Stress - Social Psychological Explanation Flashcards Preview

Psychology Unit 3 > Stress - Social Psychological Explanation > Flashcards

Flashcards in Stress - Social Psychological Explanation Deck (29):

What are the Two Social Psychological Explanations of Stress?

1. Life Events
2. Daily Hassles


What are Life Events?

- Events that require significant adjustment/transitions
- Can be both positive or negative
- Common factor= that they will lead to significant adjustment in a person's life
- Seen as a key source of stress


Who Came up with the Idea of Life Events?

- Dr Holmes investigated the link between stress + physical illness
- Did research with TB patients showed that people who had become ill had also experienced an increase in amount of disturbing occurence in the 2 years prior to admission to a TB hospital
- Led to Holmes + Rahe to develop life events


What are Social Readjustment Rating Scale?

- Asked 394 participants to rate a list in terms of how much readjustment it would require
- Consist of 43 items that were assigned a values known as a life change unit (LCU)


Give 3 example of Life Event + LCU + Place on SRRS

1. Death of spouse = 100 LCU
2. Divorce = 73 LCU
7. Marriage = 50 LCU


Describe the Importance of the Life Change Unit

- The higher the score, the more likely a person is to suffer from stress + illness
- A score of 150 increased the chances of getting ill by 30%
- A score of 300 increased the chance of getting ill by 50%


Describe the Procedure of Rahe's 1970 Study.

- Researchers used SRE (schedule of Recent Event) to asses 2684 navel personal severing on US Navy Cruisers
- Participants required to complete before tour/during 6-8 months that followed - record kept of any illnesses men experienced


Describe the Findings of Rahe's Study.

- Significant positive correlation - +1.18 between stressful life events = illness
- As number of life events increased the more likely it was a person would get ill
- Both positive + negative events included SRRS it appears that its change rather than negativity of change - important in creating stress


Life Events Evaluation
Supporting Evidence

- Cohen (1993) = 394 participants got a variety of questionnaires to complete including a life events scale. Participants were exposed to common cold virus, quarantined + monitored for signs of inflection - higher life events scores were positively correlated with an increased risk of getting a cold - provides support
- Researchers controlled for factors such as age + weight + still found a relationship between stress+subsequent vulnerability to illness - provides support


Life Events Evaluation
Correlation + Causation

- Research is correlation but does not prove causation
- Other factors involved that mediate the relationship between life events + stress-related illness
- Nuckolls (1972) = impact of life changes on complications in pregnancy - life changes score alone was not related to complications - 90% women with high life changes but low social support suffered complications - 33% of high life changes + high social support suffered complications - social support was an important intervening variable


Life Events Evaluation
Issues with Recall

- Recollections may not be accurate as it relies on people
- Raphael (1991) = group of women report life events every month over 10 months - only 1/4 of events appeared on both lists
- Checklist approach should not be used when looking at relationship + health outcome - too many factors involved + too many issues with method - interview method should be used - however, more difficulty to analyse/longer to conduct/less economically viable


Life Events Evaluation
Cultural Differences

- Scale was developed is the USA so its possible that different cultural groups might react differently
- Events seem as stressful in one cultural group are not perceived in the same way as others due to difference in cultural beliefs + expectations - scale has a cultural bias
- Zhang + Lin (1994) = looked at SRRS using Chinese participants - death of spouse was still most significant but there were significant differences e.g. death of a close family member was more stressful thane divorce


Life Events Evaluation
Individual Difference

- Major problem with life events to meaning + explaining stress id individual difference is the way events are perceived + the impact they will have
- SRRS could be interpreted in a different was + lead to different levels of change therefore stress
- SRRS criticised for being too narrowly focused on events specific to young adults (e.g. marriage+pregnancy)


What are Daily Hassles?

- Relatively minor everyday irritations trigger stress response


What are Uplifts?

- The little things that lift our mood
- Neutralise the harmful effects of hassles
- Uplifts give breaks from hassles/give us energy to sustain any coping strategy to use


What is the Impact of Daily Hassles on Stress + Health?

