Coping with stress

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					Coping with stress

“Worried Sick” – last section on coping
Coping with stress

              1. Psychosocial
                 moderators of the
                 stress response
              2. Ways of coping
Moderators: Factors that
 influence impact of a
                 Coping styles
                  and strategies
                 Social support
                  ambiguous tasks
                 Personality &
                  current state of
The role of appraisal in stress
Appraisal: Attributional

Explanatory Style
  A person’s propensity to attribute outcomes
   to positive causes or negative causes
  Negative Explanatory Style
    Pessimistic attributions that are global,
     stable, and internal
The Negative Stress Cycle
Social Support

Social Support
  Companionship, emotional connection,
   material assistance, touch, and/or honest
   feedback, etc.
  Handout: Bowling Alone
Social Support and Health

 People who perceive strong social support
   faster recoveries
   fewer medical complications
   lower mortality rates at any age (Alameda County
   less distress in the face of terminal illness
 Written exercise: Write about one of your
  close friends and the support he/she provides
   Just thinking about support helps!

For this study, ―undergraduates (41 men, 41 women) wrote about
 supportive ties or casual acquaintances. Supportive ties were rated as
 warmer and less controlling than acquaintances, and writing about
 them evoked reductions in negative affect, especially for low-hostile
 participants," the researchers said.
"Compared with the acquaintance condition, the supportive tie
 condition resulted in reduced heart rate and blood pressure response
 during a subsequent speech stressor‖ among low-hostile participants.

   Mental activation of supportive ties, hostility, and cardiovascular reactivity to
                laboratory stress in young men and women. Health Psychology,
How Social Support Makes
a Difference

   Ameliorate stress hormones
   Encourages healthier lifestyles
   Better relationships with doctors, nurses,
Religious involvement as a form of social support

   Research studies
       •   Better immune/endocrine function (3 of 3)
       •   Lower mortality from cancer (4 of 6)
       •   Lower blood pressure (14 of 23)
       •   Less heart disease (7 of 11)
       •   Less stroke (1 of 1)
       •   Lower cholesterol (3 of 3)
       •   Less cigarette smoking (23 of 25)
       •   More likely to exercise (3 of 5)
       •   Lower mortality (11 of 14) (1995-2000)
       •   Clergy mortality (12 of 13)
       •   However, multiple problems with the research
       •   Numerous new studies now under review
Religious Attendance and
Life Expectancy
Possible Reasons for Correlation Between
Religious Involvement and Health
Moderators: Personal Control
 Personal Control
   self-efficacy (Albert Bandura)
   Design an intervention for nursing home
    residents to increase their perceptions of
    personal control
   Langer & Rodin (1976): Nursing home
    residents who were given more
    responsibility over their daily lives were
    more active, sociable, happier, and had
    lower mortality rates than other residents
Perceived Control and
Biological Effects

Uncontrollable stressors trigger stronger
 corticosteroid response
Stress aroused in a person with a sense of
 mastery can actually enhance immune
Who Copes Well?

Appraisal of a stressor is impacted by
 personal resources such as personality
Personality styles related to health
  Type A
  Mastery/Locus of Control
  Moderators: Personality --

  Cluster of stress-buffering traits
   of commitment, challenge,
  Linked to lower levels of
   anxiety, adaptive coping styles,
   and adjustment to cancer,
   cardiovascular disease,
   diabetes, and many other
   health problems
  Hardy people are more likely to
   engage in positive reappraisal
   of stressful events
Personality: Optimism and
Immune Functioning
 Coping with stress

 What is your most frequent and/or effective
  coping method?
 Coping -- a dynamic process to reduce stress
  and/or restore balance
   Involves cognitive, behavioral, emotional, social,
    spiritual aspects
Coping Strategies

Problem-Focused Coping — dealing directly
 with a stressor by reducing its demands or
 increasing one’s resources for meeting those
Proactive Coping — anticipate potential
 stressors and act to prevent them or to mute
 their impact
Health buffers – exercise, sleep, nutrition
 Problem-focused: e.g., time

•Time stress!
  •Common time-consumers?
     (identify and minimize)
  •Avoiding procrastination
  •Assertiveness (e.g., saying
  no when necessary
Coping Strategies

Emotion-Focused Coping
  person tries to control his or her emotional
   response to a stressor
    reappraisal(e.g., ―is this really that
      important?‖ ―am I engaging in faulty
    only connect!
    others? (see following slides)

   Guided imagery
   Systematic desensitization
Coping: Psychotherapy

  Cognitive-behavioral (e.g., cognitive

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