The Relationship Between Health and Stress
Stress and Illness – Overview What is the relationship between stress and illness ? the stress-response at the end of a stressful event, the stress-response can. The relationship between stress and illness is complex. Stress is defined as a process in which environmental demands strain an organism's adaptive. (especially as indicated by stressful life events) to illness. events, may figure in the explanation of illness .. relationship between stressors and social sup-.
Overall health status was highly correlated with somatic symptoms. Coping Style In addition to stress, coping style is also related to the development of illness. There are several methods of coping. Feeling in Control as a Way of Coping. For example, suppose you are overweight and your doctor tells you that it is because you have a genetic disorder. You have no control over your situation. This may be very stressful for you. However, suppose now that you are overweight but your doctor tells you that with diet and exercise you can lose the weight.
This situation may be less stressful for you because you know that you can do something about your weight. Just knowing that you can control your weight makes the situation less stressful than if you were unable to control your weight.
So, knowing that traffic will be heavy on the freeway at 8: Optimism and Pessimism Coping Style. Some people seem predisposed to believe that they can maintain control over stressful situations. Approach and Avoidant Coping. What may be stressful for one person may not be stressful for another person. For example, one person may see going to college as a stressful experience. He may be anxious about living away from home for the first time.
He may be worried about making new friends and doing well in school. Another person may see going to college as the beginning of a new, fun adventure. He may be excited about living away from home for the first time and making new friends.
He may confident that he can do very well in school. Both of these people experiences the same event going to collegebut for one person the event was stressful, while for the other it was not stressful. In other words, when faced with a stressful situation, we need to determine if we have the ability to cope or not. Primary and Secondary Appraisals. There are two types of appraisals, primary and secondary.
Both appraisals affect a person's ability to cope and adjust to stressful situations. Chang and Strunk examined the direct and indirect influences of dysphoria expressions of depressive symptoms on primary and secondary appraisals, coping, and psychological and physical adjustment. They found that dysphoria was positively associated with primary appraisals, disengaged coping, and physical symptoms.
In contrast, dysphoria was negatively associated with secondary appraisals and life satisfaction. Higher scores on primary appraisals were related to an increased use of engaged coping strategies. Primary appraisals were also positively associated with disengaged coping activities. In contrast, higher scores on secondary appraisals were related to an increased use of engaged coping activities and a decreased use of disengaged coping activities.
Higher scores on secondary appraisals were related to greater life satisfaction and less physical symptoms. Similarly, increased use of disengaged coping was related to more physical symptoms.
However, it is important to realize that engaged coping was not related to life satisfaction or to physical symptoms. Amirkhan examined attributions as predictors of coping and distress. He found that failures that were attributed to internal, unstable, and controllable factors lead to active efforts to resolve the problem or rally social support, responses that proved adaptive in lowering subjective distress and stress related pathology.
On the other hand, failures attributed to external, stable, and uncontrollable forces lead to avoidant and escapist responses, which exacerbated distress and illness.
Reappraisal as a Way of Coping. For example, suppose you are on your was to a very important interview and you get stuck in traffic. You might think to yourself that this is terrible, this is a very important interview. If you miss it you won't get the job and you're life will be over.
You should have left earlier. You should have checked the traffic report before you left. These types of appraisals are going to lead to stress. On the other hand, suppose that instead of thinking the worst, you had a more positive attitude.
You night decide that this interview really isn't that important. Its only one interview, if you miss it, they'll be others. So what if you don't get this job, life will go on. You're going to be fine. If you appraise the situation this way, you're likely to feel a lot less stressed. Having a repressive coping style is also related to the development of illness. People with a repressive coping style neither experience nor express stressful events.
They are less likely to report chronic stress and inadequacy of family and social support than those who do not have a repressive coping style Jensen, Those with a repressive coping style consistently report good psychological reactivity to stress and greater health problems in some studies.
For example, Jensen examined the relationship between psychological factors and the course of breast cancer. The study found that repressive coping style was more likely to be seen among those who had a history of cancer and was most likely to be seen among those whose cancer was advanced.
