionals. One group of doctors was designated as high stress while others were classed as high stress. He found that heart disease was highest among GP’s and lowest in dermatologists. This supports the view that stress is linked to heart disease.
  • 6. Brown and Harris (1978) Found that women who suffered from chronic stress conditions were more likely to develop depression. Also reported that working-class women were more likely to develop depression than middle-class women due to the stress of leaving home to work and having to leave their children in the care of others.
  • 7. Brown and Harris (1978) In the Brown and Harris study, a stressful experience alone didn’t predict the onset of depression. Rather it was the absence of a close confiding relationship in the women’s lives that made them more vulnerable to life stressors and as a result, more vulnerable to depression.
  • 8. Melchior et al. (2007) Carried out a survey over a period of one year among 1000 people in a wide range of occupations in New Zealand. They found that 15% of those in high-stress jobs suffered a first episode of clinical depression or anxiety during that year compared with 8% in lowstress jobs. Women were generally worse affected than men.
  • 9. The diathesis-stress model Proposes that for a person to develop a psychiatric disorder, they must possess a biological vulnerability to the disorder (the diathesis). An individual’s vulnerability is determined by genetic or early biological factors. Stress can impact vulnerability, either triggering the onset of the disorder or worsening its course. If a person isn’t capable of adapting to the stressful situation, psychiatric symptoms will develop of worsen.
  • 10. Evaluation Research does not account for individual differences in personality or responses to stressors GAS assumes a passive response to stressors and takes a reductionist approach –stress is a complex subject and you cannot generalise from rats to humans Friedman and Roseman had a clear baseline but as all the pps were male these findings cannot be generalised to females Many of the studies had mundane realism because they were natural experiments e.g. Kiecolt et al had quantitative and qualitative measures from the same pps . This meant the validity of the experiment was increased. Also the pps were compared against themselves but it wasn’t known how long the immunosuppressant effects would last
  • 11. Our decision We support the link between stress and the risk of CVD This is because there are many case studies that support this link Also, the studies have high ecological validity as they are mostly natural experiments
  • 12. Questions State one evaluation point for Friedman and Roseman Which psychologist found that heart disease was greater for GP’s State one pro for Kielcot et al’s study In accordance with the diathesis model what happens to people who cannot adapt to a stressful situation Name one thing this model proposes, excluding the above In which year was Brown and Harris’ study conducted and state one conclusion from this study

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