Stress, Health and
Coping
Understanding Stress
o What is Stress?
– Negative emotional state
occurring in response to events
that are perceived as ta...
Health
Psycholog
y

How to promote
health-enhancing
behaviors

Studies how biological,
behavioral, and social
factors infl...
What Causes You Stress???
Understanding Stress:
Sources of Stress
Sources of Stress
Cataclysmic Events:
stressors that occur
suddenly and generally
affect many people
simultaneously
Sources of Stress
Chronic Stressors:
ongoing, long
lasting, unpleasant
events
Stress of poverty
Dysfunctional families
...
Sources of Stress
 Life Changes:
life events that require
some adjustment in
behavior or lifestyle
Measuring Life Changes

•

Early stress researchers (Holmes and Rahe, 1967) believed any change that required you to adjus...
Problems with the SRRS
• Link between SRRS and physical and
psychological problems is weak
• Assumes that a given life eve...
Pause and Reflect:
Why Study Psychology?
• Most people only think of negative events
like final exams or being fired as th...
Sources of Stress
• Hassles: small,
everyday
problems that
accumulate to
become a source
of stress
• What are some
hassles...
Daily Hassles

That’s Not What I Ordered!
• Everyday minor events that annoy and
upset people
• Such ordinary irritations ...
Sources of Stress
•

Occupation Burnout:
state of psychological and
physical exhaustion
resulting from chronic
exposure to...
Sources of Stress
Frustration:
unpleasant tension
resulting from a blocked
goal
Conflict: forced choice
between two or m...
Three Types of Conflict
 Approach-Approach: forced choice between

two or more desirable alternatives
 Avoidance-Avoidan...
Pause and Reflect: Check & Review
 Assuming this man
is attracted to one of
these three
women, is he
experiencing an
appr...
Vocational Stress as the President
Vocational Stress as the President
• Presidents age two times faster while in office,
primarily -- but not only -- due to ...
Review
• What are the 7 Sources of Stress???
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Cataclysmic Events
Chronic Stressors
Life Changes
Hassl...
Traumatic Events

Events or situations that are
negative, severe, and far beyond
our normal expectations for
everyday life...
Developing
Resilience
• Seery - high and low levels of
cumulative adversity were
associated with poor health
outcomes
• Ex...
Stress and the Body
Stress and the Body

Sympathetic
Nervous
System

Stress
Stress and the Body

• Prolonged elevation of cortisol is related to:
– increased depression, memory problems, etc.
– impa...
Stress and the Body
• Psychoneuroimmunology:
interdisciplinary field that studies the
effect of psychological factors on t...
Stress and the Body
Adaptation Syndrome
1. Alarm
2. Resistance
3. Exhaustion
Stress and the Body
Stress can
indirectly affect
a person’s health
by prompting
behaviors that
jeopardize
physical
well-be...
Stress and Illness
Cancer: related to
genetic predisposition
and environmental
factors

Cardiovascular
Disorders: related ...
Chronic Negative Emotions

Positive Emotions

Click here

Click here

• Strong link between negative
emotions and poor hea...
Type A Behavior and Hostility
Exaggerated sense of time
urgency, trying to do more and more in
less time
• General sense o...
Do Personality Factors Cause Disease?

• Psychologists and other scientists are cautious about the connections
between per...
• Two major approaches to coping with stress:
Emotion-focused (changing one's
perception of stressful situations)
 Proble...
Health and Stress Management
Our emotional
reaction to stress
largely depends
on how we
INTERPRET it.
How do you manage your stress?

 Health and Exercise
 Positive Beliefs
 Social Support
 Relaxation
 Counseling
Social Factors
A Little Help from Your Friends

Social support
Resources provided by other people
in times of need

Effect...
Gender Differences in the Effects of Social
Support
• Men rely on close relationship
with spouse or partner
• Women list c...
Providing
Effective Social
Support

Emotional Support
expressions of concern,
empathy, and positive
regard

Tangible Suppo...
Gender Differences in Responding
to Stress
―Tend-and-Befriend‖ or ―Fight-or-Flight‖?

