• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent does research support the link between stress & illness

Extracts from this document...


To what extent does research support a link between stress & illness? (12 marks). There is proven to be correlation between stress & illness, however its questionable how far stress causes illness or whether illness can cause stress. It is thought that the cardiovascular system refers to the heart & the circulatory system (blood). Stress can cause problems within this system; Hypertension (high blood pressure), Coronary heart disease which is causes by atherosclerosis, & Stroke. Supporting a link between stress & illness, Kiecolt-Glaser et al (1995), studied the slowing of wound healing in relation to psychological stress (especially how stress damages the immune system). He took 26 participants (recruited from a newspaper advertisement) in a field experiment, all were given a small cut into their arms, & participants were given a 10-item perceived stress scale & asked to state how stressed they felt. ...read more.


The time take for the wound to heal was significantly longer for carers (48.7 days) compared to the control group (39.3 days) & also were significantly a larger average size. Another researcher who found a supportive link between stress & illness was Russek (1962), who aimed to find a link between work-related stress & heart disease. He tested Medical professionals & labelled them as high-stress or low-stress according to their role. GPs (high-stress) had the greatest rate of heart disease (11.9%) & dermatologists (low-stress) had the least heart disease (3.2%). This showed that there is a link between heart disease & stress within a job. However the dermatologists may have a higher stress job than predicted & also professional lives may not be the only cause of stress e.g. ...read more.


Williams (2000) investigated the link between anger & heart disease. He asked 13,000 participants without a heart condition to fill out a questionnaire to measure their anger. Six years later 256 of participants had had a heart attack. Participants with the highest anger rating made up 73% of this number, meaning that participants with high anger ratings were 2.7 times more likely to have a heart attack than those with a low anger rating. There is however a question of how reliable & accurate this questionnaire is, can it really tell the anger of a person? Also anger can't be rated as a general characteristic as people may have been feeling more angry when filling out the questionnaire than others, but are normally very un-angry. ?? ?? ?? ?? Charlotte Higgins ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Physiological Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

The essay provides some relevant research and evaluation with more focus on evidence for stress and illness having a link. There is a need for a conclusion especially given the title of the question. - 'to what extent'? If stress is not the whole reason for illness then what else might there be contributing to it? Remember to proofread.

Marked by teacher Stephanie Porras 21/03/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Physiological Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Discuss research into stress-related illness and the immune system

    5 star(s)

    Kiecolt-Glaser et al found that the control group's wounds took on average 39.3 days to heal, whereas the caregiver's wounds took on average 48.7 days to heal. This shows that chronic stress suppressed the immune system, because the stressed individual's wounds took longer to heal suggesting the immune system was not functioning properly.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Peer Pressure Speech

    3 star(s)

    Friends often encourage each other to go much further than anyone would alone; when you are in a crowd, it is easier to get carried away. Breaking the law might be common amongst adolescents, but it is certainly not without risk.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Outline and evaluate research into the effects of stress on the immune system and ...

    3 star(s)

    Kiercolt-Glaser et al 1987 pioneered the study of immune function in people exposed to high levels of stress. Glaser said that although people do not show obvious illness (due to their stress), many people have immunosupresssion. Glaser's study aimed to find out whether people who have chronic stress have lower

  2. An outline of stress stating signs and symptoms as well as causes.

    There are many reasons a person would experience stress, Holmes and Rahe (1967) devised a scale ranging from the death of a spouse (100 points) to minor law violations (11 points). The idea being that your score, taken from the list of life changing events, indicates the likelihood of you suffering illness due to these stressors.

  1. Discuss the possible effects of stress on the immune system.

    A difference was found between groups with low scores on the stress index, and those with high scores, were highly stressed participants who developed a significant amount of colds.

  2. I will talk about the history and what the psychological and physical aspects of ...

    Our emotions are also impacted on, leading to a difficulty in concentration. The use of relaxation can improve quality of life, reduce physical effects of stress and improve psychological functioning (website ibshypnosis.com, hypnosis as a helping tool). Often we are unaware of how tense and stressed we are, like Jacobson?s patients.

  1. Unit 1 psychology revsion notes (memory, attachment, research methods)

    film they remember the essence but had grossly impaired memory of the details surrounding it * Lab ?reliable , can be repeated * Lacks ecological validity Age ? Yarmey * Showed young and old adults a film of a staged event then asked questions * 80% elderly but 20% of

  2. Research that has suggested a link between Stress and Personality.

    However, an aggressive, hostile, person might become angry or upset when facing demanding people or events which can lead to stress. Anxious people might be more stressed at work, or frustrated and dissatisfied when things do not go according to the plan.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work