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Keith E Rice's Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages

Aligning, integrating and applying the behavioural sciences

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Stress & Illness

Updated: 23 November 2020 Stress can make you ill! Stress can even kill you! Hans Selye (1936) was arguably the first theorist to carry out scientific research linking illness to chronic stress. Selye noted that the rats in his experiments and hospital patients showed a similar pattern which he termed the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) because it represented the body’s attempts to cope in an adaptive way with stress. GAS has 3 stages – see graphic below. Stage 1 involves increased activity in both the SAM and the HPA systems. In the case of elongated stress, the Alarm reaction occurs 6-48 hours after the trigger of fight or flight and includes loss of muscle tone, drop in body temperature and decreases in size of the spleen and the liver. Stage 2 involves the body adapting to the demands of the environment, with activity in the HPA. As this stage proceeds, the parasympathetic system requires more careful use of the body’s resources to cope. The system is being taxed to its limits, with an increase in the size of the adrenal glands and a decrease in certain pituitary activity such as the production of growth hormones. If the stress is not too… Read More

Bibliography B

A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P-Q    R    S     T     U    V    W    X-Y-Z Bachen, Elizabeth, Sheldon Cohen & Anna Marsland (1997): ‘Psychoimmunology’ in Andrew Baum, Stanton Newman, John Weinman, Robert West & Chris McManus(eds): ‘Cambridge Handbook of Psychology, Health and Medicine’ (Cambridge University Press) Badawy, Abdulla (2006): ‘Alcohol and Violence and the Possible Role of Serotonin’ in Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 13/1 Baechler, Jean (1979): ‘Suicides’ (Blackwell, Oxford) Bagdikian, Ben (2004): ‘The New Media Monopoly’ (7th Edition, Beacon Press, Boston MA) Bailey, Heidi, Greg Moran, David Pederson & Sandi Bento (2007): ‘Understanding the Transmission of Attachment using Variable- and Relationship-Centred Approaches’ in Development and Psychopathology 19/2 Bailey, Rodger (1991): ‘The Language and Behaviour Profile’ (self-study manual and audio-tape set, Language and Behaviour Institute, Poughkeepsie NY) Bain, Jerald, Ronald Langevin, Ronald Dickey & Mark Ben-Aron (1987): ‘Sex Hormones in Murderers and Assaulters’ in Behavioural Science & the Law #5 Baize, Harold & Jonathan Schroeder (1995): ‘Personality and Mate Selection in Personal Ads: Evolutionary Preferences in a Public Mate Selection Process’ in Journal of Social Behaviour & Personality 10/3 Bakan, Joel (2004): ‘The Corporation: the Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power’ (Constable, London) Baker, Robin &… Read More

Is Britain really broken?

As part of his pre-election manoeuvring, Conservative leader David Cameron, according to the BBC, has today accused Labour of ‘moral failure’ and presiding over a country in both economic and social recession. He has said the UK rewards parents who split up and is a place where professionals are told to follow rules rather than do what is best. As an example of what he calls ‘broken Britain’, Cameron talked about the case of 2 brothers sentenced today for brutally attacking 2 other boys in South Yorkshire. The brothers, aged 10 and 11 at the time, attacked their victims in Edlington, Doncaster, last April. They threatened to kill their victims, then aged 9 and 11, stamped on them and attacked them with broken glass, bricks and sticks. The brothers admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent. While stressing that the case is not typical, Cameron cited it as a shocking example of what he calls Britain’s broken society, one of the key themes of the party’s campaign but a diagnosis rejected by the Government which said the Doncaster case was “uniquely terrible and extremely rare”. In a book of interviews with him by GQ editor Dylan Jones, published this week, Cameron… Read More