Ch. 12 Stress, coping, and health Flashcards Preview

psychology Part 2 > Ch. 12 Stress, coping, and health > Flashcards

Flashcards in Ch. 12 Stress, coping, and health Deck (33):


the tension, discomfort, or physical symptoms that arise when a situation, called a stressor-a type of stimulus- strains our ability to cope effectively.


Traumatic event

a stressor that's severe that it can produce long term psychological or health consequences.


Stressors as stimuli

Focuses on identifying different types of stressful events, ranging from job loss to combat. Pinpointed categories of events that most of us find dangerous and unpredictable. Stressful situations can produce cumulative effects. Identifies people who are most susceptible to stress following different events.


stress as a response

They assess psychological and physical reactions to stressful events.



stress hormone that activates the body and prepares us to respond to stressful circumstances.


Post traumatic growth

the perception of beneficial change or personal transformation in the struggle to overcome adversity.
Pg. 455.


Stress as a transaction

Examine the interaction between potentially stressful life events and how people interpret and cope with them. pg. 456


Primary appraisal

initial decision regarding whether an event is harmful.


secondary appraisal

perceptions regarding our ability to cope with an event that follows primary appraisal.


Problem focused coping

coping strategy by which we problem solve and tackle life's challenges head on.


emotion focused coping

coping strategy that features a positive outlook on feelings or situations accompanied by behaviors that reduce painful emotions. No two stresses are created equal


Major life events- Social Readjustment Rating Scale

Measure life events systematically. Based on 43 life events such as jail term and personal injury or illness ranked in terms of their stressfulness. Number of stressful events people report over a year is associated with a variety of physical disorders, psychological disorders, and suicide attempts. (pg. 457).



minor annoyance or nuisance that strains our ability to cope. Everyday hassles do indeed contribute to stress.


Hassles scale

Measure how stressful events ranging from small annoyances to major daily pressures, impact our adjustment. Both major life events and hassels are associated with poor general health, but the frequency and percieved severity of hassels are actually better predictors of physical health, depression, and anxiety than major life events. pg. 457


General Adaptation syndrome (GAS) Pg.458-459

Stress response pattern proposed by Hans Selye that consists of three stages: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion.


The alarm reaction

Involves the excitation of the autonomic nervous system, the discharge of the stress hormone adrenaline, and physical symptoms of anxiety.



He adapts to the stressor and finds ways to cope with it.



If our personal resources are limited and we lack good coping measures, our resistance may ultimately break down, causing our levels of activation to bottom out. Results can range from damage to organ system, to depression and anxiety, to a breakdown in the immune system. Stress can be a positive thing though.


Tend and befriend

Reaction that mobilizes people to nurture (tend) or seek social support (befriend) under stress. Pg. 459. In times of stress women generally rely on their social contacts and nurturing abilities. Women do not lack a self preservation instinct.


Social support pg. 461

Relations with people groups, and the larger community that can provide us with emotional comfort and personal and financial resources


Behavioral control

Ability to step up and do something to reduce the impact of a stressful situation or prevent its recurrence. Problem focused and more effective than avoidance oriented coping


Cognitive control

Ability to think differently about negative emotions that arise in response to stress provoking events. Includes emotion focused coping.


Decisional control

The ability to choose among alternative courses of action


Informational control

Ability to acquire information about a stressful event. Involves proactive coping.


Proactive coping

Anticipation of problems and stressful situations that promotes effective coping


Emotional control

Ability to suppress and express emotions. Writing about traumatic events can improve health and well being


Crisis debriefing

Designed to ward off PTSD among people exposed to trauma. Single session procedure typically conducted in groups, that usually lasts three to four hours. Studies show that it is not effective and taking about problems can make it worse


Individual differences

Our attitudes, personalities, and socialization shape our reactions to potential stressors



Set of attitudes marked by a sense of control over events, commitment to life and work, and courage and motivation to confront stressful events


Optimists vs pessimistic

Pg. 464. Optimists cops with stress better


Religion pg 465

1. Many religions foster self control and prohibit risky behaviors like alcohol, drugs, unsafe sex.
2. Religious engagement often boosts social support and shared religious beliefs increases marital satisfaction.
3. A sense of meaning and purpose, control over life, Positive emotions, and positive appraisals of stressful situations associated with prayer and religious activities may enhance coping


Flexible coping

Ability to adjust coping strategies as the situation demands is critical to contending with many stressful situations.



Focus on how bad we feel and endlessly analyzing the causes and consequences of our problems. Men and women alike can benefit from cutting down on rumination and confronting their problems head on