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Block 2; Week 3 > Stress & Coping > Flashcards

Flashcards in Stress & Coping Deck (33)
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What is the Whitehall Study?

It was a UK (b/c health insurance was the same) study on men & their mortality (particularly cardiovascular) based on their position in the professional hierarchy.
Thought CEOs would be the most likely to have heart attacks.
Those at the lowest end of the ladder had the most bad outcomes.


What is the main cause of illnesses seen by primary care physicians?

Includes stress eating, smoking etc.


What are 3 main stressors for the general population?



What is eustress?

Good stress.
Stress that provides clarity & energy & good thinking.


What are some of the things that are determinants of the stress & death in lower level workers in the White Hall study?

low variety
low control
low satisfaction
lack of clarity of tasks
no socially cohesive neighborhood


What is the Yerkes-Dodson Curve?

A measure of the optimum level of stress.
Under it: bored.
Over it: overwhelmed. Irritable. Anxious


On the Yerkes Dodson Curve...where do you want to be when you are learning? When you are taking an exam?

learning: to the left...alert & stimulated. Want positive emotions.
performing on an exam: optimum


What are the evolutionary benefits of stress?

The autonomic nervous system...escape from threats.
Zebras don't get ulcers...b/c their body can adapt to acute & episodic threats. It's not a source of chronic stress.


What are some factors of the stress response?

Release of cholesterol & fatty acids in blood for energy.
Decreases digestion.
Increased stomach acids.
Increased BP
Faster blood clotting
Increased blood sugar and fatty acids.
Increased metabolism.
Localized Inflammation.


What is stewing?

Turning an acute stress response into a chronic stress response.
Muscle tension.
Can't sleep or digest well.


How long does it take to activate the stress response? To clear?

30 seconds to get.
5 hours to clear.


What are 2 ways that you can get adrenergic activation?

Within seconds of perceived or ANTICIPATED response. Think about the exam...get the stress response.


What releases the adrenergic hormones for the stress responses?

Adrenal medulla.


What are the 2 main stress hormones?

Adrenalin. Cortisol.


How do Cortisol levels vary throughout the day?

The cortisol levels are cyclical w/ the day. They are highest when you wake up in the morning w/ sunlight & then they decrease throughout the day. this is an explanation for jet lag & it is reversed in people who work the night shift.


What are the 3 phases of Selye's General Adaptation syndrome?

Phase I: Alarm Reaction, immediate resistance to the stress.
Phase II: Stage of Resistance to the stress
Phase III: Stage of Exhaustion: you no longer resist the stress. You feel overwhelmed & anxious.


What is the Holmes & Rahe scale?

It is a scale that shows how stressful life events influence illness. It is measured in life change units.


How can chronic stress cause metabolic illness?

Excess glucocorticoids
a lot of blood sugars & fats in the blood.
At risk for metabolic syndrome.


How can chronic stress lead to reproductive illness?

Cortisol inhibits FSH & LH, which can lead to infertility.
Cortisol inhibits testosterone & estrogen which can lead to difficulty w/ sexual function.


How can chronic stress lead to inflammatory or immune illnesses?

Acute stress can lead to autoimmune diseases.
Chronic stress can lead to shrinking of the thymus & decreased immune responses to viruses etc.


How can chronic stress lead to cardiac illnesses?

High levels of adrenaline & cortisol-->more fat in the blood
High HR & BP: traumatic to the walls of the blood vessels-->can become more rigid
Increased Inflammation
Increased Blood Clotting
Spastic blood vessels-->can cause vasospasm & angina
OVERALL: bad for our coronary arteries.


What can happen w/ high stress & a disruption to the endothelium of a blood vessel after 4 decades?

Plaque deposition w/ risk of rupture.
Thrombis formation


How can chronic stress lead to cancer?

Research shows that it probably does not.


What does karoshi mean?

Japanese word for death by overwork.


What are telomeres & why are they important in a discussion of aging & stress?

Repeated DNA sequence at the end of a chromosome that keeps it from losing genetic material as it replicates.
If they become totally short, replicative senescence & no more division. Aging process.
Telomerase: enzyme that lengthens telomeres: expressed in embryonic stem cells & germ cells & intestinal tract cells, & Unfortunately: Cancer cells!
High perceived stress: shorter telomeres


What are some of the effects of shorter telomeres?

Gray hair, wrinkles, macular degeneration
athersclerosis (hardening of arteries by plaque)
impaired wound healing
heart disease


What are some personal history factors that could make you more likely to get sick?

traumatic childhood experiences
Epigenetic influences on cortisol feedback loop


What are some psychological variables that could help you not get sick?

High intelligence.
Stress resilience, ability to reframe a situation


What are 3 behavior coping strategies for stress & what are some examples of each?

Direct Action: Take measures to conquer your problem--face it head on. Ex: study instead of watch hulu.
Avoidance: ignore the problem. Ex: watch hulu instead of study. Could also include denial, withdrawing, sleeping, substance abuse, rationalization
Palliation: buffer the feelings of stress. Ex: go for a run if I feel stressed. Could also include planning & clear thinking, maybe breathing techniques.


Social isolation (like maybe not married) in men increases occurrence of ______.
Social isolation in women increases occurrence of _____.

Death, mortality.