PSY 100 Get Off Your Computer Assignment #1

Applying Psychology to YourLife: Developing your Stress/Health Profile

As noted in your text, chronic stress (long-term reactions tostressors) and daily hassles can be damaging to your physical andpsychological health. No one can avoid stress. However, there are anumber of factors that can either contribute to becoming overwhelmedby stress or to flourishing in spite of it. For example, having asense of control, social support, relaxation, and a sense of meaningcan all contribute to effectively combating the effects of stress.

In this exercise, you will complete a number of scales to help youdetermine your stress level, how you respond to and cope with stress,and resources you have to combat stress. You will use the results ofthese scales to develop your personal stress profile. To make theexercise more fun, you might want to have you partner, spouse, orfriend complete the scales too. That way you can compare your stressprofiles.

WHAT YOU MUST DO TO CREATE YOUR PROFILE

Print, complete, and score the followingscales. Do NOT READ HOW TO SCORE A SCALE UNTIL AFTER YOU HAVECOMPLETED IT.

  1. Stressed Out

  2. Susceptibility to Stress (SUS)

  3. Response to Stress Scale

  4. Are you a Type A or Type B?

  5. Coping with Stress

  6. Multidimensional Health Locus of Control

  7. Locus of Control

  8. Life Orientation Test

Using the above information, write aself-reflection that includes all of the following:

1. Your scores on each of the above scales and a statement about whatthe scores mean to you.

2. A summary of your stressors (catastrophes, significant lifechanges, daily hassles).

3. A summary of what you might do to reduce your stress.

4. Relate your self-reflection to the information provided in yourtext.

FOR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION – PEASE BESURE TO READ THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THE COURSE OUTLINE UNDERASSIGNMENTS (Assignment 1: Health Stress Profile).

Scale #1 Stressed Out?

This scale will assess your general level of stress.

Indicate your degree of agreement with each statement by placing anumber in the blank before it. Use the following scale.

4 = very often

3 = fairly often

2 = sometimes

1 = almost never

0 = never

1. How often have youbeen upset because of something that happened unexpectedly?

2. How often have youfelt that you were unable to control the important things in yourlife?

3. How often have youfelt nervous and “stressed”?

4. How often have youfelt confident about your ability to handle your personal problems?

5. How often have youfelt that things were going your way?

6. How often have youbeen able to control irritations in your life?

7. How often have youfound that you could not cope with all the things that you had to do?

8. How often have youfelt that you were on top of things?

9. How often have youbeen angered because of things that were outside your control?

10. How often have youfelt difficulties were piling up so high that you could not overcomethem?

In obtaining your total score,use the following scale to reverse the number you placed before items4, 5, 6, and 8: 4 = 0, 3 = 1, 2 = 2, 1 = 3, and 0 = 4. Then, add thenumbers in front of all 10 items.

How You Measure Up

Stress levels vary amongindividuals-compare your total score to the averages below:

AGE GENDER MARITAL STATUS

18-29….14.2 Men12.1 Widowed 12.6

30-44 13.0 Women 13.7 Married or living with 12.4

45-54 12.6 Single ornever wed 14.1

55-64 11.9 Divorced 14.7

65-over 12.0 Separated16.6

Scale # 2 Susceptibility to Stress (SUS)

How susceptible you are tostress depends upon a mix of your health behaviors, life-style, andresources for coping with stress. This test will help you determineyour level of susceptibility and the factors that contribute to it.Fill in 1 ( ALMOST ALWAYS) to 5 (NEVER) according to how much of thetime an item is true of you.

___ 1. I eat at least onehot, balanced meal a day.

___ 2. I get 7-8 hours sleepat least 4 nights a week.

___ 3. I give and receiveaffection regularly.

___ 4. I have at least onerelative within 50 miles on whom I can rely.

___ 5. I exercise to thepoint of perspiration at least twice a week.

___ 6. I avoid tobacco use(cigarettes, pipe, cigars, snuff, chewing tobacco).

___ 7. I consume fewer than 5alcoholic drinks per week.

___ 8. I am the appropriateweight for my height.

___ 9. I have an incomeadequate to meet basic expenses.

___ 10. I get strength from myreligious beliefs.

___ 11. I regularly attendclub or social activities.

___ 12. I have a network offriends and acquaintances.

___ 13. I have one or morefriends to confide in about personal matters.

___ 14. I am in good health(including eyesight, hearing, teeth).

___ 15. I am able to speakopenly about my feelings when angry or worried.

___ 16. I have regularconversations with the people I live with about domestic problems(e.g., chores, money, and daily living issues).

