Exam 2 Flashcards Preview

Health Psychology > Exam 2 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Exam 2 Deck (89)
Loading flashcards...


A variable that changes the relationship between two other variables
Ex: Exercise is a moderator for stress



The process of trying to manage demands that are appraised as taxing or exceeding one's resources
Active and changing process, affected by personality


Negative affectivity

A personality variable marked by a pervasive negative mood, including anxiety, depression, and hostility; believed to be implicated in the experience of symptoms, the seeking of medical treatment, and possibly illness.
AKA: Neuroticism
On a sliding scale
Associated with a wide variety of negative psychological outcomes including depression, anxiety, substance abuse
Has modest heritability



Tendency to expect positive outcomes rather than negative outcomes


Psychological control

The perception that one has at one's disposal a response that will reduce, minimize, eliminate, or offset the adverse effects of an unpleasant event, such as a medical procedure.



The propensity to follow socially-prescribed norms for impulse control, to be task- and goal-directed, to be planful, to delay gratification, and to follow norms and rules
Higher levels of conscientiousness were found to be significantly associated with higher physical activity and lower levels of excessive alcohol use, drug use, unhealthy eating, risky driving, risky sex, suicide, tobacco use and violence


4 major coping styles

Problem focused
Emotion focused


Approach Coping Style

Aka confrontative, vigilant
The tendency to cope with stressful events by tackling them directly and attempting to develop solutions; may ultimately be an especially effective method of coping, although it may produce accompanying distress.


Avoidant Coping Style

Aka minimizing
The tendency to cope with threatening events by withdrawing, minimizing, or avoiding them; believed to be an effective short-term, though not an effective long-term, response to stress


Problem-focused coping

Attempts to do something constructive about the stressful situations that are harming, threatening, or challenging an individual.
Beneficial if something can be done about the problem


Emotion-focused coping

Efforts to regulate emotions associated with a stressful encounter; can be associated with distress.
Beneficial if nothing can be done about the problem



Tendency to focus on the negative aspect of the stressor, or the negative emotions experienced as a result of the stressor, in a passive and repetitive way
Decidedly not beneficial to health
Holds one in an ongoing state of negative thoughts and emotions and does nothing to help an individual cope with or move past a stressor.



Sharing negative thoughts and emotions with others who also foster and support those negative thoughts and emotions
Associated with increased symptoms of depression


SES and Coping

Those who perceive themselves as having higher SES cope more effectively and have better health outcomes
Several reasons for this; may have more resources than those with lower SES and have less daily stressors


Successful coping

Successfully addressing tasks in several domains:
1) reduce stressful environmental conditions
2) maximize the chance of recovery, if relevant
3) adjust to or tolerate negative events
4) maintain a positive self-image
5) maintain emotional equilibrium
6) continue satisfying relationships with others


Social support

Information from other people that one is loved and cared for, esteemed and valued, and part of a network of communication and mutual obligation.
Types include: Esteem support, Informational support, Social companionship, Instrumental support
Positive effects on psychological functioning, health behaviors and illness, as well as the ability to cope successfully with stress.
Not measured by number of friends


Esteem support

Other people increase one's self-esteem


Informational support

Other people are available to offer advice


Social companionship

Support through activities


Instrumental support

Physical help


2 main hypotheses on how social support influences health

Direct/Main Effect Hypothesis
Buffering Hypothesis


Direct/Main Effect Hypothesis

The theory that coping resources, such as social support, have direct beneficial psychological and health effects under conditions of both high stress and low stress
Absence of social support is itself a stressor that can lead to illness


Buffering Hypothesis

The hypothesis that coping resources are useful primarily under conditions of high stress and not necessarily under conditions of low stress.
Described using social comparison theory and role theory


Social comparison theory

Individuals are able to select appropriate coping strategies by comparing themselves to those around them


Role theory

As individuals experience differing stressors, they can change their roles to deal most appropriately with the stressor as friend, CEO, mother, wife and so on.
Having other people in one's network allows one to select roles as appropriate to meet the demands of the stressor.


Coping interventions




Involves the ability to be fully present in the current moment and to pay attention to the thoughts, emotions and sensations one is feeling at any given time.
Calls on individuals to be free of judgment and to accept things as they are in the moment.


Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Form of psychotherapy that addresses the thoughts and behaviors that lead to negative emotional states such as depression and anxiety.



Can be helpful for individuals in terms of putting nervous energy to use, thereby helping to cope with anxiety
Can also be activating for individuals who are suffering from depression, thereby improving mood



An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage
Cannot be measured objectively; is subjective
Includes physical and emotional components
Critical feedback system to keep us healthy and safe