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1. LT3: Stress and Cardiovascular Disorders (CHD) Outline (A01) Strengths  One strength of the research into the relationship between stress and CHD is AIM further…
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  • 1. LT3: Stress and Cardiovascular Disorders (CHD) Outline (A01) Strengths  One strength of the research into the relationship between stress and CHD is AIM further empirical support provided by Williams (2000). He used 13,000 people Friedman and Rosenman aimed to investigate the hypothesis that Type A individuals (a high-stress personality type) were more likely to develop coronary heart disease (CHD) who completed an anger questionnaire. None of the pps suffered from heart than Type Bs. This was based on their observations as cardiologists that their patients disease at the beginning of the study. Six years later those who had scored high on displayed a common behaviour pattern, which consisted of three key components: the anger scale were 2.6 times more likely to have a heart attack. This suggests that the idea of stress may cause CHD has wider academic credibility. impatience, competitiveness, and hostility. Thus, a positive correlation between Type A behaviour pattern and CHD was sought.  A further strength of this link between the stress and CVD is that it has practical PROCEDURE applications. If we understand the negative effects of stress on health we can take A self-selected sample of nearly 3200 Californian men aged between 39 and 59 action to avoid its associated risks. For example there are important implications years was used. when treating someone with an existing heart problem, particularly those recovering This was a prospective, longitudinal study, as the participants were healthy at the from surgery. Here it would be important to reduce stress as much as possible in outset in 1960 and were assessed over a period of eight-and-a-half years. order to aid recovery and prevent any further damage. This suggests that a better Part one of the study included structured interview and observation, which understanding could help to improve the quality of people’s lives. assessed personality type and current health status. Personality type was determined by the amount of impatience, competitiveness, and hostility reported Weaknesses and observed during the interview. On the basis of this participants were classified CHD as A1 (Type A), A2 (not fully Type A), X (equal amounts of Type A and Type B), or B (fully Type B).  One weakness of Friedman and Rosenman’s research is that there is a problem of cause Part two of the study was the follow-up eight years later when incidence of CHD and effect. For example, rather than causing physiological reactivity, the Type A behaviour was recorded. A correlational analysis was carried out to test the association pattern may be a response to heightened physiological reactivity in some individuals. Thus, between Type A/B behaviour pattern and CHD. the direct effect can be questioned: does Type A result in increased physiological reactivity or FINDINGS is Type A a result of high levels of physiological reactivity which may be genetically determined? This suggests that there is a problem with the chicken and egg, when trying to Of the original sample of 3200, 257 participants had developed coronary heart infer causality between personality type and CHD. disease during the 8½ years, 70% of whom had been classified as Type A. This was nearly twice as many as were Type B, even when other factors (e.g.,  A second weakness of the study is that there is contradictory evidence. Shekelle et al. blood pressure, smoking, obesity) known to be associated with heart disease were (1985) conducted a longitudinal study of 12,000 men. Shekelle et al. did not find a relationship taken into account. between Type A behaviour and heart disease. This suggests that Type A behaviour cannot Type As were found to have higher levels of cholesterol, adrenaline, and provide a full explanation for coronary heart disease and refutes Friedman and Rosenman’s noradrenaline than Type Bs. A significant but moderate correlation was found findings. between personality type and coronary heart disease.  A further weakness is the research lacked validity. The reason for this is because it did not CONCLUSIONS precisely measure what it set out to. Later research by Matthews et al. (1977), who re- The research shows that Type A behaviour pattern is strongly linked to CHD. Friedman analysed the data, found that hostility correlated highest with CHD. Thus, hostility, rather than and Rosenman concluded that the Type A behaviour pattern increases the individual's Type A in general, may explain the findings. This suggests that the research is difficult to experience of stress, which increases physiological reactivity, and that in turn increases measure. vulnerability to CHD. The high levels of the stress hormones suggest that they do Potential Exam Questions: 1. Explain what is meant by cardiovascular disorders (3 marks) 2. Describe the aims and conclusions of one study that has investigated the relationship between stress and cardiovascular disorders (6 marks) 3. Describe and evaluate whether research (theories and/or studies) supports the view that stress is linked to cardiovascular disorders (18 marks)
  • 2. LT3: Stress and Cardiovascular Disorders (CHD)  A final weakness is that the research is reductionist. The reason for this is because experience more stress than Type Bs. The stress response stops digestion, which leads Rosenhan and Seligman only focus on the physical factors that cause CHD. It is also to the higher level of cholesterol in the blood, and this places Type As at risk of CHD. necessary to consider the cognitive, emotional, and behavioural factors e.g., consider the Implications include the need to reduce the quot;harmfulquot; Type A characteristics. effect of cognitive appraisal in perception of stress as proposed by the transactional model. Thus, to fully account for the relationship between stress and illness a multi-perspective is needed. This suggests that this research is oversimplistic. Potential Exam Questions: 1. Explain what is meant by cardiovascular disorders (3 marks) 2. Describe the aims and conclusions of one study that has investigated the relationship between stress and cardiovascular disorders (6 marks) 3. Describe and evaluate whether research (theories and/or studies) supports the view that stress is linked to cardiovascular disorders (18 marks)
  • 3. LT3: Stress and Cardiovascular Disorders (CHD) ESSAY PLAN: A02 ESSAY PLAN: A01 Describe and evaluate one … ESSAY PLAN: A01 Describe and evaluate two… Potential Exam Questions: 1. Explain what is meant by cardiovascular disorders (3 marks) 2. Describe the aims and conclusions of one study that has investigated the relationship between stress and cardiovascular disorders (6 marks) 3. Describe and evaluate whether research (theories and/or studies) supports the view that stress is linked to cardiovascular disorders (18 marks)
  • 4. LT3: Stress and Cardiovascular Disorders (CHD) Additional A01 and A02 Material You can use the following material below as either A01 or Ao2 material. Remember if you use it as A02 you need to jam sandwich it so it has a top and bottom layer of bread. Potential Exam Questions: 1. Explain what is meant by cardiovascular disorders (3 marks) 2. Describe the aims and conclusions of one study that has investigated the relationship between stress and cardiovascular disorders (6 marks) 3. Describe and evaluate whether research (theories and/or studies) supports the view that stress is linked to cardiovascular disorders (18 marks)
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