What is Stress?
Stress is a type of psychological feeling of emotional or physical tension. Stress can arise in a person’s life from any life event or incident that took place which makes the person feel angry, disturbed, or nervous.
Measuring the stress
The Social Readjustment and Rating scale (SRRS) - Holmes and Rahe (1967)
What it is?
- Holmes and Rahe developed a 43 questions questionnaire which is termed the social readjustment and rating scale (SRRS) which is used for identifying the major stressful life events (Holmes and Rahe, 1967).
- Major stressful life events affect the mental and physical health of a person.
- The bigger the event the more will be the impact of the stress on the person.
- They looked upon 2500 sailors and provided them with the SRRS to assess how many stressful life events they had experienced in the previous 6 months of the tour of duty (Holmes and Rahe, 1967).
- They rounded up almost 250 sailors out of them and asked them to score the life events depending on the amount of adjustment they had to make because of the events.
How is it carried out?
Figure 1: Social Readjustment and rating scale
It concludes that there is a significant relationship between the life change units and health. Therefore, as the life change units will increase depending on the impact of the life event, the frequency of the illness will also increase.
My results of the questionnaire
My results showed that I have 260 life change units which indicate that I have a 50% chance of suffering from stress.
- I have observed that this scale is very low on a scientific base as the life change units depend on the psychic energy that a person has and how traumatic the life event was.
- This only provides the idea about the life events and the illness and avoids one of the most important factors which is “cause”.
- The HSUP includes 117 items in the Hassle scale and a 135 uplifts scale to analyze the relationship between the hassle and health of a person (Kanner et al. 1981).
- The events are rated depending on their severity for the hassles and frequency for the uplifts.
- Each participant was asked to circle the events they had experienced in the previous month and rate each of the events according to its severity.
- Each participant was tested once a month for 10 consecutive months.
- It is observed that there is a positive correlation between the daily hassles and uplifts related to health and illness.
- Higher scale reading indicates higher risk to mental illness.
- This scale contains a questionnaire that has 252 questions which can make feel bored.
- The correlations provide an effective platform for future research or analysis prospects.
Hassle and Uplifts Scale (HSUP) - Kanner (1981)
Figure 2: Daily Hassle and uplift scale
Occupational stress (Swedish Sawmill Workers, 1978)
This study aims to investigate the relationship between levels of workplace stress and productivity by analyzing workers from two of the groups.
- Working on the line, managing and handling the pieces of machinery, and starting from the initiation to the finishing of the products (Johansson et al. 1978).
- The working hours and the rate of working of the workers will impact the amount of money the whole group will earn.
- The huge amount of physical strain on the body of the workers can lead to physical illness and sometimes mental illness as well.
The workers working in this group are provided with a positive and flexible work environment where they were allowed to work in the maintenance and cleaning departments.
- The workers of group A are always indulged in physical efforts which indicates that their adrenaline rush is very high (Johansson et al. 1978).
- The workers of group B are subjected to perform both physical and maintenance tasks due to which their adrenaline rush rises after the first shift of working hours.
- Group B workers are more sensible and have good senses of well-being on the other hand the workers belonging to group A.
- It concludes that the stress level is higher for the workers of group A in comparison to the workers of group B.
- It is recommended that the workers of group A must be provided with the required amount of support in their workplace rosters ).
Measuring psychological Heart rate
In this study, I measured the heart rate of my friends before and after showing them a very disturbing explosion video.
Participants X, Y, and Z
- Took a reading of the heart rates of the participants
- Each of the participants watches the 2-minute long video of the Beirut explosion which is a public videos available on the internet.
- After the video, I took the heart rate reading again.
- I used the “Radha-Krishna” flute tune and asked them to listen to them and breathe deeply which will help their mind to calm down.
- At last, another reading was taken.
- Before watching the video:
X: 71bpm, Y: 65bpm, Z: 40bpm
- After watching the video:
X: 88bpm, Y: 89bpm, Z: 64bpm
- After listening to the calming music:
X: 68bpm, Y: 73bpm, Z: 42bpm
Figure 3: Psychological heart rate measurements
(Source: Created by self)
From the graph, it can be concluded that two of my friends faced a sudden increase in their heart rate due to the disturbing content of the video and I also observed that their heart rates fall after listening to the smooth calming music. I also observed that X and Y had the most impactful session.
Personality type A and type B
Personality type A
- People belonging to this personality type are very extroverted, competitive, hostile, and time-urgent.
- These people are highly prone to heart diseases.
- People belonging to this personality type majorly face blood pressure issues (Rosenman et al. 1976).
- People belonging to this personality type are relaxed, introverted, easy-going.
- These people have fewer chances to acquire heart diseases.
- The people belonging to this personality type are less prone to blood pressure issues (Rosenman et al. 1975).
Personality type B
Friedman and Rosenman conducted an empirical group study to test their hypothesis that type A personalities are more prone to heart disease than type B personalities people. They selected a group of 3154 men belonging to the age group of 39-59 years from the past eight and a half years (Rosenman et al. 1975).
- It was observed that people belonging to the personality A type are more than twice the number of people belonging to the type B personality.
