Ciccarelli Chapter 11

Stress and Stressors
Stress refers*to a complex set of reactions made by an individual under
pressure to adapt; or it is a term used to describe the physical, emotional,
cognitive, and behavioral responses to events that are appraised as
threatening or challenging. Stressors are the source of the stress. The
source can come from within a person or from an external source and range
from relatively mild to severe.
Two kinds of stressors: 1) Those that cause distress and
2) those that
cause eustress.
Distress- stressors that are perceived to cause some sort of biopsychosocial
discomfort. Eustress are the effect of positive events, or the optimal
amount of stress that people need to promote health and well-being.
_____________ is an unpredictable, large-scale event that creates a
tremendous need to adapt and adjust as well as overwhelming
feelings of threat.
______________ is a disorder resulting from exposure to a major
stressor, with symptoms of anxiety, recurring nightmares, sleep
disturbances, problems in concentration, and moments in which
people seem to “relive” the events in dreams and flashbacks for as
long as one month following the event.
__________________ is a disorder resulting from exposure to a major
stressor, with symptoms of anxiety, nightmares, etc., lasting for more
than one month.
The two events that appear to be the core of someone experiencing
stress involves ______________ and __________.
SRRS – is an assessment tool that measures the amount of
stress in a person’s life over a one-year period resulting from
major life events. Persons that scored 300 and above were at
an 80% chance of developing an illness (high blood pressure,
ulcers, migraine headaches) or having an accident in the near
College Undergraduate Stress Scale (CUSS) – is an assessment
tool that measures the amount of stress in a college student’s
life over a one-year period resulting from major
_____________ are the daily annoyances of
everyday life that may come from different
sources depending on a person’s
developmental stage, e.g., children ages 3-5
cited getting teased as their biggest daily
hassle; adolescents (ages16-22) cited trouble
at school or work; and the elderly cited a lack of
________________ as their biggest daily
______________ is the psychological experience produced by urgent
demands or expectations for a person’s behavior that come from an outside
Another factor that increases a person’s experience of stress is the degree
of _______________ that the person has over a particular event or situation.
The less control a person has, the greater the degree of ___________.
Another factor involved in contributing to a person’s stress level is the
concept called frustration. Frustration is the psychological experience
produced by the _____________ of a desired goal or fulfillment of a
perceived need. Frustrations can be external or internal. External
frustrations involve those life events that are outside of you such as car
breaking down, and experiencing a theft of one’s belongings. Internal
frustrations occur when the goal or need cannot be attained because of an
internal or personal characteristics, e.g. wanting to dunk a basketball and
you’re 4’10”.
Persistence – The continuation of efforts to get around whatever is
causing the frustration. Ex. Use of a lawyer by Tiger Wood to explain
his vehicular accident.
Aggression – Is an action meant to harm or destroy.
Displaced aggression – Is aggressing on a less threatening
Displacement – Psychological defense mechanism in which
emotional reactions and behavioral responses are shifted to targets
that are more available or less threatening than the original target.
A fourth possible reaction to frustration is escape or
______________; leaving the presence of a stressor, either literally or
by a psychological withdrawal into fantasy, drug abuse, or apathy.
Suicide - Talking about committing suicide is a kind of “dress
rehearsal” and we need to take the person seriously even if they
said, “I’m just kidding”.
Approach-approach conflict – conflict occurring when a person must
choose between two desirable ______________.
Avoidance-avoidance conflict – conflict occurring when a person
must choose between two _________________ goals.
Approach-avoidance conflict – conflict occurring when a person must
choose or not choose a goal that has both __________ and
_______________ aspects.
Double approach-avoidance conflict – conflict in which the person
must decide between two goals, with each goal possessing both
positive and negative aspects.
Multiple approach-avoidance conflict – conflict in which the person
must decide between more than two goals, with each goal
possessing both positive and negative aspects.
The autonomic nervous system (ANS) – Is apart of the
human nervous system that is responsible for all
___________, ______________, and
______________________ activities. The ANS consists of two
divisions, the ____________ and the ____________. Both
figure prominently in the body’s physiological reactions to
stress, the general adaptation syndrome. Psychologist Hans
Selye was the founder of the field of research concerning
stress and its effects on the human body. He studied the
sequence of physiological reactions that the body goes
through when adapting to a stressor; known as the general
adaptation syndrome (GAS) and consists of three stages:
Alarm, Resistance, and Exhaustion.