___ 17. I do something for funat least once a week.

___ 18. I am able to organizemy time effectively.

___ 19 I drink fewer than 3cups of coffee (or tea or cola drinks) per day.

___ 20. I take quiet time formyself during the day.

___ 21. I have an optimisticoutlook on life.

Source: Susceptibility toStress scale from the Stress Audit, version 5.0-OS, developed by LyleH. Miller and Alma Dell Smite. Copyright 1987, 1994 BiobehavioralInstitute of Boston.

Scoring:To obtain your total score, simply add the numbers you placed infront of the 21 items, and subtract 21. Any number over 32 indicatessusceptibility to stress. A total score between 52 and 77 suggestsserious susceptibility, and over 77 means extreme susceptibility.

Scale 3# Response to Stress

Indicate how often each of the following happens to you, either whenyou are experiencing stress or following exposure to a significantstressor. Use the following scale:

0 = never

1 = once a year

2 = every few months

3 = every few weeks

4 = once or more each week

5 = daily

Cardiovascularsymptoms Skin symptoms

_2__ Heart pounding _0__Acne

_1__ Heart racking or beatingerratically _0__ Excessive dryness of skin or hair

_0__ Cold, sweatyhands _0__ Dandruff

_2__ Headaches _2__Perspiration

_5__ Subtotal _2__Subtotal

Respiratorysymptoms Immunitysymptoms

_2__ Rapid, erratic, orshallow breathing _0__ Allergy flare-up

_0__ Shortness ofbreath _2__ Catching colds

_0__ Asthma attack _2__Catching the flu

_0__ Difficulty in speakingbecause of poor breathing _0__ Skin rash

_2__ Subtotal _4__Subtotal

Gastrointestinalsymptoms Metabolicsymptoms

_0__ Upset stomach, nausea, orvomiting _0__ Increased appetite

_2__ Constipation _0_Increased craving for tobacco or sweets

_0__ Diarrhea _3__Thoughts racing or difficulty sleeping

_0__ Sharp abdominalpains _2__ Feelings of crawling or nervousness

_2__ Subtotal _5__Subtotal

Muscular symptoms _22__Overall symptomatictotal (add all

_2__ Headaches (steadypain) sevensubtotals)

_0__ Back or shoulder pains

_0__ Muscle tremors or handsshaking

_0__ Arthritis

_2__ Subtotal

Source: Allen, R., &amp Hyde,D. (1980). Investigationsin stress control,Burgess Publishing, Minn.

Score: Total scores between 0 and 35 indicate a low level of physicalstress symptoms and little danger to long-tem physical health. Scoresbetween 36 and 75 are judged to be average and are associated with anincreased likelihood of phychophysiological illness. However, theremay be no immediate threat to physical health. Scores between 76 and140 suggest excessive physical stress symptoms respondents with suchhigh scores should probably take deliberate action to reduce theirlevel of stress and thus to ward off the possibility ofpsychophysiological disorder.

Scale # 4: Are You a Type A or a Type B?

You can get a general idea of which personality type you more closelyresemble by responding to the following statements. Reach eachstatement and circle one of the numbers that follow it, depending onwhether the statement is definitely true for you, mostly true, mostlyfalse, or definitely false. Scoring is explained below.

