PHED/INTE-4516 Cumulative Assessment

PART 1: Symptoms of Stress

Using the table below, assess the frequency that you experience these common symptoms of stress by placing an ‘X’ in the appropriate box.

Physical SymptomNeverMore than Once every Three MonthsMore than Once Every MonthEvery WeekConstantly
Headaches     
Change in Appetite     
Stomach Ache     
Neck Pain     
Shoulder Pain     
Muscle Ache or Tension     
Backache     
Diarrhea     
Constipation     
Fatigue / Tiredness     
Frequent Illness     
Difficulty Sleeping     
Lack of Energy     
Change in Sex Drive     
Weight Change     
Rapid heart beat     
Frequent Perspiration     
Heartburn     
Rapid Breathing     
High Blood Pressure     
High Blood Sugar     

Scoring: Use the following to convert the check marks to values:

Never = 1

More than once every three Months = 2

More than once a month = 3

Weekly = 4

Constantly = 5

Add up all the values for your answers.

Interpretation

21-41 = Low physical stress reactions

42-62 = Moderate physical stress reactions

63-83 = High physical stress reactions

84-105 = Excessive stress reactions

Task 1 Reflection: First, report your score and interpret the appropriate category. Select the three most frequently experienced symptoms of stress according to the assessment above and describe their role within the stress response (e.g., cause, influences and etiology) and the potential for negative consequences in the short- and long-term (e.g., behaviourally, psychologically, ill health or disease). Your response should be a maximum of 750 words and should make reference to at least three peer reviewed journal articles (min. one per symptom) to substantiate your arguments. Provide the complete reference for the peer reviewed article following APA style formatting.

YOUR SCORE: ____________                     YOUR CATEGORY: __________

YOUR TOP THREE SYMPTOMS:

  1.  
  2.  
  3.  

YOUR RESPONSE (750 words max):

Part 2: Perceived Stress Scale

The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) is a classic stress assessment instrument. This tool, while originally developed in 1983, remains a popular choice for helping us understand how different situations affect our feelings and our perceived stress. The questions in this scale ask about your feelings and thoughts during the last month. In each case, you will be asked to indicate how often you felt or thought a certain way. Although some of the questions are similar, there are differences between them and you should treat each one as a separate question. The best approach is to answer fairly quickly. That is, don’t try to count up the number of times you felt a particular way; rather indicate the alternative that seems like a reasonable estimate.

          1. In the last month, how often have you been upset because of something that happened unexpectedly?

            2. In the last month, how often have you felt that you were unable to control the important things in your life?

            3. In the last month, how often have you felt nervous and stressed?

            4. In the last month, how often have you felt confident about your ability to handle your                                     personal problems?

            5. In the last month, how often have you felt that things were going your way?

            6. In the last month, how often have you found that you could not cope with all the things that you had to do?

            7. In the last month, how often have you been able to control irritations in your life?

            8. In the last month, how often have you felt that you were on top of things?

            9. In the last month, how often have you been angered because of things that happened that were outside of your control?

            10. In the last month, how often have you felt difficulties were piling up so high that you could not overcome them?

Figuring your PSS score:

You can determine your PSS score by following these directions:

First, reverse your scores for questions 4, 5, 7, & 8. On these 4 questions, change the scores like this: 0

= 4, 1 = 3, 2 = 2, 3 = 1, 4 = 0.

Now add up your scores for each item to get a total. My total score is                                                                  .

Individual scores on the PSS can range from 0 to 40 with higher scores indicating higher perceived stress.

Scores ranging from 0-13 would be considered low stress.

Scores ranging from 14-26 would be considered moderate stress.

Scores ranging from 27-40 would be considered high perceived stress.

Task 2: Complete the Perceived Stress Scale provided and report your score and rating below:

PSS Score:                                                      Rating:

Reflect on your result in light of our discussion on Lazarus’ Model of Appraisal (primary – secondary and reappraisal). More specifically, consider and reflect on the idea that another individual could have the exact same events and experiences in their lives for the past month and depending on their perception, their total score could have placed them in a different category than yours. How would this be possible? Provide specific examples, where possible (max. 500 words).

