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Flashcards in Health Deck (33):

Cultural Evolution - def? driven by?


  • the adaptive change of a culture to recurrent environmental pressures.
  • primarily by psychological forces


Recent Cultural changes

  • hunting
  • processed food
  • Availability of food
  • drugs
  • transportation
  • non foods


Differences in culture and Coping with health problems?

  • Individualistic vs. collectivist culture view health/getting help in different ways
  • Individualistic - easier for us to go to a therapist,
  • Collectivist – harder to go to a therapist because of negative stigma th
  • Immigrants from Asia less likely to seek help when ill than immigrants from say, Europe



Why Study Sexual Behaviour? (3)

  • - Psychological well-being - necessary to be a happy, content adult
  • major component in a lot of social problems
  • a form of behaviour


What is Health?


  • NOT just the absence of illness, not the “default”
  • state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity


Health Psychology?

  • branch of psychology devoted to understanding the way people stay healthy, the reasons they become ill and the way they respond to getting ill
  • how psychological factors influence the causes and treatment of physical illness and maintenance of health


Two models of Health?


  • biomedical model
  • biopsychosocial model


Biomedical model


  • old model, not interested in this
  • Up to mid-20th century, where health is defined as absence of illness


Biopsychosocial Model - what? emphasizes? health not just? unit of analysis?

  • new one, what we are interested in
  • Emphasizes the role that social and cultural forces play
  • Health is not just something physiological – it is social, cultural, psychological
  • individual used to be the unit of analysis (biomedical) but now recognized that there are subgroups and some groups are more vulnerable than others


Biopsychosocial - advantages?

  • thinking about health in terms of groups instead of individuals
  • we can target a larger group of people at the same time and tailor our treatment towards a specific group
  • Some groups are treated differently: for example, old people less priority


Prevalence of diseases - anorexia, hikihomori?

  •  Anorexia not a problem in developing countries
  • Hikihomori: specific to Japan, acute social withdrawal



Some statistics about smoking


  • #1 preventable cause of death in Canada
  • Cause of approx. 1/4 all deaths (35-84 y.o.)
  • Approx. 21.8% Canadians 12 or older smoke (2005)
  • Lung cancer: 20% all cancer deaths – largest proportion of any cancer we have
  • 1/2 smokers die prematurely from smoking-related diseases: lung/mouth/throat cancer, heart disease, emphysema
  • smoking causes 80% of lung cancers


Groups at risk for smoking - gender


  • traditionally, men smoked more than women, but now women are catching up
  • Advertising in ~60’s: smoking + women – should smoke like men to be independent, etc
  • Breast cancer rates going down, lung cancer doubled in women
  • 16% young men and 19% young women smoke (15 – 19 years old)


Smoking risk groups - SES - income? education? job prestige?

  • Income: more money = less likely
  • more education = less likely
  • Better job = less likely to smoke
  • 40% in lowest bracket and 15% in highest bracket smoke


Groups at Risk - aboriginals?

  • On-reserve aboriginals: 60% smoke
  • Inuit: 53.1% (in Nunavuit)


College students and smoking - %? who? why? quitting?

  • 30 – 40% smoke - while percentage of general population is going down, it is going up in college
  • all faculties, all demographics, all majors – even those in health care fields
  • social aspect
  • don’t identify themselves as smokers


Normal can mean - ethical, societal, statistica?

  • Ethical/moral aka right or wrong: as psychologist, we’re interested in describing behaviour not what is right or wrong
  • Societal: conformity – not interested
  • Statistical: what psychologists are interested in – the statistical norm – what do MOST people do MOST of the time aka what is common


Sex Statistics - how many will get STD? # partners? no sex? #times/year? homosexual?

  • Approx. 1 in 5 (18-59) have/will get a STD
  • Mean # partners since age 18: 6.3 (18-29)
  • 15.7% people did not have sex in last year
  • Mean # times/year: 66.4 (M) & 57.2 (W)
  • 1% identify as homosexual


Finkelstein & Brannick (1997) and condom use

  • Length of relationship: longer a couple is in a relationship, less likely to use a condom
  • Awareness of prior sexual behaviour: more aware = less likely
  • Drinking: more you drink = less likely
  • Expectation: expectation that there will be sex = more likely
  • Availability of condoms: more availability = more likely


One sex survey - aids? paying for sex?

  • only 7% of people changed their behaviour because of AIDS
  • 13% men admitted to pay for sex
  • 12% married men admit to paying for sex


McKay 1993 and sex?

  • Abstinence & short periods: works for short periods of time
  • Abstinence & long periods: doesn’t work


Illusion of unique invulnerability


  • Why doesn’t awareness translate into avoidance
  • Systematic bias or risk takers toward believing that they are less likely to fall victim to the problem than are others
  • “it won’t happen to me”


Why do people start smoking?

  • Peer influence:
  • Media's image of the smoker -John Pierce surveyed kids, one third chose fav movie wtar who smokes onscreen, predicts which of these kids took up smoking, even stronger for women
  • Advertising


Health Consequences of smoking

  • Increased risk of: premature death, cardiovascular disease, emphysema, pneumonia, gum disease, osteoporosis, cataracts and sleeping problems
  • Cancers: lung (most common), lip, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, pancreas, urinary bladder, and kidney


Four categories of smokers

Positive affect, Negative affect, habitual smokers, addicted smokers


Positive affect smokers

  • smoke in order to be happy
  • cigarette to celebrate


Negative-affect smokers

  • smoke to alleviate bad feelings, smoke to reduce anxiety
  • not to make themselves happy, but to bring themselves back to normal level


Habitual Smokers


  • started as one or two, but has smoked so long they forgot why
  • no real awareness why, just a habit


Addicted smokers

  • psychological dependency on smoking
  • keenly aware of when they are not smoking, can tell exactly when their last cigarette was and when they will have their next smoke
  • keeps cigarettes with them at all times,
  • deems the first smoke of the day to be the most pleasurable - will have their first within 30 minutes of waking up


Groups at risk for alcohol - gender and SES and aboriginals?

  • men are more likely to drink – and more likely to drink more (binge drink)
  • Income: positive correlation with income – more rich = more likely to drink
  • No correlation with education or with where you live
  • Aboriginals: 6x more likely to develop problem drinking behaviours


Why do people start smoking?


  • peers
  • increase arousal - celebration, happiness
  • reducing anxiety, steady nerves


Short term Health consequences of alcochol

  • First place it affects is frontal lobe
  • Alcohol Myopia: decreased ability to engage in insightful cognitive processing - impairs thinking
  • Hangovers, vomiting, black outs


Long Term consequences of alcohol

  • Damage to liver, stomach, pancreas, intestines, high blood pressure, depression of immune system
  • Cancer of: throat, mouth, esophagus & liver
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder if pregnant
  • 6 000 deaths associated with alcohol every year in Canada – spousal or child abuse