AP Psychology Chapter 14: Stress and Health

behavioral medicine
an interdiciplinary field that integrates behavioral and medical knowledge and applies it to disease

health psychology
a subfield of psychology that provides psychology’s contribution to behavioral medicine. (finds out what attitudes and behaviors prevent illness

stressor
something that causes stress

stress reaction
physical and emotional response to a stressor

stress
the PROCESS by which we preceive and respond to events that we appraise as threatening or challenging; how we cope with them;

stress response 1
sympathetic nervous system triggers release of epinephrine, and norepinephrine, increases heart rate, increased respiration, slows digestion, blood to skeletal muscles, releases glucose. (fight or flight)

stress response 2
cerebral cortex demands (via hypothalamus & pituitary gland): adrenal glands secrete glucocorticoid-stress hormones like cortisol.

General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS)
Selye’s concept of the body’s adaptive response to stress in three stages: alarm, resistance, exhaustion.

alarm reaction
phase 1 of GAS; sudden activation sympathetic nervous system; mobilize resources.

resistance
phase 2 of GAS; stress resistance remains because of continued sympathetic nervous system functions; cope with stressor

exhaustion
phase 3 of GAS; reserves depleted; body cannot fight off stress any longer

telomeres
shorter bits of DNA at the end of chromosomes; when they become too short they can no longer replicate; stress speeds up this process

Coronary Heart Disease
clogging of vessels that nourish the heart muscle; leading cause of death in many developed countries; can be caused by hypertension, smoking, obesity, family history, hi-fat diet, physical inactivity, elevated cholesterol level and stress.

Type A
Friedman and Rosenman’s term for competitive, hard-driving, impatient, verbally aggressive and anger prone people.

Type B
Friedman and Rosenmans’s term for easy going, relaxed people.

what prolonged stress causes
shrunken hippocampus, coronary heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lung disease, depleted immune system, high blood pressure.

lymphocytes
two types of white blood cells that are part of the body’s immune system

B lymphocytes
form in the bone marrow and release antibodies that fight bacterial infections.

T lymphocytes
form in the thymus and other lymphatic tissue and attack cancer cells, viruses and foreign cells

macrophage
immune system agent that identifies, persues and ingests harmful invaders.

psychophysiological illness
“mind-body” illness; any stress related physical illness such as hypertension and headaches.

cope
alleviating stress using emotional, cognitive or behavioral methods

problem-focused coping
attempting to alleviate stress directly by changing the stressor or the way we interact with it. (used when we feel we have a sense of control over a situation)

emotion-focused coping
alleviating stress by avoiding or ignoring a stressor and attending to emotional needs realted to one’s stress reation.

aerobic exercise
sustained exercies that increases heart and lung fitness; can alleviate depression and anxiety

biofeedback
a system for electrically recording, amplifying and feeding back information regarding a subtle physiological state such as blood pressure or muscle tension; can help a person learn how to control a physiological response.

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