Stress and health
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Stress and Health. Chapter 16. Health Psychology. Understand connection between physical & psychological health Understand role of stress Promote disease detection & prevention. Process of Stress. Stressors Stress MediatorsStress Response Life changesPredictability Physical

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Stress and Health

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Stress and health

Stress and Health

Chapter 16


Health psychology

Health Psychology

Understand connection between physical & psychological health

Understand role of stress

Promote disease detection & prevention


Process of stress

Process of Stress

  • Stressors Stress MediatorsStress Response

    Life changesPredictability Physical

    CatastrophicControl Psychological

    eventsCoping resources Emotional

    Daily hassles & methods Cognitive

    Chronic stressorSocial support Behavioral


Stressors

Stressors

  • Both pleasant & unpleasant events

    • Life changes

      • New circumstances

    • Catastrophic events

      • Sudden, potentially life-threatening experiences

    • Daily hassles

      • Frequent pressures/annoyances

    • Chronic stressors

      • Continue over time


Process of stress1

Process of Stress

  • Stressors Stress MediatorsStress Response

    Life changesPredictability Physical

    CatastrophicControl Psychological

    eventsCoping resources Emotional

    Daily hassles & methods Cognitive

    Chronic stressorSocial support Behavioral


Stress mediators

Stress Mediators

  • Individual differences in response to same stressor

  • Perception of stress

    • Predictability & control

    • Coping resources & methods

      • Problem-focused

      • Emotion-focused

    • Social support


Coping

Coping

  • Problem-focused

    • Altering or eliminating stress

      • Confronting

      • Seeking support

      • Problem-solving

  • Emotion-focused

    • Dealing with emotional effects of stress

      • Distancing

      • Reappraising

      • Accepting responsibility

      • Escaping or avoiding


Coping examples

Coping Examples

  • Cognitive

    • Reappraising (“I can manage this”)

  • Emotional

    • Support

  • Behavioral

    • Time management

  • Physical

    • Substance use

    • Progressive muscle relaxation


Planning to cope

Planning to Cope

Identify specific stressor(s) & effects (e.g., fatigue)

Set goals – what is changeable

Planning – specific steps to take

Action – implement coping

Evaluation – changes as result of coping

Adjustment – alter coping if necessary


Coping social support

Coping – Social Support

  • Social support

    • Eliminate stressor (e.g., friend helps fix car)

    • Eases impact (companionship)

    • Ideas for coping

  • Effects of support

    • Reduces emotional stress

    • Reduces illness


Social support

Social Support

Causal direction: coping social support

Depends on quality of relationship

Amount & type of support


Individual differences in response

Individual Differences in Response

  • Stress-related illness more common if

    • “Disease-prone” personality: angry, anxious, depressed

    • Avoid dealing with stressors

    • Catastrophize & blame self

    • Low self-efficacy

  • Stress-related illness less common if

    • “Disease-resistant” personality: sociable, optimistic

    • See stressor as temporary challenge


Process of stress2

Process of Stress

  • Stressors Stress MediatorsStress Response

    Life changesPredictability Physical

    CatastrophicControl Psychological

    eventsCoping resources Emotional

    Daily hassles & methods Cognitive

    Chronic stressorSocial support Behavioral


Physical response

Physical Response

  • Selye’s General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS)

  • Sequence

    • Alarm

    • Resistance

    • Exhaustion


Alarm stage

Alarm Stage

Fight or flight

Sympathetic division of autonomic NS

Adrenal & pituitary glands


Alarm adrenal gland

Alarm - Adrenal Gland

Hypothalamus stimulates adrenal gland

Adrenal gland secretes adrenaline/noradrenaline, which circulate in bloodstream, activating organs

Liver, kidneys, heart, lungs

Muscle tension, blood sugar, blood pressure


Alarm pituitary gland

Alarm – Pituitary Gland

HPA Axis (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical)

Hypothalamus stimulates pituitary

Pituitary secretes hormones (e.g., ACTH)

ACTH stimluates adrenal to secrete corticosteroids & pituitary releases endorphins (painkillers)

Corticosteroids: release energy supplies & fight inflammation

Alarm generates energy

If alarm persists, resources can be exhausted


Resistance

Resistance

If stressors persist

Body continues to respond but at reduced rate


Exhaustion

Exhaustion

Physical wear & tear in organs

Suppresses immune function

Can result in death

Selye called diseases caused or worsened by stress diseases of adaptation


Psychological response

Psychological Response

  • Emotional

    • Fear, anger, frustration, tension

  • Behavioral

    • Affect, posture, escape stressors (quit school), aggression

  • Cognitive

    • Decreased concentration, memory, & decision-making

    • Catastrophizing


Stress illness

Stress & Illness

  • Immune system

    • Stress decreases number of “natural killer” cells

  • Cardiovascular system

    • Frequent activation of alarm system is linked to

      • Coronary heart disease

      • High blood pressure

      • Strokes


Healthy behavior

Healthy Behavior

Smoking cessation

Moderate or no alcohol use

Abstinence or safe sex


Health beliefs

Health Beliefs

Perceive a personal threat

Perceive seriousness of threat

Perceive specific behavior change will reduce threat

Comparison of costs & benefits of behavior change


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