Part 3: Stress Coping Resources Inventory

Instructions: People differ remarkably in their responses to potentially stressful events. What are the factors associated with coping success? The questions below relate to factors most closely associated with the capacity to cope successfully with stress. BOLD YOUR RESPONSE which lists the option that you choose. Answer each question as honestly as possible.

  1. How frequently do you moderately exercise?
    1. Daily or more often
    1. Once or twice a week
    1. Once or twice a month
    1. Seldom
  • How often do you get a full, restful night of sleep?
    • Most every night
    • Four to five times a each week
    • Two to three times each week
    • Seldom
  • To what extent is your energy sufficient for our work and daily activities?
    • to a very great extent
    • to some extent
    • to little extent
    • to very little extent
  • How closely does your weight approach the ideal level?
    • My weight is at the ideal level
    • My weight is close to the idea level
    • My weight is not close to the ideal level
    • I am dangerously overweight (underweight)
  • To what extent do you eat a nutritious diet?
    • to a very great extent
    • to some extent
    • to little extent
    • to very little extent
  • Which of the following best describes your use of tobacco?
    • In no period of my life have I had the habit of smoking or chewing tobacco.
    • Early in my life for a short period I smoked or chewed tobacco
    • I stopped smoking or chewing tobacco over the past two years
    • I currently smoke or chew tobacco
  • Which of the following best describes your use of alcohol?
    • I do not abuse alcohol, and never have. (Abuse is defined as drinking more than two drinks within a short period such as an evening.)
    • Very occasionally I abuse alcohol.
    • I have a history of abusing alcohol, but am not presently abusing it.
    • I am presently abusing alcohol.
  • To what extent do you believe that you have a history of coping well with highly stressful situations?
    • to a very great extent
    • to a great extent
    • to a little extent
    • to a very little extent
  • How confident are you of being able to control your emotions in stressful situations?
    • I never let my emotions run away me.
    • I seldom let my emotions run away with me.
    • I sometimes let my emotions run away with me.
    • I often let my emotions run away with me.
  1. When things are not going well, how likely are you to view the situation as being temporary rather than permanent?
    1. very likely
    1. likely
    1. unlikely
    1. very unlikely
  1. When something bad happens to you, how likely are you to exaggerate its importance?
    1. very unlikely
    1. unlikely
    1. likely
    1. very likely
  1. When stressed by a complex situation, how likely are you to focus your attention on those aspects of the situation that you can manage?
    1. very likely
    1. likely
    1. unlikely
    1. very unlikely
  1. When highly stressed, how capable are you of changing your thinking to calm down?
    1. very capable
    1. capable
    1. incapable
    1. very incapable
  1. When confronted with a stressful situation, how likely are you to wait passively for events to develop rather than to take charge?
    1. very unlikely
    1. unlikely
    1. likely
    1. very likely
  1. Which of the following courses of action are you most likely to take when you have become thoroughly frustrated?
    1. identify an alternate goal and pursue it
    1. pursue a relaxing activity
    1. withdraw and fell sorry for yourself
    1. vent your aggression on someone weaker than you
  1. If you had worn an article of clothing one day and then found it to be flawed, how likely would you be to return it and ask for a refund?
    1. very likely
    1. likely
    1. unlikely
    1. very unlikely
  1. When an unexpected, negative event happens to you, how likely are you to actively seek information about the event and how to cope with it?
    1. very likely
    1. likely
    1. unlikely
    1. very unlikely
  1. How much decision-making power so you have in your family?
    1. more power than any other member of my family
    1. as much power as any other member of my family
    1. less power than most members of my family
    1. less power than any other member of my family
  1. How much decision-making power do you have in your working environment? (if not working outside the home at present, use your last job as a basis for answering this question.)
    1. more power than most members of my work team
    1. as much power as any other member of my work team
    1. less power than most members of my work team
    1. less power than any other member of my work team
  • To what extent do you believe that events in your life are merely the result of luck, fate, or chance?
    • to very little extent
    • to little extent
    • to some extent
    • to a great extent
  • What is your best guess as to the extent and quality of contact you had with your parent(s) shortly after birth?
    • was given an above average amount of contact by happy parent(s)
    • was given an average amount of contact by happy parent(s)
    • was given an average amount of contact by unhappy (perhaps angry) parent(s)
    • was given a below average amount of contact by unhappy (perhaps angry) parent(s)
  • During your early childhood, to what extent was your mother both calm and generally permissive?
    • to a very great extent
    • to some extent
    • to little extent
    • to very little extent
  • How easily do you make friends in a strange situation?
    • very easily
    • easily
    • uneasily
    • very uneasily
  • When highly stressed, how likely are you to ask friends or relatives for help?
    • very likely
    • likely
    • unlikely
    • very unlikely
  • In comparison with other people, how likely are you to see others as threatening, uncooperative, or exploitative?
    • highly unlikely
    • unlikely
    • likely
    • highly likely
  • How often are you confused about the intentions of others toward you?
    • very infrequently
    • infrequently
    • frequently
    • very frequently
  • To what extent are you aware of practical, healthy ways of relaxing?
    • to a very great extent
    • to some extent
    • to little extent
    • to very little extent
  • How frequently do you pursue some highly relaxing practice?
    • daily or more often
    • once or twice a week
    • once or twice a month
    • seldom
  • How often do you engage in a spiritual practice such as prayer, mediation, or inspirational reading to enrich your interior life?
    • daily or more often
    • once or twice a week
    • once or twice a month
    • seldom
  • How connected do you feel to your conception of a higher power or to a worthy cause?
    • to a very great extent
    • to some extent
    • to little extent
    • to very little extent
  • To what extent do you believe your life has purpose?
    • to a very great extent
    • to some extent
    • to little extent
    • to very little extent
  • How much contact do you have with what you would consider a spiritual community?
    • very much
    • much
    • very little
    • none