1 = definitely true 2 = mostly true 3 = mostly false 4 =definitely false

1. I am more restless andfidgety than most people. 1 2 (3) 4

2. In comparison with mostpeople I know, I’m not very involved in my work. 1 2 3 (4)

3. I ordinarily work quicklyand energetically. (1) 2 3 4

4. I rarely have troublefinishing my work. (1) 2 3 4

5. I hate giving up before I’mabsolutely sure I’m licked. (1) 2 3 4

6. I am rather deliberate intelephone conversations. 1 (2) 3 4

7. I am often in ahurry. 1 2 (3) 4

8. I am somewhat relaxed aboutmy work. 1 (2) 3 4

9. My achievements areconsidered to be significantly higher than those of

most people Iknow. 1 (2) 3 4

10. Tailgating bothers me morethan a car in front slowing me up. 1 (2) 3 4

11. In conversation, I oftengesture with hands and head. 1 (2) 3 4

12. In rarely drive a car toofast. 1 2 (3) 4

13. I prefer work in which Ican move around. 1 (2) 3 4

14. People consider me to berather quiet. 1 2 3 (4)

15. Sometimes I think Ishouldn’t work so hard, but something drives me. 1 (2) 3 4

16. I usually speak moresoftly than most people. 1 (2) 3 4

17. My handwriting is ratherfast. 1 (2) 3 4

18. I often work slowly anddeliberately. 1 2 3 (4)

19. I thrive on challengingsituations. The more challenges I have the better. 1 (2) 3 4

20. I prefer to linger over ameal and enjoy it. (1) 2 3 4

21. I like to drive a carrather fast when there is not speed limit. (1) 2 3 4

22. I like work that is nottoo challenging. 1 2 (3) 4

23. In general, I approach mywork more seriously than most people I know. (1) 2 3 4

24. I talk more slowly thanmost people. 1 2 (3) 4

25. I’ve often been asked tobe an officer of some group or groups. 1 (2) 3 4

26. I often let a problem workitself out by waiting. 1 2 3 (4)

27. I often try to persuadeothers to my point of view. (1) 2 3 4

28. I generally walk moreslowly than most people. 1 2 (3) 4

29. I eat rapidly even whenthere is plenty of time. 1 2 3 (4)

30. I usually workfast. 1 (2) 3 4

31. I get very impatient whenI’m behind a slow driver and can’t pass. 1 (2) 3 4

32. It makes me mad when I seepeople not living up to their potential. (1) 2 3 4

33. I enjoy being aroundchildren. (1) 2 3 4

34. I prefer walking tojogging. (1) 2 3 4

35. When I’m in the expressline at the supermarket, I count the number of

items the person aheadof me has and comment if it’s over the limit. 1 2 3 (4)

36. I enjoy reading forpleasure. (1) 2 3 4

37. I have high standards formyself and others. (1) 2 3 4

38. I like hanging aroundtalking to my friends. 1 (2) 3 4

39. I often feel that othersare taking advantage of me or being inconsiderate. 1 2 (3) 4

40. If someone is in a hurry,I don’t mind letting her or her go ahead of me. (1) 2 3 4.

Scoring:

For each statement, twonumbers represent Type A answers and two numbers represent Type Banswers. Use the scoring sheet to determine how many TYPE A and TypeB answers you gave. For example, if you circled 1, definitely true,for the first statement, you chose a Type A answer. Add up all yourType A answers and give yourself plus 1 point for each of them. Addup all of your Type B answers and give yourself minus 1 point forthem.

1. 1, 2 = A 3, 4 = B 11. 1,2, = A 3, 4 = B 21. 1, 2 = A 3, 4 = B 31. 1, 2 =A 3, 4 = B

2. 1, 2 = B 3, 4 = A 12. 1, 2= B 3, 4 = A 22. 1, 2 = B 3, 4 =A 32. 1, 2 = A 3, 4 = B

3. 1, 2 = A 3, 4 = B 13. 1, 2= A 3, 4 = B 23. 1, 2 = A 3, 4 = B 33. 1, 2 = B 3, 4 = A

4. 1, 2 = B 3, 4 = A 14. 1, 2= B 3, 4 = A 24. 1, 2 = B 3, 4 = A 34. 1, 2, = B 3, 4 = A

5. 1, 2, = A 3, 4 = B 15. 1,2 = A 3, 4 = B 25. 1, 2 = A 3, 4 = B 35. 1, 2 = A 3, 4 = B

6. 1, 2 = B 3, 4 = A 16. 1, 2= B 3, 4 = A 26. 1, 2 = B 3, 4 = A 36. 1, 2 = B 3, 4 = A

7. 1, 2 = A 3, 4 = B 17. 1, 2= A 3, 4 = B 27. 1, 2 = A 3, 4 = B 37. 1, 2 = A 3, 4 = B

8. 1, 2 = B 3, 4 = A 18. 1, 2= B 3, 4 = A 28. 1, 2 = B 3, 4 = A 38. 1, 2 = B 3, 4 = A

9. 1, 2 = A 3, 4 = B 19. 1, 2= A 3, 4 = B 29. 1, 2 = A, 3, 4 = B 39 1, 2 = A 3, 4 = B

10.1, 2 = B 3, 4 = A 20. 1, 2= B 3, 4 = A 30. 1, 2 = A 3, 4 = B 40. 1, 2 = B 3, 4 = A

Total number of Type Aanswers: __24___x 1 point each = __ 24

Total number of Type Banswers: __16___x -1 point each = _ -16

Total score (add linesabove) ___8___

Determine your personalitytype based on your total score:

