Week 3: stress and health: activities and questions

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1. Fill out this longer questionnaire on Responses to Stress for college student population. 

https://cdn.vanderbilt.edu/vu-my/wp-content/uploads/sites/2804/2019/04/14195634/RSQ-Peer-Social-Stress-College-57-items-8-6-13.pdf

a) After filling it out write one paragraph of summary about your typical responses to stress.

b) Then think about and answer which physical system of your body is most vulnerable during stress (this means that under stress you will most likely develop symptoms related to your sensitive system): 

· Cardiovascular (symptoms: heart pounding; cold and sweaty hands; heart racing or beating erratically; headaches (throbbing pain)); 

· Respiratory (shortness of breath; asthma attack; rapid, erratic, or shallow breathing; difficulty in speaking because of poor breathing control)

· Gastrointestinal (upset stomach, nausea, or vomiting; constipation; diarrhea; sharp abdominal pains)

· Muscular symptoms (headaches (steady pain); back or shoulder pains; muscle tremors or hands shaking)

· Skin (acne; dandruff; perspiration; excessive skin dryness)

· Immunity (allergy flare-up; catching colds; catching the fly; skin rash)

· Metabolic (increased appetite; increased craving for tobacco or sweets; thoughts racing or difficulty sleeping; feelings of crawling anxiety or nervousness) 

2. REVIEW SLIDES!

3. After reviewing all slides, go back and pay attention to slides on Stimulus-based (life-events) perspective; slides 18-23. Review carefully slide number 19, Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS). Then go to slide 22, which presents the same scale but adjusted for student population. Fill that scale out. Then, think critically: what types of problems could you think of about this approach to measuring stress? Answer it!

4. STOP! Slide 28: Differentiate between hassles (microstressors) and major stressful life events.

Fill out this Hassle Scale adjusted for student population and figure out what are your hassles:

https://www.midss.org/sites/default/files/nescale.pdf

5. STOP! Slide 41: 

· Fill out. Brief COPE Scale. Find it uploaded on Blackboard

· Identify your top 6 ways of coping. Then determine to which category your coping strategies belong (e.g., denial, venting, planning, humor, acceptance, etc.) Take note whether your top coping strategies are mostly constructive or non-constructive. 

6. Slide 46: WATCH the TED talk by Nadine Burke and answer the following:

· What is ACE and how does it relate to health? Give three examples of the ACE influence on health.

7. Slide 51: The concept of being HARDY. Answer the following:

· What is hardiness, what are its elements, and why is it important in studying it in relation to stress? 

· Read this: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/insight-therapy/201912/how-hardy-are-you-the-psychology-grace-under-pressure

· Take this short test to see “How Hardy Are You?” https://www.amerihealth.com/pdfs/custom/worksite_wellness/turnkey_programs/stress_awareness/stress_hardiness_quiz.pdf 

8. Read: Iranian Refugees in Sweden: Coping Processes in Children and Their Families, by Almqvist and Hwang. It gives examples of emotion-focused and problem-focused types of coping among refugees. 

· Answer: What are typical coping mechanisms in children vs. adults? 

9. After you have read carefully all slides: pay special attention to all the points of problems of measuring the relationship between stress and illness. (Make a list of all the measurement difficulties for yourself. No need to answer anything here).

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