Stress, Coping, and Health Psychology


B cell

type of lymphocyte that releases disease-fighting antibodies into the bloodstream to fight infection


intense release of pent up negative emotions


major class of hormones produced by the adrenal cortex

emotion-focused coping

coping strategy focused on regulating emotion or unpleasant physical arousal

explanatory style

how people perceive the causes of events in their lives

fight-or-flight response

physical response to a stressor that readies the body to physically face or flee from that stressor

general adaptation syndrome (GAS)

three-phase response to a stressor that includes alarm, resistance, and exhaustion

hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis

stress-signaling system in the body composed of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands

immune system

body system consisting of a complex network of organs that contain cells used to recognize pathogens in the body

learned helplessness

persistent sense of powerlessness learned by experiencing uncontrollable negative events

locus of control

degree to which people believe they have control over the outcome of events in their lives


white blood cell that assists in an immune response

problem-focused coping

strategy that addresses the source of the stress


continued attention to the causes and symptoms of one's distress without considering solutions to it


tension, negative emotions, or physical discomfort experienced when demands strain coping resources

stress appraisal

the way an individual thinks about a stressful event

stress response

physical and emotional reaction to a stressor


threatening or distressing stimulus that causes stress

T cell

type of lymphocyte that identifies infected cells in the body and destroys them

tend-and-befriend response

stress response in which people seek out or provide social support

type A personality

personality type characterized by competitiveness, self-criticism, urgency, and sometimes hostility

type B personality

personality type characterized by agreeableness, self-reflection, and an easygoing approach to life