Stress in everyday life Flashcards Preview

Psychology: PSYA2 > Stress in everyday life > Flashcards

Flashcards in Stress in everyday life Deck (40):

Sources: What things are said to be sources of stress?

-Life Events
-Daily hassles and uplifts


Sources: What is the SRRS scale?

Social Readjustment Rating Scale developed by Holmes and Rahe (1967).
-It was developed by examining 5000 patient records and making a list of 43 life events that preceded illness.
Each one was measured in Life Change Units (LCUs) depending on how traumatic it felt to be by a large sample of participants.
-A total value for stressful events can be worked up by adding up the scored for each event experienced over a 12 month period.


Sources: How is the likeliness of developing a stress-related illness determined by the SRRS scale?

-If a person has less the 150 life change units they have a 30% chance of suffering from stress.
-150 - 299 life change units equates to a 50% chance of suffering from stress.
-Over 300 life units means a person has an 80% chance of developing a stress related illness.


Sources: What was found by Holmes and Rahe (1967)?

When the SRRS scale was applied to patients a small but significant score between LCUs and later health problems.


Sources: Who researched the association between stressful life events and illness?

Rahe et al (1970)


Sources: What are daily hassles and uplifts?

-Daily hassles are relatively minor events arising out of day-to-day living such as losing your house keys and missing the college bus.
-Uplifts are positive everyday events
Daily hassles often contribute to how stressed we feel, and people have reported more psychological distress on days when they encountered hassles than on other days.


Sources: Who researched daily hassles and uplifts?

-Kanner et al (1981)
-DeLongis et al (1982)/(1988)


Sources: What is work related stress?

Cox et al (1978)
-In work related stress the perceived demand covers external and environmental factors as well as internal ones such as needs, job satisfaction, motivation and so on.


Sources: Who researched work related stress?

-Johansson et al (1978)
-Marmot et al (1997)


Sources: What are workplace stressors?

-Involvement: poor job security, short-term contracts.
-Relationships with co-workers: poor cohesion with others in the workplace (Arnold et al (1990))
-Autonomy: opportunity for progression
-Work and home life conflicts: family with small children, lack of social life outside work
-Workload: presenteeism, not being able to work at the pace expected (Breslow and Buell (1960))
-Role ambiguity: job requirements and standards of performance not clear (Kahn et al (1964))
-Lack of control over work patterns: working at machine rate, time and motion set rates (Cooper and Marshall (1976))
-Physical environment: space, temperature, lighting, high noise levels.


Sources: What did Arnold et al (1990) find out about the stressor of relationships with co-workers at work?

Middle management were the most stressed, as they had conflict between demands of senior management and the workers on shop floor.


Sources: What did Breslow and Buell (1960) find out about the stressor of workload at work?

For workers under 45 in light industry, those working over a 48hr week are 2 times as likely to develop CHD than those working under 40hrs.
-Assumes long hours = work overload. But perception of work overload more important than no. of hours worked.


Sources: What did Kahn et al (1964) find out about the stressor of role ambiguity at work?

US survey, 1500 respondents, 35% unclear about job responsibilities or guidelines for task performance. Role ambiguity linked with low job satisfaction and low self-confidence.


Sources: What did Cooper and Marshall (1976) find out about the stressor of lack of control over work patterns at work?

Social isolation linked to stress indicators of high levels of adrenalin and noradrenalin.


Individual Differences: What things affect how people cope with stress?

-Personality (Type A or Type B)


Individual Differences: What is Type A personality?

Type A are:
-Unwilling to share control
-Easily angered
-Express aggression and hostility
-Think negative thought about themselves
-Perfectionists and highly self critical
-Seek out negative information to make improvements


Individual Differences: What is Type B personality?

People with Type B personality tend to be more tolerant of others, are more relaxed than Type A individuals, more reflective, experience lower levels of anxiety and display higher level of imagination and creativity.


Individual Differences: Who researched the effect of personality on stress and what did they find?

Friedman and Rosenman (1974)
-Type A personality is fairly strongly linked to coronary heart disease. They concluded that the Type A behaviour pattern increases the individuals experience of stress vulnerability to coronary heart disease. The stress response inhibits digestion, which leads to the higher level of cholesterol in the blood and this places Type As at risk of coronary heart disease.


Individual Differences: What is hardiness?

