Discussion 1: Your Stress-Defining Moment
Life stressors as common as work pressure or as obscure as being zapped with electricity while running in a maze, all activate the stress response. With such varying sources from which stressors emerge, stress is a holistic phenomenon with emotional, biological, cognitive, and coping aspects.
Research into the stress response touches a variety of scientific disciplines. Theorists from the fields of physiology, endocrinology, psychiatry, psychology, and sociology have made major contributions to understanding the biological response evoked by stress. Their theories that describe stress all tie together, building on each other’s constructs to better explain stressors, stress, and the stress response. The first paradigm by physiologist Walter Cannon and endocrinologist Hans Selye considered stress a stimulus. Stress happened to the individual. However, stressors can be internally generated with worry or fear. Revealing the impact of stress as detrimental to physical well-being, the Life Stressor Assessment developed by psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe identifies stressful life events that may predict stress reactions. Also, recent work by sociologist Aaron Antonovsky and psychologist Richard Lazarus describes stress more as a process. In viewing the “Stress Response” handout, notice that there are continuous interactions between the person and the environment, influencing the impact of the stressor through cognitive, emotional, and behavioral pathways. Traditionally, stress has been viewed as an adaptive function with a set of physiological responses to a stressor. Present thinking supports a more holistic understanding. As a result, perspectives have changed to include cognitive, environmental, and social elements in a more holistic understanding of the stress response.
For this Discussion, review this week’s Learning Resources, including the “Defining the Stress Response Across Multiple Scientific Disciplines” handout. Then take the Holmes and Rahe stress assessment. Finally, consider any insights you had or conclusions you drew after completing the Holmes and Rahe self-evaluation.
With these thoughts in mind:
Post by Day 3 your definition of stress. Then explain why your perceptions of stressors might be relevant to Richard Lazarus’s appraisal model. Finally, explain any insights you had or conclusions you drew after completing the Holmes and Rahe self-evaluation. Be specific.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.
- Handout: Laureate Education, Inc. (2012). Defining the stress response across multiple scientific disciplines. Unpublished document.
- Assessment: Wilson, D. R. (2006). Life stressor assessment. Adapted from Holmes, T., & Rahe, R. (1967). The social readjustment rating scale. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 11(2), 213–218.
The Social Readjustment Rating Scale by Holmes, T., & Rahe, R. In the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 11(2). Copyright 1967 by Elsevier Health Science. Reprinted by permission of Elsevier Health Science via the Copyright Clearance Center.