Lecture 23 - Health and Stress Pt. 1 and 2 (Final Class)
Lecture 23 - Health and Stress Pt. 1 and 2 (Final Class) PSYC 2012
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Leslie Ogu on Friday April 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 2012 at George Washington University taught by Stock, M in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see Social Psychology in Psychlogy at George Washington University.
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Date Created: 04/29/16
Leslie Ogu PSYC 2012 04/26/2016 Stress and Health Pt. 1 and 2 Stress ➢ Def: negative feelings and beliefs that arise when people feel unable to cope with demands from their environment ➢ Perceived discrepancy between a person’s demands and his/her resources to cope with those demands ➢ Examples of Recent Stress ○ Had lots of tests ○ Lack of sleep ○ Had projects, research paper due ○ Having roommate or friend conflicts ○ Thoughts about the future ○ Lack of money ○ Working while in school ○ Illness (self or loved one) ➢ Types of Stressors ○ Distress v. Eustress ■ Distress harmful, threatening ● E.g., marital conflict ■ Eustress less harmful, challenging ● E.g., starting college ○ Acute v. Chronic ■ Acute relatively sudden; shortlived ● E.g., tests, traffic ■ Chronic ongoing; persistent ● E.g., job loss, serious illness ○ Physical Stressors ■ E.g., heat/cold, infection ■ Direct physical threat to one’s wellbeing ○ Physiological Stressors ■ E.g., failure to reach an important goal ■ Challenges to one’s wellbeing ○ Both physical and physiological have similar effects on the body ➢ Sources of stress ○ Imminent events requiring strong demands ○ Life transitions ○ Everyday hassles ○ Ambiguous events ○ Uncontrollable events ○ Unpredictable events ➢ Measurement of Stress ○ Physiological Measures ■ Blood pressure ■ Respiration rate ■ Hormone levels ○ Selfreport of stressful life events ■ Social Readjustment Rating Scale (Holmes and Rahe, 1967) ■ College Life Stress Inventory ➢ Biological Component of Stress ○ Stress has an adaptive purpose ■ FightorFlight Response responding to a stressor by either attacking it or fleeing from it ● Physiological arousal ○ E.g., heart rate increases, pupils dilate, alert ● Release of stress hormones (e.g., cortisol) ● Adaptive allows people to respond quickly to threat ● Maladaptive disrupts emotional and physiological functioning; can lead to health problems ➢ General Adaptation Syndrome *** ➢ Stage 1: Alarm reaction ○ Brief drop in arousal (shock) ○ Dramatic increase in arousal (fightorflight response) ➢ Stage 2: Resistance ○ Body tries to adapt to stressor ○ Arousal declines slightly but remains higher than normal ➢ Stage 3: Exhaustion ○ Body is depleted of energy; disease and damage possible ➢ Stressrelated Disorders *** ○ Skin disorders (e.g., acne, hives) ○ Tension disorders (e.g., headaches, neck/back pain) ○ Gastrointestinal disorders (e.g., ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome) ○ Cardiovascular disorders (e.g., angina, hypertension, CHD) ○ Immune system disorders (e.g., flu, mono, asthma, allergies) ○ Depression, anxiety ➢ Diathesisstress Model ○ A person had a predisposition to an illness, but it may remain dormant unless triggered by stress ○ Diathesis redisposition to an illness ■ E.g., genetics, environment, nutrition, etc ○ Tendency to respond in a specific way can make body more vulnerable ■ E.g., Type A ➢ Stress, Viruses, and the Immune System ○ Study by Cohen et al (1993) showed people who were exposed to a common cold virus were more likely to develop a cold if they had more stressful life events, higher perceived stress, and/or higher negative affectivity ○ More research by Cohen has shown: ■ Type, intensity, and duration of stressor are important *** ■ Effects not due to health behaviors, demographics, etc ➢ Perceived Control belief that you can influence your environment in ways that determine if you experience positive or negative outcomes ➢ Sense of control decreases stress, anxiety, and depression ➢ Perceptions of control must be realistic to be adaptive Type A People ** ➢ Characterized by: ○ Chronic Time urgency ■ Impatience, multiple tasks, over scheduling ○ Hostility, anger, and aggressiveness ** ■ Hostile personality ○ Competitiveness ○ Additional: Symptom suppression? ➢ Examples ○ When someone criticizes you, do you quickly get annoyed? ○ When you are held in a slow line in traffic, do you quickly sense your heart pounding and your breath quickening? ➢ Type B is the absence of these behaviors *** ➢ Who is more likely to be Type A? ○ Men ○ People who live in urban areas ○ Type A parents ○ Western Cultures ➢ Type A and Selfevaluation ○ In comparison to Type B’s, Type A’s: ■ Evaluate themselves more harshly ■ Tend to attribute negative events to internal causes ■ Attend selectively to negative feedback ■ Make comparisons with inappropriate others Explanatory Style Illustrations ** ➢ Internal: “I am very smart” ➢ External: “The test was easy” ➢ Stable: “I always do well on tests” ➢ Unstable: “I was prepared this one time.” ➢ Global: “I am doing well in most of my classes.” ➢ Specific: “I’m doing well in this particular class, but not doing well in my other classes.” Optimistic v. Pessimistic Styles ➢ Optimistic Explanatory Style (OES) ○ Good Event: internal/stable/global ○ Bad Event: external/unstable/specific ➢ Pessimistic Explanatory Style (PES) ○ Good Event: external/unstable/specific ○ Bad Event: internal/stable/global