Stress and the Immune System

Mind Map by , created over 5 years ago

A Levels Psychology (Unit 2 - Stress) Mind Map on Stress and the Immune System, created by danny-hudson97 on 03/01/2014.

Created by danny-hudson97 over 5 years ago
Workplace stress
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1 Kiecolt-Glaser et al (2005)
1.1 He looked at the effects of marital arguments on the immune system and wound healing
1.2 Method
1.2.1 42 couples who had been married for an average of 12 years had small suction devices placed on their arms to deliberately create eight small blisters. The tops of these were removed and a small bubble placed over the top allowing fluids to be withdrawn. On their first visit the couples were drawn into a positive discussion about behaviours they’d like to change. Two months later the couples returned and the procedure repeated. This time however, they were drawn into a negative discussion about areas of disagreement which often provoked strong feelings
1.3 Findings
1.3.1 It was found that on the second visit the blisters took a whole day longer to heal (60% longer) and that levels of the hormone interleukin-6 that controls wound healing was much higher. Women seemed to be particularly prone to the effects.
2 The Immune System
2.1 It is the network of cells and chemicals throughout the body that functions to seek out and destroy invading particles.
2.2 White Blood Cells
2.2.1 They are also known as leucocytes There are two types of white blood cells; 2. Lymphocytes These produce antibodies which attach themselves to the foreign particles, slowing them down and making it easier for other immune cells such as the phagocytes to destroy them – system takes longer to work as it is a specific chemical response. Two types of Lymphocytes B Cells They produce antibodies which are released into the fluid surrounding the body’s cells to destroy the invading viruses and bacteria. T Cells If the invader gets inside a cell, these cells lock on to the infected cell, multiply and destroy it. 1. Phagocytes These surround and ingest the invading foreign particles wherever they encounter them
3 Keicolt-Glaser Et Al (1984)
3.1 Aim
3.1.1 He investigated whether the stress of short term stressors had an effect on immune system functioning in medical students.
3.2 Procedure
3.2.1 Blood samples (from medical students) were taken 1 month before (low stress) and during the exam period (high stress). Immune system function were assessed by measuring NK Cell activity in the blood samples.
3.3 Findings
3.3.1 Natural Killer (NK) Cell activity was significantly reduced in the second blood sample compared to the sample taken 1 month before.
3.4 Conclusion
3.4.1 This suggests that short term, predictable stressors reduce immune system functioning, increasing vulnerability to illness
3.5 Strengths
3.5.1 “natural environment” and Ethologically valid
3.5.2 Heightens awareness of risks of stress, exam pressures
3.6 Limitation
3.6.1 Sample is small, medical students who are young
3.6.2 Other factors could decrease NK cells > lifestyle choice
3.6.3 Where the blood sample is taken from
4 Segerstrom and Miller (2004)
4.1 He carried out a meta-analysis of other studies and concluded pretty much the same thing.
4.2 Findings
4.2.1 Short term stress boosts immunity whereas long term, chronic stress suppresses immunity.
4.2.2 The longer the stress continues the weaker the immune response becomes leaving us more and more prone to infection.

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