Repressive copers reported little distress or emotional complications. Yet, they have the worst outcomes for cancer among the groups studied. Eleven participants died from breast cancer, eight of which were repressive copers. Social Support Social support can protect individuals from the effects of stress on health. They found that that poor utilization of social support was related to the onset of glucose tolerance abnormality. It seems that patients with glucose tolerance abnormality are unable to adequately utilize social support to cope with stress, even though they receive and perceive social support.
Glynn, Christenfeld, and Gerin examined gender, social support, and cardiovascular responses to stress. Male and female participants gave a speech and received either supportive or nonsupportive feedback form a male or female confederate. They found that social support from a female was more effective at lowering blood pressure responses to stress in both males and females than support from a male.
They found that the rate of colds decreased with increased social diversity. They then related the total stress points reported to the individual's health. According to the results, it was quite apparent that the greater the number of stress points, the greater the incidence of illness.
Explain more about the results, e. In one related study by Cohen, Tyrrell, and Smithvolunteers were asked to report all stressful life events that occurred during the previous year. Next, they were administered nose drops containing the common cold virus. When introduce a new study try to explain the difference e.
Those participants who were experiencing a great deal of stress were more likely to contract a cold. Rawson, Bloomer, and Kendall distributed four surveys and questionnaires to undergraduate students: The results of this supported the hypothesis that stress, anxiety, depression, and physical illness are interrelated.
Weidner, Kohlman, Dolzauer, and Burns examined the health behaviors of college students during times of high stress, for example, midterm week. The researchers observed that the health behaviors of the students deteriorated. The students exercised less, ate fewer nutritious food, and made less of an effort to avoid substances such as drugs and alcohol.
There is an interdisciplinary science known as psychoneuroimmunology devoted specifically to the affects of psychological stress on the immune system. In this field it is a common assumption that stress suppresses the immune system thus causing vulnerability to stress.
In a study by Evans, Clow, and Hucklebridge a contradiction to this assumption was observed. Immediately after the introduction of a stressor, participants actually showed signs of enhanced immunity. Overall, however, the immune systems of the participants exhibited decreased immunity. In general, experiments done in the past have supported a few basic premises.
Explain the Relationship Between Stress and Illness
Environmental stressors are linked to stress. Health can be affected by stressful life events. Severity of chronic illness is linked to stress. Also stress has a negative effect on the immune system. Our research group conducted a study similar to that of Holmes and Rahe Reference.
Our purpose was to find a relationship between the amount of stressful life events experienced by college students and their general health. Based on previous work done in this area, we reasoned that as the number of stressors in one's life increased, the health of that individual would decrease.
Method Sample We conducted a correlational study in which we attempted to determine whether, and to what extent, different variables stress and health are related to each other. Careful observations of each variable were made what does it mean? The design included a single group. Twenty-five undergraduate college students participated in the study. These participants were average male and female college students. They were selected since college students experience a significant amount of stress caused by academics, social life, and a variety of other stressors Proof?
They were randomly recruited by members of the research group. The participants were representative of the population only 25 students? The ethical treatment and anonymity of each participant was ensured. Each participant was presented with an informed consent contract.
Stress and Illness
In this contract, the participant was briefly informed about what will take place in the experiment. They were notified that their participation was to be strictly voluntary, and that they may have withdrawn from the experiment at any time without prejudice or penalty.
The contract guaranteed that the participants' responses would remain anonymous. Finally, the contract was signed by the participant and returned to the experimenter.
The Questionnaires The apparatus consisted of two measures in this experiment. The events listed include many stressors such as death of a close family member, divorce between parents, and change of major. The students were asked to indicate age and gender.
They were then asked to rate the extent to which they experienced various health problems during the past year, from no problem 0 to significant problem 3 is this your Health Inventory? If yes this is a very weak measure of health problem if not why did you ask this question?
The procedure was executed by distributing the questionnaires. Each member of the research group gave out the questionnaires to five different students.
After the consent form was signed and the measures completed, they were analyzed. The results were thoroughly examined and explained. The median, which is a measure of central tendency, was The standard deviation from the mean score was 9.
The minimum score was 1. The mean score on the Student Life Events Scale was The standard deviation from the mean was