Chapter14Transparencies - CHAPTER 14 STRESS AND HEALTH...

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CHAPTER 14 – STRESS AND HEALTH Behavioral Medicine : An interdisciplinary field that integrates behavioral and medical knowledge and applies that knowledge to health and disease. Health Psychology : A subfield of psychology that provides psychology’s contribution to behavioral medicine. I - Stress and Illness Stress : The process by which we perceive and respond to certain events, called stressors , that we appraise as threatening or challenging. Appraisal determines response (i.e., challenge/opportunity, stress/illness). Stress response : Sympathetic Nervous System arousal – increases heart rate and respiration, diverts blood from digestion to the skeletal muscles, dulls pain, and releases sugar and fat from the body’s stores— fight or flight response. Cerebral cortex (via the hypothalamus and pituitary gland) order the outer (cortical) part of the adrenal gland secretes the stress hormone cortisol . General adaptation syndrome (GAS) : Selye’s concept of the body’s adaptive response to stress in three stages—alarm, resistance, exhaustion. Alarm : Sympathetic nervous system arousal. Resistance : Temperature, blood pressure, and respiration remain high, and there is a sudden outpouring of hormones. Exhaustion: Persistent stress depletes body’s reserves; vulnerable to illness or even, in extreme cases, collapse and death. Research findings : Prolonged stress shrinks hippocampus (essential for new memories). Stressors : Catastrophes, significant life changes, daily hassles/conflicts Chronic stress : Decreases with age Perceived control : Reduces stress; related to longevity; explains relationship between poverty and longevity. Optimism : Optimists cope better with stress, healthier, live longer. Loss of control : Stress hormones released and immune function decreased II – Stress and the Heart Coronary heart disease : Clogging of the vessels that nourish the heart muscle; leading cause of death in many developed countries. Behavioral and physiological factors : Smoking, obesity, a high-fat diet, physical inactivity, elevated blood pressure, and an elevated cholesterol level. The psychological factors of stress and personality also play a big role. 1
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Type A : Competitive, hard-driving, impatient, verbally aggressive, anger-prone Type B : Easygoing, relaxed Type A may be more prone to coronary diseases due to their behaviors (smoking, caffeine) and physiological reactivity to stress – “combat ready” – stress hormones and buildup of plaque in artery walls. May also be hostility/anger and cynicism of Type As.
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This note was uploaded on 03/27/2008 for the course PSY 101 taught by Professor Jackson during the Spring '08 term at Michigan State University.

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Chapter14Transparencies - CHAPTER 14 STRESS AND HEALTH...

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