Behavior and Health ➢ Chronic diseases (e.g., heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes) are the leading causes of mortality in the US ○ Negative health behaviors (e.g., substance use, never exercising, a poor diet) and lack of medical seeking (e.g., physical exams, screening for cancer/illness, checking blood pressure) increase the likelihood of these outcomes Alcohol Use and Sexual Behavior ➢ Alcohol is associated with: *** ○ Greater likelihood of sex with casual partners ○ Less condom use ○ Poorer condom negotiation skills ○ Increased risk for STDs ○ Lower perception of risks / Negative consequences ➢ Cognitive Effects of Alcohol ○ Disinhibition (make one less inhibited) ■ Alcohol causes people to “let go” of the inhibitions that would normally constrain their behavior ○ Implications ** ■ People will make riskier decisions ■ People should not make decisions about health behaviors when intoxicated ○ Alcohol Myopia ■ Intoxication limits cognitive capacity ■ No longer have necessary processing skills to attend to all information in an environment ■ Focus on salient environmental cues ■ More or less likely to engage in risky behaviors, depending on the cue ■ 2 types of cues ● Impelling calls attention to benefits of risky behavior (e.g., sexual arousal, attractive person) ● Inhibiting calls attention to costs of risky behavior (e.g., STD, pregnancy) ○ Conclusions ■ Be aware of the cognitive effects alcohol can have ** ■ Have a sober friend accompany you out if you anticipate drinking ■ Be smart! Skin Cancer and Sun Protection ➢ Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. ➢ Most skin cancers and skin damage (e.g., wrinkles) are linked to ultraviolet (UV) light exposure ➢ Therefore ... ○ Behaviors that protect against UV exposure can help reduce skin cancer risk ■ Sunscreen use ■ Protective clothing ■ Shade seeking ■ Avoiding tanning bed ➢ Appearancebased Interventions ○ Motivation for tanning: attractiveness ** ■ Social aspect of risk engagement ○ Are tanners aware of risk? Yes, but ... ■ Benefits are immediate ■ Risks are distal ■ Perceived benefits > risks ○ Photoaging premature wrinkling, spots / dark patches caused by UV exposure ➢ UV Photography Interventions ○ A UVfiltered Polaroid camera takes: ■ Blackandwhite photo ■ UV photo ○ “Dark, freckled, or pitted” areas show UV damage ○ The photo can be combined with information on the appearance and/or health consequences of UV exposure ○ A study by Gibbons (2004) showed that it helped reduce the amount of UV exposure Coping with Stress ➢ Coping any process by which people try to manage the stress they are experiencing ○ Problemfocused behavior aimed to directly manage the stressor ■ Taking action, seeking support ○ Emotionfocused behavior aimed at controlling the emotional response of the stressor ■ Venting, mentally disengaging, positive reappraisal Social Support ➢ Def perception that others are responsive and receptive to one’s needs ➢ Aspects of social networks ○ Size ○ Frequency of contact ○ Quality of relationships ➢ Types: ○ Tangible (instrumental) support direct assistance ■ Ex: Lending money, helping someone move ○ Informational support advice or information ■ Ex: Doing research ○ Emotional (and esteem) support expression of empathy ■ Ex: Listening, showing concern ➢ Consistency related to better health ** ➢ A few findings: *** ○ Socially isolated people died at a rate 3x higher than socially integrated people ○ Pregnant women with greater perceived social support had fewer complications ○ Unemployed men with greater perceived social support were less likely to get sick or be depressed ○ People with cancer had greater survival rates when they participated in social support groups ➢ Why does social support help? ○ Buffering hypothesis social support is most beneficial when we’re under stress Emotional Inhibition ➢ Def Denial of negative emotions ➢ Inhibiting thoughts or feelings requires psychological effort ➢ Psychological effort = stress ○ Takes psychological toll = illness ➢ Disclosure (emotional expression of upsetting experiences) improves mood, grades, and the ability to function well ➢ Expression / Disclosure ○ Why does it work? ■ Through writing, people organize their thoughts and find meaning in their experiences ● Use words like: resolve, realize, work through ● Positive emotions and cognitive change ■ Not just act of confiding in another person that matters ○ When doesn’t it work well? ■ Substitute for action ■ Facts without emotional expression ■ Just complaining Conclusions ➢ Important to consider biological, psychological, and social components of stress ➢ Stress can make us susceptible to health problems ➢ Social support, effective coping, optimism, emotional expression, and beliefs in control can reduce the negative effects of stress Stress Management ➢ Psychological Effects of Exercise ○ Enhanced sense of wellbeing ○ Decreased anxiety ○ Reduces depression by elevating low serotonin level similar to effect of antidepressant drugs ➢ Physical Benefits of Exercise ○ Reduces risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease ○ Improves cholesterol ○ Strengthens muscles and bones ○ Increases energy ○ Promotes better sleep ○ Reduction of stress can improve immune system ➢ Examples applying social support to exercise ○ Membership, equipment, gym ○ Coaching, instructions, training, etc ○ Encouragement, companionship, validation
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