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02/06/2012

Thesis Proposal - The Role Of Stress In Diseases


 

The Role Of Stress In Disease

 

Stress is within the individual and occurs when factors outside the individual demand a response. Stress is equated with an inability to concentrate, feelings of tension and anxiety, and other emotional and physical indicators. Others may take a situational-based view seeing stress as an innate characteristic of a particular event or situation, producing a strain within the individual. Deadlines, irate customers, and uncooperative coworkers are just a few stressors which may produce a strain because of their nature. Or some of us may integrate the response-based and situational-based views into a transactional view and believe that stress occurs when an individual perceives that external demands are greater than the individual's ability to meet them. In this case, stress is a "perceptional phenomenon resulting from a comparison between the demand on a person and his ability to cope. An imbalance in this mechanism, when coping is important, gives rise to the experience of stress, and to the stress response" (Cox, 25).

Stress can result in physical, psychological, and behavioral responses. Stress has been implicated as contributing to a variety of physical disorders that include heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, migraine headaches, cancer, gastrointestinal disorders. (Murray & Schoenborn, 90) along with asthma, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis (Fleming & Baum, 120). One study reported that a company spent $3,400 annually for one employee with anxiety headaches, which included the loss of productivity, doctor visits, and negative effects on coworkers (Manning & Curtis, 20). Psychological disorders are not always readily identifiable, but symptoms include anxiety, depression, job dissatisfaction, maladaptive behavioral patterns, chemical dependencies, and alcohol abuse (Sauter, Murphy, & Hurrell, 1150).

The research on stress is somewhat ill-defined and amorphous, with various literatures, perspectives, and terminologies offered by those who study job stress, coping behaviors, health and well-being, stressful life events, and other topics. This state of affairs can be daunting even to the most well-intentioned reader and suggests the value of delimiting briefly what it means to examine stress and performance. According to Salas, Driskell, and Hughes (21), stress is defined as a process by which certain environmental demands evoke an appraisal process in which perceived demand exceeds resources and that result in undesirable physiological, psychological, behavioral, or social outcomes. Salas et al. offered an input-process-output model of stress in which input refers to environmental stressors such as noise, time pressure, task load, threat, and other stressors; the appraisal process refers to the evaluation of the extent of demand and available resources; and the outputs include physiological, emotional, cognitive, social, and behavioral effects.

A greater understanding of the role of stress in diseases is a fundamental thrust of this study. For this study, primary research and secondary research will be used. Primary research will be conducted using anonymous questionnaires that will be sent to employees of the respondent organizations. The questionnaires will be used to collect quantitative data and the interviews will be used to provide qualitative insights into the data collected.

The data will be analyzed and compiled for the correlation of the hypothesis. The data will then be presented by means of graphical representations and illustration and the difference would be highlighted. Through the use of different statistics, the researcher will determine the role of stress in diseases.

The dissertation shall be divided into five chapters in order to provide clarity and coherence on the discussion of the relationship of stress and diseases. The first part of the dissertation will be discussing the problem uncovered by the researcher and provide ample background on the topic. The chapter shall constitute an introduction to the whole dissertation, the hypothesis, and the statement of the problem in order to present the basis of the study. Moreover, the chapter shall also have a discussion on the scope of its study as well as the significance of the study to society in general and specific effects on individuals.

The second chapter shall be discussing the relevance of the study in the existing literature. It shall provide studies on stress, psychology, and other medical findings regarding stress. After the presentation of the existing related literature, the researcher shall provide a synthesis of the whole chapter in relation to the study.

The third part of the study shall be discussing the methods and procedures used in the study. The chapter shall comprise of the presentation of the utilized techniques for data collection and research methodology. Similarly, it shall also contain a discussion on the used techniques in data analysis as well as the tools used to acquire the said data.

The fourth chapter shall be an analysis on the tabulated data. After the said tabulation, the data are statistically treated in order to uncover the relationship of the variable involved in the study. With the said data, the chapter seeks to address the statement of the problem noted in the first chapter.

The last chapter shall comprise of three sections, the summary of the findings, the conclusions of the study, and the recommendations. With the three portions, the chapter shall be able to address the verification of the hypothesis stated in the initial chapters of the study.

Bibliography

Fleming, I. & Baum, A. “Psychobiological assessment.” Journal of Organizational Behavior, 8.2, (1986) 117-135.

Manning, G. & Curtis, K. Stress without distress - Rx for burnout. Cincinnati, OH: South-Western Publishing Co. (1988)

Sauter, S. L., Murphy, L. R., Hurrell, J. J. Jr. “Prevention of work-related psychological disorders.” American Psychologist, 45.10, (1990) 1146-1158.

Salas, E., Driskell, J. E., & Hughes, S. “Introduction: The study of stress and human performance.” In J. E. Driskell & E. Salas (Eds.), Stress and human performance (pp. 1-45). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. (1996)

Murray, L. & Schoenborn, T. (1987). U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Publication No. 87-111.

 

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