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Psychology and Social Support Essay

Marriage these days does not seem to last very long. Two months after his wedding, your friend Tom confides in you that he’s unhappy in his marriage. He tells you that he and his wife seem to be fighting all the time, and nothing seems to get resolved. He tends to be very high-strung anyway(His friends call him “Type-A Tom”) and now he feels like the stress of the constant bickering is affecting every aspect of his life, including his health. Since you’re in a Psychology class, he asks you for your thoughts on the chances of his marriage surviving and your advice about what he can do about his stress.

Based on what you’ve read (either in the assigned readings in this module or your own Internet research), you answer his questions by addressing 10 factors that may be related to his situation. Briefly discuss each of these factors (and how it may relate to Tom’s predicament) in a 5-7 page essay.

The Factors are:

Predictability of the stressor. In psychology, stress is a feeling of strain and pressure. Symptoms may include a sense of being overwhelmed, feelings of anxiety, overall irritability, insecurity, nervousness, social withdrawal, loss of appetite, depression, panic attacks, exhaustion, high or low blood pressure, skin eruptions or rashes, insomnia, lack of sexual desire (sexual dysfunction), migraine, gastrointestinal difficulties (constipation or diarrhea), and for women, menstrual symptoms. It may also cause more serious conditions such as heart problems. Also, experimental research which has been performed on animals, also displayed results relating to stress and negative effects on the body. It has been shown that stress contributes to the initiation and development of specific tumors within the body.

A stressor is any event, experience, or environmental stimulus that causes stress in an individual.[22] These events or experiences are perceived as threats or challenges to the individual and can be either physical or psychological. Researchers have found that stressors can make individuals more prone to both physical and psychological problems, including heart disease and anxiety.[23] Stressors are more likely to affect an individual’s health when they are “chronic, highly disruptive, or perceived as uncontrollable”.[23] In psychology, researchers generally classify the different types of stressors into four categories: 1) crises/catastrophes, 2) major life events, 3) daily hassles/microstressors, and 4) ambient stressors.

Social support (human relationships) Social support is the perception and actuality that one is cared for, has assistance available from other people, and that one is part of a supportive social network. These supportive resources can be emotional (e.g., nurturance), tangible (e.g., financial assistance), informational (e.g., advice), or companionship (e.g., sense of belonging). Social support can be measured as the perception that one has assistance available, the actual received assistance, or the degree to which a person is integrated in a social network. Support can come from many sources, such as family, friends, pets, organizations, coworkers, etc. Government provided social support is often referred to as Public aid.

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