Kobasa (1979) identified hardiness as an important individual difference. Kobasa described people as being hardy or non-hardy. There are three main characteristics of hardy personalities:
Kobasa argues that hardy individuals experience less stress than other people and so are healthier and less inclined to suffer from various physical illnesses. This can show itself in direct effects - negative relationship between hardiness and stress and physical illness.


Individual Differences: What are the characteristics of hard personalities?

-Commitment: Very involved in what they do, and show a high level of commitment. They work hard at relationships, jobs and other activities.
-Challenge: They view change in a positive day rather than negatively, seeing it as an opportunity for challenge. Hardy personalities enjoy a challenge and see it as an opportunity to develop themselves.
-Control: They have a strong feeling of control over their life and what happens to them. (Internal locus of control)


Individual Differences: What research is there to support the relationship with stress and hardy personality?

Maddi et al (1987) looked at employees of a US phone company that was reducing its workforce. During the downsize, two-thirds of the workforce suffered from stress-related health problems. However, the other one-third of its workforce thrived during the period. It was found that these people were much more likely to have a hardy personality.


Stress Management: What are the ways of managing stress?

-Drug Therapy
-Stress Inoculation Training
-Increasing Hardiness


Stress Management: What drug therapies can help manage stress?

-Benzodiazapines (anxiolytics)


Stress Management: What are Benzodiazapines?

These drugs are most commonly used to treat stress & anxiety, for example Valium and Librium.
-Benzodiazepines work directly on the brain and the central nervous system. They slow down the activity of the CNS by increasing the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA (the body’s natural form of anxiety/stress relief). GABA slows down nerve activity which in turn make a person feel relaxed.
-Benzodiazepines bind to GABA receptors in the brain, boosting their action. Therefore, the brain’s release of stress inducing chemicals is reduced, making an individual feel calmer.


Stress Management: What are the advantages of benzodiazepines?

-Benzodiazepines is that they are very quick in relation to some therapies – they are guaranteed to immediately reduce stress, as they literally prevent the stress response occurring. This is reassuring to a patient as they are sure it will work. 
-These drugs are effective is supported by scientific research – in 1986, Kahn investigated 250 patients over 8 weeks and found that benzodiazepines were more effective at reducing stress than placebos and other drugs. Such research gives the drug scientific credibility.


Stress Management: What are the weaknesses of benzodiazepines?

-Benzodiazepines can have serious side effects, including sedation, tiredness, motor coordination impairment, memory impairment, reduced concentration and lack of energy – all these side effects interfere with the patient’s ability to function adequately and therefore it is important that these are not used as a long-term solution.
-Benzodiazepines can cause addiction – they can cause dependency and withdrawal symptoms if taken for too long, such as insomnia, sweating, tremors and convulsions. Therefore, it is recommended that patients take these for no longer than four weeks. Their usefulness is therefore limited as they may become more dangerous as time goes on.
-These also cure symptoms rather than treat the cause. They do not deal with the underlying problems; if you were to stop taking the drug, your stressful symptoms would surely return.


Stress Management: What are beta-blockers?

Beta-blockers work directly on the internal organs that are used in the SAM response rather than the brain. Beta-blockers reduce adrenaline and noradrenalin. These hormones normally attach to cells around the heart and blood vessels – beta-blockers work by blocking the receptors on the cells in these areas and therefore the organs are not stimulated as a result of the flight of fight response.
-Therefore, heart rate does not increase and the blood vessels do not constrict, keeping heart rate and blood pressure low, which makes a person more relaxed and calm


Stress Management: What are the advantages of beta-blockers?

-There are no serious side effects – most people who take these are able to function normally. They act on the body rather than the brain and so there are no problems of dependency or addiction.
-They act rapidly – they are quicker, more effective and cheaper than therapies. They also have a life saving function to those suffering of hypertension (high blood pressure) in that they reduce blood pressure, preventing stroke.


Stress Management: What are the disadvantages of beta-blockers?

-Recently there has been shown to have a link with diabetes when taken for a long time, so like Benzodiazepines there are only a short term measure.
-Beta-blockers also cure symptoms rather than treat the cause. They do not deal with the underlying problems; if you were to stop taking the drug, your stressful symptoms would surely return.


Stress Management: What are psychological methods of managing stress?

-SIT, increasing hardiness
-These therapies aim to reduce the effects of a stressor to an individual, and hopefully train them to be immune to or be able to cope better with any future stressors. They aim to promote resilience to stress. This can be done by altering the way an individual deals with stressors or how they are perceived.


Stress Management: What is Stress Inoculation Training?

