Evaluate the view of Selye and Lazarus with respect to individual variability in stress responses.
Category : Health Psychology
Question No. 1
This is an evaluation of the view of Selye and Lazarus with respect to individual variability in stress responses. There are many known authorities that would look into stress responses as an innate to human nature and there are those who would want to look in stress responses as someone that can be acquired thru the environment.
Selye (1973) when the pressure from the environment becomes excessive, or in case of psychological threats, new defense mechanisms are initiated, collectively referred to as stress responses. This authority stated that during the state of eustress and distress the body undergoes virtually the same nonspecific responses to the various positive or negative stimuli acting pun it.
This type stress responses are due to different kinds of stimuli. The stimuli that an individual has to suffer and use in responding to stress is the main factor why there is more human being who counter stress in different kinds. The responses of an individual into a stress in the response that he will likely perceive as to whether the stress is indeed a great source of problem or not.
The difference on how an individual will be able to look at the type of stress is the way it will be able to handle it. It is also stated that one can view a stress in a positive or negative way.
The positive way will dwell on the fact that the stress can be related to something that within the area of the goal of an individual. If the stress arises from the goal then a person will be able to look at the stress as something that can be treated lightly. On the other, solutions to stress, which came from a negative stimulus, will also be responded in a negative way. An example of a negative stimulus is when someone was in a dispute with another person. Being in a dispute with another person is a negative stimulus because all negative feelings are given an importance. Hence, if a person’s response to that is also negative.
Lazarus and Folkman (1984) perception on stress is in the integration of new concepts inherited from psychology, including coping that refers to the ability for the individual variability of emotional processes. It viewed that human beings classify events as familiar or unfamiliar and threatening and non-threatening. Thus, human beings generate a stream of behavioral strategies to deal with these unfolding events.
Hence, although there is a quiet similarity to the views of both authors, the focus of Lazarus is on how the stress will be a threat to their lives. If the stress will cause a threat to their lives, a response that will counter such threat is done. It the stress is not a threat, then an individual looks at stress as another part of their lives. This mainly attributed to the fact that an individual is seemed to be more focus on how will it able to preserve their lives or status quo. The drive of an individual to counter will be based on developed strategies.
Selye, H. (1973). The Nature of Stress. Canada:International Institute of
Lazarus, R. S., and Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, Appraisal and Coping. New York: Springer,.
Question No. 2
Stress is not a laughing matter. Dealing with stress is necessary in order to bring a positive outlook in life. This is an analysis that will discuss the effects of stress on the immune system and the overall well being of being person.
On the survey conducted by Rawson, Bloomer and Kendall (1994), they have found out that there is a significant relationships found between anxiety and illness, stress and illness and depression and illness. Hence, it can be inferred that stress will likely cause a tremendous negative effect to one’s health.
There are series of report according to the effect of stress to the human body system. The first that this author would like to consider is the effect of stress to the immune system of an individual. According to Sutherland, Bybee, and Sullivan (2002), high levels of stress have been linked to various physical health conditions to psychological distress symptoms such as depression. It further stated that ongoing stress decreases the immune’s system ability to fight infectious disease and other illnesses.
Thus, it can be inferred that as the human body has been battling its way out from stress, the focus of the body to give importance to the immune system is void. The effect of stress makes the whole body became weak, up to the extent that no amount of enough barriers to counter sickness is present.
According to American Institute of Stress (2008), there are numerous emotional and physical disorders that have been linked to stress, example are a host of viral linked disorders ranging from the common cold and herpes to Aids and certain cancers. Stress can also caused skin diseases and can contribute to insomnia and degenerative neurological disorders like Parkinson’s diseases.
Thus, stress is not only detrimental to the capacity of an individual’s immune system to fight off diseases but also to its ability not to acquire or develop diseases, which can be related to stress. There are several number of stress related diseases that are really surprising because individuals have though otherwise. Furthermore, certain number of diseases and illnesses is sometimes attributed to stress.
In addition, not only the health of a person is also affected by stress. A person can also develop a personality disorder, which is really bothersome because of the ability of stress to cause violence and alienation. According to Natvig, Albrektsen and Qvarnstrom (2001), there are some personal characteristics of bullies that may also influence on their perception of stress experience. Hence, their observations that increase risk of bullying in school with an increasing degree of school alienation, which is the effect of stress rather the cause.
Thus, stress can be considered as a normal occurrence in the lives if people, however, stress should not be taken for granted. Proper handling of stress is necessary in order to prevent the negative impact of stress. The over-all being of an individual is important rather than being stress on small things.
American Institute of Stress. (2008). Effects of stress. Viewed 15 October 2008. < http://www.stress.org/topic-effects.htm>.
Natvig, G., Albrektsen, G., and Qvarnstrom, U. (2001) School-Related Stress Experience as a Risk Factor for Bullying Behavior. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Vol. 30.
Rawson, H., Bloomer, K., and Kendall, A., (1994). Stress, Anxiety Depression, and Physical Illness in College Students. Journal of Genetic Psychology, Vol. 155.
Sutherland, C., Bybee, D and Sullivan, C. (2002). Beyond Bruises and Broken Bones: The Joint Effects of Stress and Injuries on Battered Women's Health. American Journal of Community Psychology. Vol. 30.
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