Hans Selye viewed stress as a three-stage mobilization of the body’s resources to combat real
or perceived threats to our well-being. The first stage he called:
Alarm: Is when the body first reacts to a stressor, the _________________ nervous system is
activated. The adrenal glands release hormones(norepinephrine) that increase heart rate,
blood pressure, and the supply of blood sugar, resulting in a burst of energy.
Resistance: As the stress continues, the body settles into sympathetic division activity,
continuing to release the stress hormones that help the body fight off or resist the stressor.
One of the hormones released under stress, noradrenaline, seems to affect the brain’s
processing of pain, so that when under stress a person may experience a kind of analgesia
(insensitivity to pain).
Exhaustion: Exhaustion occurs when the body’s resources are gone. Exhaustion can lead to the
formation of stress-related diseases- high blood pressure or a weakened immune system- or
the death of the organism if outside help is unavailable. When the stressor ends, the
parasympathetic division activates and the body attempts to replenish its resources. Selye
argued that there is a connection between stress and certain “diseases of adaptation”. Most
common are ulcers and high blood pressure.
Immune system –refers to a system of cells,
organs, and chemicals of the body that responds
to attacks from diseases, infections and injuries.
 Psychoneuroimmunology is the study of the effects
of psychological factors such as stress, emotions,
thoughts, and behavior on the immune system.
 Stress triggers the same response in the immune
system that infection triggers, except it starts in
the brain rather than in the blood stream.
The more stress workers were exposed to in their work
environment and home life, the more likely they were to
exhibit the risk factors: obesity, high blood sugar, high
triglycerides (a type of fatty acid found in the blood), and
low levels of HDL or good cholesterol.
Cancer cells divide without stopping.
Natural killer cells are the immune system cells
responsible for suppressing viruses and destroying
tumor cells.
Studies have shown that children in families
experiencing ongoing stress are more likely to develop
fevers with illness than are other children.
Richard Lazarus developed a cognitive view of stress called the cognitivemediational theory of emotions, in which the way people think about and appraise a
stressor is a major factor in how stressful that particular stressor becomes.
Primary appraisal - Is the first step in assessing stress, which involves estimating
the severity of a stressor and classifying it as either a threat or a challenge.
Secondary appraisal - Is the second step in assessing a threat, which involves
estimating the resources available to the person for coping with the stressor.
Type A personality are persons who are ambitious, time conscious, extremely
hardworking, and tend to have high levels of hostility and anger as well as being
easily annoyed.
Type B personality are persons who are relaxed and laid-back, less driven and
competitive and slower to anger than Type A.
Type C personality are pleasant but repressed persons, who tend to internalize his or
her anger and anxiety and who find expressing emotions difficult.
The Hardy personality are persons who seem to thrive on
stress but lacks the anger and hostility of the Type A
Optimists are people who expect ____________ outcomes.
Pessimists are people who expect ____________ outcomes.
Burnout refers to negative changes in thoughts, emotions,
and behavior as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.
Acculturative stress is the stress resulting from the need to
change and adapt a person’s ways to the majority culture.
Social support system is the network of family, friends,
neighbors, coworkers, and others who can offer support,
comfort, or aid to a person in need.
Coping strategies are actions that people can take to
master, tolerate, reduce, or minimize the effects of
Problem-focused coping are coping strategies that try to
eliminate the source of a stress or reduce its impact
through direct actions.
Emotion-focused coping are coping strategies that
change the impact of a stressor by changing the
emotional reaction to the stressor.
Psychological defense mechanisms are unconscious distortions of a
person’s perception of reality that reduce stress and anxiety. Learn
the meaning of: Denial, Repression, Projection, & Reaction
Meditation refers to mental series of exercises meant to refocus
attention and achieve a trancelike state of consciousness.
Concentrative meditation is a form of meditation in which a person
focuses the mind on some repetitive or unchanging stimulus so that
the mind can be cleared of disturbing thoughts and the body can
experience relaxation.
Receptive meditation is a form of meditation in which a person
attempts to become aware of everything in immediate conscious
experience, or an expansion of consciousness.
Get involved with others
Get some sleep
Eat healthy foods
Have some fun
Manage your time
Take a deep breath
The End

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