+ 20 to + 40 = Definite A

+1 to + 19 = Moderate A

0 to – 19 = Moderate B

-20 to -40 = Definite B

Source: Insel, P.M., &ampRoth, W. T. (1998). Wellness Worksheets to accompany Core Concepts inHealth, 8/e. Worksheet #10. Copyright 1998 Mayfield PublishingCompany.

Scale # 5: Coping with Stress

Different people use different strategies for coping with stress.Some strategies are clearly problem-focused, some areemotion-focused, and some are avoidance-focused. This scale will helpyou to identify which strategy you tend to use most often.

Take few minutes to identify the most important problem you havefaced during the last year. Then, using the scale below, indicate howoften you used each of the following strategies to deal with it.

0 = Not at all 1 = A little 2 = Occasionally 3 = Fairly often

___ 1. Took things a day at a time.

___ 2. Got away from things for a while.

___ 3. Tried to find out more about the situation.

___ 4. Tried to reduce tension by drinking more.

___ 5. Talked with a professional person (e.g., doctor, lawyer,clergy).

___ 6. Made a promise to myself that things would be different nexttime.

___ 7. Prepared for the worst.

___ 8. Let my feeling out somehow.

___9. Took it out on other people when I felt angry or depressed.

__ 10. Prayed for guidance and/or strength.

__ 11. Accepted it nothing could be done.

__ 12. Talked with spouse or another relative about the problem.

__ 13. Talked with a friend about the problem.

__ 14. Tried to reduce tension by taking more tranquilizing drugs.

__ 15. Told myself things that helped me feel better.

__ 16. Kept my feelings to myself.

__ 17. Bargained or compromised to get something positive from thesituation.

__ 18. Tried to reduce tension by exercising more.

__ 19. Tried to reduce tension by smoking more.

__ 20. Tried to see the positive side of the situation.

__ 21. Considered several alternatives for handling the problem.

__ 22. Made a plan of action and followed it.

__ 23. Went over the situation in my mind to try to understand it.

__ 24. Tried to reduce tension by eating more.

__ 25. Got busy with other things to keep my mind off the problem.

__ 26. Drew on my past experiences.

__ 27. Avoided being with people in general.

__ 28. I knew what had to be done and tried harder to make thingswork.

__ 29. Tried to step back from the situation and be more objective.

__ 30. Refused to believe that it happened.

__ 31. Sought help from persons or groups with similar experiences.

__ 32. Tried not to act too hastily or follow my first hunch.

Source: Holahan, C., &amp Moos, R. (1987). Personal and contextualdeterminants of coping strategies. Journal of Personality andSocial Psychology, 52, 946-955.

Coping Strategies: You can calculate your average score for eachsubscale to determine what strategy you tend to use more.

Active-cognitive (active efforts to construct thoughtsto help cope with the problems): items 1, 6, 7, 10, 11, 15, 20, 21,23, 26, and 29. Add the scores for these items to get a total.

Active-behavioral (active efforts to change thesituation): items 2, 3, 5, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 22, 25, 28, 31, and 32.Add the scores for these items to get a total.

Avoidance (trying to keep the problem out of awareness:items 4, 9, 14, 16, 19, 24, 27, and 30. Add the scores for theseitems to get a total.

Calculate your average on each subscale by dividing your total by thenumber of items on that scale (i.e. cognitive = total/11 = youraverage behavioral = total/13 = your average avoidance = total/8 =your average)

Scale # 6: Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scales

Indicate your degree of agreement with each statement by placing anumber in the blank before it. Use the following scale.

6 = strongly agree

5 = moderately agree

4 = slightly agree

3 = slightly disagree

2 = moderately disagree

1 = strongly disagree

___ 1. If I get sick, it is my own behavior that determines how soonI get well.

___ 2. I am in control of my health.

___ 3. When I get sick, I am to blame.

___ 4. The main thing that affects my health is what I myself do.

___ 5. It I take care of myself, I can avoid illness.

___ 6. If I take the right actions, I can stay healthy.

___TOTAL

___ 7. Having regular contact with my physician is the best way forme to avoid illness.

___ 8. Whenever I don’t feel well, I should consult a medicallytrained professional.

___ 9. My family has a lot to do with my becoming sick or stayinghealthy.

___ 10. Health professionals control my health.

___ 11. When I recover from an illness, it’s usually because otherpeople (e.g., doctors,

nurses, family, and friends) have been taking good careof me.