• Men tend to withdraw
from their fa...
B. F. Skinner
and the
Search for
“OrderMinimizing the Effects of Stress
in
Behavior”
Suggestion 1
Avoid or minimize the us...
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  • Stress PowerPoint Online

    1. 1. Stress, Health and Coping
    2. 2. Understanding Stress o What is Stress? – Negative emotional state occurring in response to events that are perceived as taxing or exceeding a person’s resources or ability to cope – the arousal, both physical and mental, to situations or events that we perceive as threatening or challenging.
    3. 3. Health Psycholog y How to promote health-enhancing behaviors Studies how biological, behavioral, and social factors influence health, illness, medical treatment, and healthrelated behaviors Main foci How people respond in the patient–health practitioner relationship How people respond to being ill
    4. 4. What Causes You Stress???
    5. 5. Understanding Stress: Sources of Stress
    6. 6. Sources of Stress Cataclysmic Events: stressors that occur suddenly and generally affect many people simultaneously
    7. 7. Sources of Stress Chronic Stressors: ongoing, long lasting, unpleasant events Stress of poverty Dysfunctional families Being trapped in an unhappy marriage Being in a despised job or career
    8. 8. Sources of Stress  Life Changes: life events that require some adjustment in behavior or lifestyle
    9. 9. Measuring Life Changes • Early stress researchers (Holmes and Rahe, 1967) believed any change that required you to adjust your behavior and lifestyle would cause stress • Developed the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS)
    10. 10. Problems with the SRRS • Link between SRRS and physical and psychological problems is weak • Assumes that a given life event will have the same impact on everyone • Assumes that change in itself, whether good or bad, produces stress • Most researchers agree that undesirable events are significant sources of stress but that change in itself is not necessarily stressful
    11. 11. Pause and Reflect: Why Study Psychology? • Most people only think of negative events like final exams or being fired as the major sources of stress. Psychology shows us that even positive life changes like graduation or a job promotion can create stress. This research informs us, while also providing helpful coping strategies.
    12. 12. Sources of Stress • Hassles: small, everyday problems that accumulate to become a source of stress • What are some hassles you face in a daily basis?
    13. 13. Daily Hassles That’s Not What I Ordered! • Everyday minor events that annoy and upset people • Such ordinary irritations in daily life might be an important source of stress • Number of daily hassles people experience is a better predictor of physical illness and symptoms than is the number of major life events experienced • Women are more likely to report daily stressors that are associated with friends and family • Men are more likely to feel hassled by stressors that are school-related or workrelated
    14. 14. Sources of Stress • Occupation Burnout: state of psychological and physical exhaustion resulting from chronic exposure to high levels of stress and little personal control – Do you think College could be considered an Occupational Burnout???
    15. 15. Sources of Stress Frustration: unpleasant tension resulting from a blocked goal Conflict: forced choice between two or more incompatible goals or impulses
    16. 16. Three Types of Conflict  Approach-Approach: forced choice between two or more desirable alternatives  Avoidance-Avoidance: forced choice between two or more undesirable alternatives  Approach-Avoidance: forced choice between two or more alternatives both having desirable and undesirable results
    17. 17. Pause and Reflect: Check & Review  Assuming this man is attracted to one of these three women, is he experiencing an approachapproach, approachavoidance, or avoidanceavoidance conflict?
    18. 18. Vocational Stress as the President
    19. 19. Vocational Stress as the President • Presidents age two times faster while in office, primarily -- but not only -- due to stress. • Stress in the office
    20. 20. Review • What are the 7 Sources of Stress??? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Cataclysmic Events Chronic Stressors Life Changes Hassles Occupation Burnout Frustration Conflict
    21. 21. Traumatic Events Events or situations that are negative, severe, and far beyond our normal expectations for everyday life or life events • 85% of people report having been exposed to a traumatic event during their lifetime • When traumas are intense or repeated, some psychologically vulnerable people may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (abbreviated PTSD). • Fewer than 30% of those who experience major disasters—such as floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes—develop PTSD
    22. 22. Developing Resilience • Seery - high and low levels of cumulative adversity were associated with poor health outcomes • Experiencing some stress was healthier than experiencing no stress at all • People who have had to cope with a moderate level of adversity develop resilience • Ability to cope with stress and adversity, to adapt to negative or unforeseen circumstances, and to rebound after negative experiences
    23. 23. Stress and the Body
    24. 24. Stress and the Body Sympathetic Nervous System Stress
    25. 25. Stress and the Body • Prolonged elevation of cortisol is related to: – increased depression, memory problems, etc. – impairment of the immune system, which leaves the body vulnerable to disease.
    26. 26. Stress and the Body • Psychoneuroimmunology: interdisciplinary field that studies the effect of psychological factors on the immune system
    27. 27. Stress and the Body Adaptation Syndrome 1. Alarm 2. Resistance 3. Exhaustion
