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Identify and explain three sources of stress.

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Stress- essay 2 2a) Identify and explain three sources of stress. Sources of stress: 1) Life changes: Events such as divorce or bereavement that necessitate a significant adjustment in various aspects of a person's life. As such, they can be seen as significant sources of stress. In 1967, Holmes and Rahe came up with the idea of a 'social readjustment rating scale' (or SRRS for short). This was an attempt to quantify life change - any change in your life that might cause stress. Scores are calculated for a person's experiences over the past year. Studies using the scale have found that high life change scores (300+) are related to relatively high frequency of illness, accidents and athletic injuries. 2) Workplace stressors: Some aspects of our working environment such as work overload or impending deadlines that we experience as stressful, and which causes a stress reaction in our body. 3) Personality and stress: In the 1970s, Friedman and Rosenman carried out a nine-year study of 1000 people to try to find out if personality type affected stress levels. ...read more.


Weiss, however, repeated this study with rats using a warning bell to let them know when a shock was about to arrive - giving them an extra level of control - this was found to reduce stress-related symptoms. In the 1970s, Seligman carried out another control-related study and came up with the idea of 'learned helplessness'. Seligman found that when animals had experienced inescapable electric shocks, they did not escape later even when they were given the chance to. This phenomenon also occurs in humans in response to loud noise. Seligman's work suggested that if life seems uncontrollable, it could lead to symptoms of depression - and depression is often stress-related. c) To what extent does research support a link between stress and the immune system? Kiecolt Glaser et al (1995) Kiecolt Glaser et al carried out a study to find out the direct effects of stress on the immune system by looking at how quickly wounds heal. He used women who were caring for relatives suffering from senile dementia, a task which has been shown to be associated with chronic stress. ...read more.


Cohen et al found positive correlation between levels of stress and the likelihood of catching a cold Riley (1991) experimented with mice, inducing stress by placing the mice on a rotating turn table. Within 5 hours this lead to a lowered lymphocyte counts. Some mice were implanted with cancer cells. After 3 days of 10 minutes of rotation per hour, mice were more likely to develop tumours than control mice given no stress. This shows that stress reduced immune activity (lymphocyte count) and was related to illness (more tumours). Kiecolt Glaser et al (1984) looked at t-cell activity in the blood of students taking exams. Levels of t-cell were higher during the month before the students took exams and dropped during the examination period itself. These findings have important implications for treating people with infections, particularly in situations where people are recovering from surgery. Clearly it would be important to reduce stress as far as possible in such patients and thus speed their recovery. Therefore research strongly supports that stress does affect the immune system, most of the time weakening it and making us more prone to diseases. ...read more.

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