___12. Regarding my health, I can only do what my doctor tells me todo.

___ TOTAL

___ 13. No matter what I do, if I am going to get sick, I will getsick.

___ 14. Most things that affect my health happen to me by accident.

___ 15. Luck plays a big part in determining how soon I will recoverfrom an illness.

___ 16. My good health is largely a matter of good fortune.

___ 17. No matter what I do, I’m likely to get sick.

___ 18 If it’s meant to be, I will stay healthy.

___ TOTAL

Source: Wallston, K., &amp DeVellis, R. Development of themultidimensional health locus of control scales. Health Educationand Behavior, 6, 160-179.

The first six items measure internal health locus of control (onefeels personal control over his or her health), items 7 through 12asses “powerful others” health locus of control (for example,physicians may control one’s health), and the last six itemsmeasure chance health locus of control (health is due to fate, luck,or chance).

You simply add the numbers in the blanks. Scores between 23 and 30 onany subscale indicate strong support of that dimension. Scoresbetween 15 and 22 reflect moderate support scores between 6 and 14suggest low support.

Scale # 7: Locus of Control

This scale measures one’s sense of control in personal achievementsituations.

Indicate the extent to which each of the following statements appliesto you. Use the following scale:

1 = disagree strongly

2 = disagree

3 = disagree slightly

4 = neither agree nor disagree

5 = agree slightly

6 = agree

7 = agree strongly

___ 1. When I get what I want, it’s usually because I worked hardfor it.

___ 2. When I make plans, I am almost certain to make them work.

___ 3. I prefer games involving some luck over games requiring pureskill.

___ 4. I can learn almost anything if I set my mind to it.

___ 5. My major accomplishments are entirely due to my hard work andability.

___ 6. I usually don’t set goals because I have a hard timefollowing through on them.

___ 7. Competition discourages excellence.

___ 8. Often people get ahead just by being lucky.

___ 9. On any sort of exam or competition, I like to know how well Ido relative to

everyone else.

___ 10. It’s pointless to keep working on something that’s toodifficult for me.

Source: Paulhus, D. (1983). Sphere-specific measures of perceivedcontrol. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44,1253-1265.

Scoring: Reverse the numbers you placed before statements 3, 6, 7, 8,and 10 (i.e., 1 = 7, 2 ==6, 3 = 5, 5 = 3, 6 = 2, 7 = 1). Then add thenumbers in front of all items.

The average for college males on this scale = 51.8 and for females =52.2. The higher the score, the greater the sense of an internallocus of control.

Scale # 8: Scheier &amp Carver’s Life Orientation Test

This scale assesses a person’s optimism, or more specifically, aperson’s expectations regarding the favorability of futureoutcomes.

Indicate the extent to which you agree with each of the followingstatements using the following response scale:

0 = strongly disagree

1 = disagree

2 = neutral

3 = agree

4 = strongly agree

Place the appropriate number in the blank before each item.

___ 1. In uncertain times, I usually expect the best.

___ 2. It’s easy for me to relax.

___ 3. If something can go wrong for me, it will.

___ 4. I always look on the bright side of thinks.

___ 5. I’m always optimistic about my future.

___ 6. I enjoy my friends a lot.

___ 7. It’s important for me to keep busy.

___ 8. I hardly ever expect things to go my way.

___ 9. Things never work out the way I want them to.

___ 10. I don’t get upset too easily.

___ 11. I’m a believer in the idea that “every cloud has a silverlining.”

___ 12. I rarely count on good things happening to me.

Source: Scheier, M.F., et al. (1985). Scheier &amp Carver’s LiveOrientation Test. Health Psychology, 4 219-247.

Scoring: First reverse your responses on items 3, 8, 9, and 12 (0 =4, 1 = 3, 2 =2, 3 = 1, 4 = 0) and then add up the total responses foritems 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, and 12 to obtain a final score (items 2,6, 7, and 10 are filler items). Scores can range from 0 to 32, withhigher scores reflecting greater optimism. The mean score isapproximately 21.