    28. 28. Stress and the Body Stress can indirectly affect a person’s health by prompting behaviors that jeopardize physical well-being, such as not eating or sleeping properly Stress can directly affect physical health by altering body functions, leading to symptoms of illness or disease
    29. 29. Stress and Illness Cancer: related to genetic predisposition and environmental factors Cardiovascular Disorders: related to stress hormones, certain personality types, and certain behaviors Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): anxiety disorder following extraordinary stress Gastric Ulcers: caused by bacteria or stress? Or both?
    30. 30. Chronic Negative Emotions Positive Emotions Click here Click here • Strong link between negative emotions and poor health • People who are habitually anxious, depressed, angry, or hostile are more likely to develop a chronic disease, such as arthritis or heart disease • Associated with increased resistance to infection, decreased illnesses, fewer reports of illness symptoms, less pain, and increased longevity • Less likely to develop heart disease • Bring calming and health protective effects to the cardiovascular, endocrine, and immune systems • Associated with health-promoting behaviors • Predict more friends and stronger social networks
    31. 31. Type A Behavior and Hostility Exaggerated sense of time urgency, trying to do more and more in less time • General sense of hostility, displaying anger and irritation • Intense ambition and competitiveness • Hostility component associated with heart disease • Hostile Type As react more intensely to a stressor than other people do • Experience greater increases in blood pressure and heart rate Type B • More easygoing, relaxed, laid back • Not associated with heart disease
    32. 32. Do Personality Factors Cause Disease? • Psychologists and other scientists are cautious about the connections between personality and health • Personality factors might indirectly lead to disease via poor health habits • Disease may influence a person’s emotions, rather than the other way around
    33. 33. • Two major approaches to coping with stress: Emotion-focused (changing one's perception of stressful situations)  Problem-focused (using problem-solving strategies to decrease or eliminate the source of stress) 
    34. 34. Health and Stress Management Our emotional reaction to stress largely depends on how we INTERPRET it.
    35. 35. How do you manage your stress?  Health and Exercise  Positive Beliefs  Social Support  Relaxation  Counseling
    36. 36. Social Factors A Little Help from Your Friends Social support Resources provided by other people in times of need Effects of low social support • Socially isolated people were twice as likely to die as people with good social relationships • Chronic loneliness predicts poorer physical and mental health, higher death rates, and decreased cognitive functioning • More likely have serious health problems if parents are low in love and caring • Isolation is as potent a health risk as smoking, obesity, alcohol abuse, and physical inactivity Negative interactions with other people are often more effective at creating psychological distress than positive interactions are at Positive Effect of Diverse Social Networks • Greater resistance improving well being to upper respiratory infections However… • Lower incidence of stroke and cardiovascular disease among women in a high-risk group • Lower incidence of dementia and cognitive loss in old age (Desai & others, 2010) How Social Support Benefits Health • Can modify our appraisal of a stressor’s significance • Seems to decrease the intensity of physical reactions to a stressor • Making us less likely to experience negative emotion • Direct assistance – money, meals, trips to doctor, referrals
    37. 37. Gender Differences in the Effects of Social Support • Men rely on close relationship with spouse or partner • Women list close friends along with their spouse as confidant • Men are particularly vulnerable to social isolation Risks for Women: • Women serve as providers of support, which can be stressful • Women suffer from the stress contagion effect • Women become more upset about negative events that happen to relatives and friends
    38. 38. Providing Effective Social Support Emotional Support expressions of concern, empathy, and positive regard Tangible Support involves direct assistance Effective Strategies Unhelpful Strategies Be a good listener and show concern Giving advice that the person under stress has not requested Ask questions that encourage the person under stress to express feelings and emotions Saying “I know exactly how you feel” Express understanding about why the person is upset Express affection for the person Be willing to invest time and attention in helping Help person with practical tasks Talking about yourself or your own problems Minimizing the importance of the person’s problem Joking or acting overly cheerful Offering your philosophical or religious interpretation
    39. 39. Gender Differences in Responding to Stress ―Tend-and-Befriend‖ or ―Fight-or-Flight‖? • Men tend to withdraw from their families, wanting to be left alone • Women tend to seek out interactions with their marital partners • Women likely to seek out and use social support when under stress Why? • Tending to offspring in times of stress would be vital to ensuring survival of species • Women developed a tend-andbefriend behavioral response to stress rather than fight-or-flight • Maybe because oxytocin is higher in women than in men • Oxytocin associated with maternal behaviors
    40. 40. B. F. Skinner and the Search for “OrderMinimizing the Effects of Stress in Behavior” Suggestion 1 Avoid or minimize the use of stimulants. Suggestion 2 Exercise regularly. Suggestion 3 Get enough sleep. Suggestion 4 Practice a relaxation technique.

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