- Close relationship between daily hassles + illnesses
- Stronger than relationship between life events + illness


Describe Kanner's 1981 Procedure

- Longitudinal
- Compare impact of life events + daily hassles
- 100 participants aged between 45-65
- Completed hassles + uplifts scale (HSUP) for events over the previous months + continued to do this once a month for 9 months
- Questionnaire also used to measure participants' mental health status + emotional response


Describe the Findings of Kanner's 1981 Research

- Significant negative correlation between frequency of hassles + psychological response
- Participants with fewest hassles showed highest levels of well being
- Hassles were better predictor of well being than life events
- Hassles were better predictors than uplifts


Why Might Hassles have an Effect?

1. Accumulation
2. Amplification
3. Lack of Social Support


Describe the Accumulation Effect.

- Build up of stress over time leads to a negative effect
- Each hassles alone might not be stressful but if lots are experienced close together may led to an ongoing feeling of stress


Describe Amplification

- Chronic stress as a result of life changes makes people more vulnerable to the effects of daily hassles
- Person already experiencing stress + resources are depleted
- May find usual minor irritation difficult to cope with


Describe How Lack of Social Support Effects Health

- Flett (1995) = 320 students to read story about life events/daily hassles
- Asked to rate amount of social support the person would seek
- Life events were rated as being more in need of help


What are the Most Common Hassles?

- Concerns about weight = 52.4%
- Health of a family member = 48.1%
- Rising prices of common goods = 43.7%


What are the Most Common Uplifts?

- Relating well with a partner = 76.3%
- Relating well with a friend = 74.4%
- Completing a task = 73.3%


Daily Hassles Evaluation
Supporting Evidence

- Strong relationship between hassles + negative health effect
- Bouteyre (2007) = 233 French students as they moved from school to university - 41% sample suffered depressive symptoms - significant risk factors was daily hassles
- Sheer (2004) = daily hassles correlated with increased cortisol levels in healthy individual + also contributed to development of depression in vulnerable individual


Daily Hassles Evaluation
Age Difference

- Changes of daily hassles across lifespan
- Aldwin (2014) = longitudinal study of 1389 males aged between 48+101 - 48-70 participants experienced fewer hassles, more settled/used to dealing with situation - as participants grew older they showed an increase in hassles + decrease in uplifts, hassles experienced have more impact - suggest that as people age they become more adept at dealing with hassles - new problem emerge in older age becomes more difficult with them - fewer opportunities for uplifts - lead to stress


Daily Hassles Evaluation
The Scale May Measure Psychiatric Problems Not Hassles

- Dohrenwed (1984)= questioned use of the hassles scale to predict health changes - 371 clinical psychologists asked to assess instruments (e.g. HSUP) - found a large overlap between items on the scale + symptoms of a psychological disorder
- Hassles scale actually measure psychiatric problems - correlation between hassles + psychological


Daily Hassles Evaluation
Issues with Self-Report

- Social desirability
- Hassles are negative + people many feel reluctant to indicate that they have experienced them
- Hassles relating to social relationship (e.g. arguing with family member) people unwilling
- HSUP scale don't allow individuals to select anything less than somewhat severe for each event- doesn't allow to indicate that they experienced a hassle but not affected by it in anyway
- Likely to be individual differences in perception + responses to hassles + scale not adequately allow for this


Apply Daily Hassles to Modifying Stress: Savouring

- In order yo modify stress individual needs to become adept at attaining the full benefits of any uplifts
- Bryant introduced the concept in 2005
- Linked to positive psychological approach
- 3 main components
1. Savouring through Anticipation
2. Savouring though Reminiscing
3. Savouring the Moment
- Example = laughing about experience
- Hurley+Kwon (2013) = interaction uplifts + how much individual savoured positive emotions/moments they experienced - most risk of negative effects to their well being were those with low levels of uplifts + low savouring - low levels of positive affect + satisfaction with life - in contrast group with low levels of uplifts but high savouring showed similar positive responses to those with high uplift levels