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  1. The two pathways
    • Sympathomedullary pathway - acute stress
    • Pituitary-adrenal system - Chronic stress
  2. The Sympathomedullary Pathway
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  3. Pituitry-adrenal system
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  4. The immune system two studies:
    • Cohen et al
    • Kiecolt-Glaser et al
  5. Cohen et al
    • used questionnaires to obtain stress index scored for 394 participants 
    • Participants exposed to common cold virus 82% became infected with virus.
    • Chance of developing a cold was significantly correlated with the stress index score
  6. Kiecolt-Glaser et al
    • Natural experiment
    • Blood samples were taken from 75 medical students one month before exam (low stress condition) and during exam period (high stress condition)
    • Measured natural killer cell activity in blood samples as an indication of immune function
    • Findings: - natural killer cell was significantly lower in the 2nd condition
    • Shows short-term stressors reduce immune system functioning.
  7. Immune system AO2
    • sample were all volunteer medical students - limits generalisation of findings. BUT Kiecolt-Glaser found similar results with other social groups.
    • K-G measured the natural killer cell activity to measure the immune function -only one component of a very complex system
    • A range of variables may effect immune system - e.g. inds general health lifestyle - THEREFORE to simplistic to suggest relationship between stress and the immune system.
    • Furthermore it is important to distinguish between short term and long term stress.
  8. Life changes studies
    • Holmes and Rahne
    • Rahne et al
  9. Rahne et al
    • over 2700 American male sailors were giving the SRRS questionnaire to complete just before they left for their tour of duty
    • When a sea, health records were kept for each participant and an illness score was calculated
    • Found a small significant positive correlation of 0.118 between the mens LCU's scores and illness scores
    • Researchers concluded that experiencing life changes/events increases the likelihood of illness
  10. Rahne et al AO2
    • used correlation analysis - so its not possible to conclude cause and effect
    • Its simplistic to see the relationship between life events and illness as a casual one. Studies have found that personality is a mediating variable in the relationship between life changes and illness
  11. Holmes & Rahne
    • Developed SRRS scale to asses to impact of life events
    • Life events are assigned to life changes units (LCU) from 100 to 11
    • A person stress score is the sum of all the life changes units they have experienced within a period of 12 months.
    • Score of 300 or over meant that there was an 80% chance of developing a serious physical illness in the following year
  12. Holmes & Rahne AO2
    • Limitation is that the SRRS scales assumes that the same life event would have the same amount of impact on different people. -This is unlikely and over simplistic
    • Does not distinguish between positive ad negative events - other research shows that negative events are more stressful then positive events
    • Life changes are relatively rare - daily hassles may well be a more significant source of stress
  13. Daily hassles
    DeLongis believed that life also contained positive events known as uplifts that could counteract the negative effects of daily hassles - he made a scale
  14. DeLongis et al 1982 (first study)
    • Was supporting evidence for the scale
    • Gave the uplifts and hassles scale to 100 participants between the ages of 45 and 64
    • For a period of a year participants completed monthly measures of hassles and uplifts, life events and health status
    • Found hassle scores has a higher correlation with health problems than life events
  15. DeLongis et al 1988 (second study)
    • gave 75 married couples both a life event questionnaire and the Hassles and Uplifts Scale. The couples were assessed 20 times over a six month period
    • Found no relationship between life events and health but there was a significant positive correlation of +59 between hassles and next day health problems such as flu, headaches and sore throats
  16. Daily hassles AO2
    • results are consistent with findings that suggests there is a distinction between the effects of short term and long term stress - chronic stress being more serious.
    • But rating the hassles is completed retrospectively (old data) - memories may not be reliable because recollections are affected by current state of mind. 
    • Correlation doesn't show causation - could be other variables (personality).
  17. Workplace Stress
    • Theres two things that cause it: -lack of control
    • - work overload
    • Lack of control was Marmot et al
    • Work Load Johannason et al
  18. Marmot et al - Lack of control
    • Studied 7000 civil servants over a 5 year period to see their health status (longitudinal study)
    • Those in highest grades developed fewest CVD (reported greater control over their work and good level of social support)
    • Those in lowest grades developed the most CVD (reported less control and had the poorest level of social support)
  19. Marmot et al AO2
    • Large sample size - able to generalise the study more also it was a longitudinal study which allows the study to prove more accurate results.
    • Individual differences - lower grade workers may have had other characteristics in common + higher grade may have hardy personality - see work as a challenge
    • Correlation does not prove causation.
  20. Johannson et al - Work load
    • Did a study at a Swedish saw mill.
    • Compares 14 finishers (high risk as their productivity determined wages of entire factory) with 10 cleaners (low risk)
    • finishers (high risk group) had higher levels of stress hormones, stress-related illnesses and absenteeism
  21. Johannson et al AO2
    • Small sample which is not representative as they all worked at a specific Swedish saw mill
    • Difficult to separate the effects of different stressors - there are many other work place stressors (noise, temperature)
    • Only male sample - cant generalise
  22. Personality factors
    • Type A/B
    • Hardiness
  23. Personality factors - what is Type A/B?
    • Friedman and Rosenman described type A personality as possessing 3 major characteristics (HIC):
    • Hostile
    • Impatient
    • Competitive
    • Types B has an absence of these characteristics
  24. Type A/B continued
    • Type A individuals respond more quickly to stressful situations
    • Stress activates the sympathetic branch of the ANS - leads to rise in BP, HR and constriction of blood vessels
    • The release of stress hormones results in the increase of fatty acids in the bloodstream. Cholesterol particles clump together leading to clots in blood and artery walls -increase CVD
    • Type B are less likely to get CVD
  25. Friedman and Rosenman Study
    • natural experiment
    • 3500 Californian men (39-59yrs) given qs and structured interview and identified as type A, B or X (mixture) - all were free from CHD at start of research
    • Lifestyle factors such as obesity and smoking were controlled for
    • studied over a 8 1/2 year period
    • Findings:
    • 7% of Sample had developed some signs of CHD - 70% were type A inds
    • Type A men also had higher BP and Cholesterol levels
    • Concluded that types A beh increases vulnerability to heart disease
  26. Type A/ B AO2
    • A lot of research has found that Type A/B is not a strong predictor of heart disease - only half the studies have showed a significant link to CHD
    • Its not clear what aspect of Type A is most strongly associated with CHD
    • One study found that hostility was more linked to CHD than overall type A/B score
    • The study is culturally specific (Californian) and gender specific (males)
    • Correlation doesn't prove causation
  27. Hardiness AO1
    • Kobasa and Maddi 1977 - claim some people are more resistant to harmful effects of stress as they have hardy personalities (the 3 C's)
    • Control -feel in control of events in their lives
    • Commitment - involved in the world around them and feel a sense of purpose and involvement
    • Challenge - stressful situations are challenges to be overcome rather than obstacles
  28. Hardiness AO2 -study
    • Kobasa 1979 -studied 800 American middle managers who experiences a high level of life events in the past 3 years (SRRS scale)
    • assessed hardiness using a hardiness test - those who were rarely ill scored high on all 3 C's of the hardy personality
  29. Hardiness AO2
    • Strengths: - research can account for studies that haven't found a correlation between type a/b and CHD
    • Real life application of this research - Hardiness training has become more widespread (army)
    • Limitations: - may be more simple than Hardiness -some research shows its simply due to control
    • Relies on self-report methods - issues with demand characteristic and social desirability - so reduces questionnaires reliability
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2013-05-27 23:09:18

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