- Almost 70% of the people were observed belonging to type A personality (Ragland and Brand, 1988).
- Type A people are more exposed to an environment where they can indulge in a fight with others, they are highly aggressive.
- The people belonging to the type A personality are at high risk of acquiring the stress hormones which indicates that they will face stress-related issues more often.
- In this study, only men were analyzed therefore it does not provide any suitable evidence related to the behaviors or personality types for the women.
- Some researchers also observed that the death rate of the people belonging to type A is lower than the people belonging to the type B personality.
Gender and stress
It is observed that women are more likely to get affected because of the stress in comparison to men. In 2012, American Psychological Association conducted a survey with a sample size of 100 men and women each to analyze the “physical symptoms of stress in men and women”. 11 symptoms were considered which leads to stress in men and women. The results of this survey indicates that almost 28% of the women face physical and mental illness due to stress whereas 20% of the men are affected due to stress and get affected . The physical symptoms of stress in men and women survey provides the idea that almost half of the women surveyed observed that stress has increased in the past 5-6 years. On the other hand, the number of men who observed the increase in the amount of stress level is almost 10% lower than women. Tension-type pain is very much common in women. It is also observed that the women are much exposed to depression and anxiety because of the stressful environment they tackle daily (Nelson and Burke, 2002).
Culture and stress
Culture and stress are interlinked with each other and difference in the culture in the social or work environment has been one of the most prominent reasons behind the increase in the stress. The cultural difference affects the coping mechanism of the people as there is a lack of social support for the people which results in lowering the belief in themselves (Spradley and Phillips, 1972).
In the UK the social norm which is used in Monogamy whereas in many other countries the social norm is polygamy which indicates the people belonging to different cultures follow different norms which is one of the main reasons a sense of isolation is faced by people belong to small groups of different cultures which increases the stress among the people (Ravalier, 2019).
Evaluating the use of correlations method
To measure the stress and analyze the effect of the stress on the people it is very essential to use the correlations method as it helps to analyze two or more variables together and get the best idea about what to look about (Fu et al. 2012). The correlations method is a statistical analysis which is used for analyzing the strength of the links between two of the quantitative variables. The correlations method is used in order to forecast the events with the help of the current data and knowledge. It also provides the idea about the affect of those forecasted events. This method is considered to be a simple and effective one, but the interpretation of the calculation varies based on the viewpoints of the researchers. For example, an article was published in the LA Times in the year 2010 discussing the fact that if a child born his or her mother resides in almost 1000 ft. of a freeway is more exposed to acquiring autism. Later, it was disclosed in an interview that for autism residing within 1000 ft of the freeway cannot be the only reason as it can be hereditary or it can happen due to the amount of pollution in the nearby environment of the pregnant mothers or newly born infants.
Fu, P., Johnson, S.M., Settgast, R.R. and Carrigan, C.R., 2012. Generalized displacement correlation method for estimating stress intensity factors. Engineering Fracture Mechanics, 88, pp.90-107.
Holmes, T.H. and Rahe, R.H., 1967. The social readjustment rating scale. Journal of psychosomatic research.
Johansson, G., Aronsson, G. and Lindstrom, B.O., 1978. Social psychological and neuroendocrine stress reactions in highly mechanised work. Ergonomics, 21(8), pp.583-599.
Kanner, A.D., Coyne, J.C., Schaefer, C. and Lazarus, R.S., 1981. Comparison of two modes of stress measurement: Daily hassles and uplifts versus major life events. Journal of behavioral medicine, 4(1), pp.1-39.
Nelson, D.L. and Burke, R.J., 2002. Gender, work stress, and health (pp. xii-260). American Psychological Association.
Ragland, D.R. and Brand, R.J., 1988. Coronary heart disease mortality in the Western Collaborative Group Study: follow-up experience of 22 years. American Journal of Epidemiology, 127(3), pp.462-475.
Ravalier, J.M., 2019. Psycho-social working conditions and stress in UK social workers. The British Journal of Social Work, 49(2), pp.371-390.
Rosenman, R.H., Brand, R.J., Jenkins, C.D., Friedman, M., Straus, R. and Wurm, M., 1975. Coronary heart disease in the Western Collaborative Group Study: Final follow-up experience of 8 1/2 years. Jama, 233(8), pp.872-877.
Rosenman, R.H., Brand, R.J., Sholtz, R.I. and Friedman, M., 1976. Multivariate prediction of coronary heart disease during 8.5 year follow-up in the Western Collaborative Group Study. The American journal of cardiology, 37(6), pp.903-910.
Spradley, J.P. and Phillips, M., 1972. Culture and Stress: A Quantitative Analysis 1. American Anthropologist, 74(3), pp.518-529.
www.latimes.com (2010). Proximity to freeways increases the autism risk, study finds. Available at https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2010-dec-16-la-he-autism-20101217-story.html [Accessed on 8th March 2021]
www.psychologyhub.co.uk (2021) Sources of Stress – Workplace stress, including the effects of work load and control. Available at https://psychologyhub.co.uk/sources-of-stress-workplace-stress-including-the-effects-of-work-load-and-control/ [Accessed on 8th March 2021]