This was developed by Meichenbaum designed to prepare people for future stressors by making them resilient to these. In this therapy, the individual develops a better method of coping with the stressor and learns to perceive it accurately to effectively inoculate oneself from stress. There are three phases.


Stress Management: What are the stages of SIT?

-Conceptualisation: The client is educated about the nature of stress. The client mentally relives stressful situations, analysing how they normally deals with them and tries to reach a realistic understanding of what is expected of them. The client is taught to see stressors as ‘problems to be solved’ and to break them down into more manageable components – the client thinks over typical stressors again.
-Skills training and practice: This is where the client is taught both specific and non-specific coping strategies to help him/her cope with stressors more effectively. An example of non-specific strategies are controlled breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.
-Application and follow-through: This is where the client must put the skills they have learnt to use in their lives. The therapist takes the client through stressful situations by teaching them to apply the skills to these new stressors.


Stress Management: What are the advantages of SIT?

-It deals with the underlying causes of a person’s stress rather than dealing with the symptoms alone, meaning they are more useful than drugs as the person understands the causes of their stress and how to prevent it. It is also a long-term, long-lasting solution, the techniques and skills the individual learns in SIT stay with them for life and can apply it to any stressor. It gives an individual the ability to control their stress in the present and future whereas with drugs once you stop taking them, the stress returns.
-The effectiveness of SIT is supported by research, studies on law students and athletes have found that this therapy boosted their performance and reduced their anxiety. This gives it scientific credibility.


Stress Management: What research supports the use of SIT?

-Sheehy and Horan (2004) gave first year law student weekly SIT sessions lasting for 90 minutes each. The sessions aimed to reduce their levels of anxiety and stress in order to increase their academic performance. After 4 weeks, it was found that all participants had lower levels of stress and anxiety, and that many students improved their academic performance.


Stress Management: What are the disadvantages of SIT?

-It requires a large deal of time, effort, motivation and money on the patient’s part – the therapy will only work if the patient is determined to cure their stress. It can take weeks and months for the therapy to complete – it is costly, and requires commitment – some may turn to drugs as it is simply more convenient to take these.
-It is also a complex technique so there is a lack of therapists that have been adequately trained – this keeps the cost of the therapies high as well as the waiting list. SIT could be simplified so it could be mastered with more ease.


Stress Management: What is hardiness training?

Maddi & Kobasa believed that having traits associated with a hardy personality type could make people practically immune to stress and devised a way to teach it to individuals. There are three stages:
-Relieving stressful situations


Stress Management: What are the stages of hardiness training?

-Focusing: This is where the client is trained to spot and stop physical signs of stress (such as muscle tension, high heart rate, anxiety, headaches, ease to cry/get angry, sweat, dizziness, restlessness) so that the individual can identify when they are stressed. By doing this, clients have more control over their stressors.
-Reliving stressful situations: This is where the client analyses stressful events and how they were resolved, thinking up better ways and worse ways that they could have been dealt with.
-Self-improvement: This is where the client learns to build their confidence by taking on new challenges which increase in difficulty but the client will surely be able to cope with. By completing challenges, they experience positive outcomes and so feel more control and confidence over their lives. It helps one to see stressors as a challenge that will enable them to learn and grow rather than something distressful and negative.


Stress Management: What are the advantages of hardiness training?

-It has been found to be successful with various groups and the therapy had enabled to them to commit completely to their challenges (exams/sports, etc) and suppress distractions.
-Deals with the underlying causes of a person’s stress rather than dealing with the symptoms alone. For this reason, they are more useful than drugs as the person feels in control over their stressors which can be extremely empowering as they are not passive to their stress. The skills can be adapted to cope with any stressor and has a long term effect.


Stress Management: What research supports the use of hardiness training?

-Maddi et al (1998) compared the effectiveness of the hardiness training programme with other stress management techniques (e.g. relaxation regime, placebo and social support group). The 54 managers who went on the hardiness training programme recorded greater increases in hardiness and job satisfaction and greater decreases in strain and illness than the other stress management techniques and control groups.


Stress Management: What are the weaknesses of hardiness training?

-Requires a large deal of time, effort, motivation and money on the patient’s part, the therapy will only work if the patient is determined to cure their stress. It can take weeks and months for the therapy to complete, it is costly, and requires commitment. Some may turn to drugs as it is simply more convenient to take them.
-Predominantly successful with white, middle-class, business men, meaning its success or effectiveness is limited as it may not work with others. This makes you question the population validity of the whole training scheme.