Health Psychology Chap12

Health Psychology Chap12 - Health Psychology Chapter 12...

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Health Psychology Chapter 12
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Health Psychology Began in 1970s to study the psychological influences on staying healthy, becoming ill, and responses to being ill Now Health Psychology has an APA Division and several journals Health Psychology is closely related to the broader field of Behavioral Medicine —an interdisciplinary science focused on treating medical disorders in the broadest way possible Both follow the biopsychosocial model—”physical illness is the result of biological, psychological, and social disruptions”
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Health Psychology (continued) Why didn’t health psychology emerge earlier? Probably because life was mainly threatened by acute illness and disease and now is primarily threatened by chronic illness like obesity, heart disease, and cancer Risk factors for chronic diseases involve health- damaging and/or risky behaviors—these are attributable to nearly ½ of deaths today in the US Emotional distress is an issue in up to 60% of all doctor’s office visits
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Important Terms in Health Psychology Stress —”the negative emotional and physiological process that occurs as people try to adjust to or deal with environmental circumstances that disrupt, or threaten to disrupt, their daily functioning beyond their ability or perceived ability to cope” Stressors —circumstances that cause people to adjust Stress Reactions —the responses (physical, psychological, cognitive, behavioral) people show in reaction to stressors
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Stress and the Nervous System In the face of immediate stress, the body adopts the fight-or-flight response “Stress hormones” such as adrenaline and corticosteroids and endogenous opiates are released into the bloodstream The hormones increase heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing Muscles tense up and attention is focused on the stressor The fight-or-flight response is indeed adaptive but health problems can result from prolonged exposure to stressors, such as high blood pressure and poor immune system response The purely physical model does not account for how psychological factors contribute to the body’s response to stressors
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This note was uploaded on 03/01/2011 for the course PSYC 436 taught by Professor Dr.andrealeiman during the Spring '10 term at Maryland.

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Health Psychology Chap12 - Health Psychology Chapter 12...

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