Scoring Legend

Please note that the scoring legend has been derived rationally, not empirically. Nevertheless, you might find it interesting to compute your score for each of the scales below using the following legend: ‘a’ = 4; ‘b’= 3; ‘c’ = 2; ‘d’ = 1.

Interpreting Your Score. A perfect score on each scale would be 4. With this in mind, we might construct the following interpretive key:

An overall score of 3.5+ suggests you may be a superior stress coper.

An overall score of 2.5-3.4 suggests you may be an above average stress coper.

An overall score of 1.5-2.4 suggests you may be an average stress coper.

An overall score of less than 1.5 suggests you may be a below average stress coper.

Task 3A: Complete the Stress Coping Resources Inventory provided and report your scores on the scales below:

Wellness Scale (sum of scores for questions 1-7 divided by 7)           
Thought Control Scale (sum of scores for questions 8-13, divided by 6)           
Active Coping Scale (sum of scores for questions 14-20, divided by7)           
Social Ease Scale (sum of scores for questions 21-26, divided by 6)           
Tension reduction Scale (sum of scores for questions 27-28, divided by 2)            
Spiritual Practice Scale (sum of scores for questions 29-32 divided by 4)           
Overall Score (sum of the scale scores above, divided by 6)           

Overall Score:                                               Interpretation:

Task 3B: Reflection Activity. Reflect on the results of the Stress Coping Resources Inventory and provide a critical appraisal of where you are currently situated with regard to your coping activity relative to your symptoms and perceptions of stress (also consider drawing on examples from Part 1 and 2 of this assignment), max. 500 words.

Task 3C: Next, provide an overview of at least two stress management coping strategies (e.g., interventions; roadblocks) you feel will be most beneficial for you over the coming term. For each of the strategies, make reference to at least one peer reviewed journal article to justify its selection, specific to you. Be sure to reference the complete article following APA style formatting, max. 500 words.

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