Material Type:
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
  • Biopsychosocial Model
  • Change Model
  • General Adaptation Syndrome
  • Stress
  • oss0152
  • oss01521
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
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    Education Standards

    Stress and Health - Course Map and Recommended Resources


    How to Use this Guide

    This guide provides information and resources on introducing the field of psychology as a science in an Introduction to Psychology course.  All resources are Open Access and can be downloaded or added to a Course Management System (LMS) via the hyperlinks.


    This section covers the topic of Stress and Health. Following the Ohio TAG Guidelines, Stress and Health falls within Pillar 5: Mental and Physical Health (e.g., Abnormal, Health, Therapies). As an instructor, making the connections between physical and mental health you can strengthen the connection between the units within this pillar while emphasizing  the reciprocal influences of biological, psychological, and social/interpersonal/situational factors in health and wellness.

    Learning Objectives

    1. Understand the biopsychosocial model

    2. Explain the different phases of stress

    3. Explain the general adaptation syndrome

    4. Discuss the stages of change model

    5. Understand the impact of stress on diseases and health

    6. Distinguish emotion focused coping and problem focused coping

    Cross Cutting Themes


    1. Discuss some of the ethical considerations in the research on stress.


    1. Discuss how stress can be beneficial to us.

    2. Discuss impact of stress due to different careers.

    3. Discuss impact stress has on our physical health.

    4. Identify stress reduction techniques.

    Variations in Human Functioning

    1. Discuss the various ways that events can be viewed, leading to different perceptions of stressful events.  

    2. Discuss gender differences coping with stress.

    3. Identify impact of personality characteristics on one’s ability to manage stress.  

    Cultural and Social Diversity

    1. Discuss gender differences in coping with stress.

    2. Discuss the impact of daily hassles, significant life changes, and catastrophic events may have on different individuals.

    3. Discuss impact of stress due to different careers.

    4. Identify impact of social support on one’s ability to deal with stress.

    Recommended Resources

    The Healthy Life – NOBA

    This is the Healthy Life section by Emily Hooker and Sarah Pressman in Introduction to Psychology: The Full Noba Collection / Chapter 11 Well Being.  It discusses the Biopsychosical Model and how it can be used to explain stress reactions and the impact on our health. In addition, at the conclusion of this section, you will find links to outside resources including apps to monitor your health, a quiz on hostility, self assessments on perceived stress and real age, and a guided meditation exercise video.

    What is Stress? – OpenStax

    This is the opening section of the Stress, Health, and Lifestyle chapter in OpenStax.  It defines stress and discusses the primary and secondary appraisal processes that take place when assessing stress as well as the General Adaptation Syndrome.

    Stress and Illness – OpenStax

    This is the third section of the Stress, Health, and Lifestyle chapter in OpenStax. It discusses psychophysiological disorders, stress and the immune system, cardiovascular disorders, depression, asthma, and tension headaches. 

    Regulation of Stress – OpenStax

    This is the final section of the Stress, Health and Lifestyle chapter in OpenStax.  It discusses emotion focused coping, problem focused coping as well as the role of control and social support in dealing with stress.  

    Supplemental Resources

    Emotion, Stress, and Health (Video)

    This is CrashCourse #26 by Hank Green titled Emotion, Stress, and Health.  He discusses stress, emotions, and their overall impact on our health.

    The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Stress (Video)

    This is an RSA Animate video by Dr. Mike Evans titled “What is the Single Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Stress?” He focuses on adjusting one’s thinking style to deal with stress. 

    WexMed Live: Jan Kiecolt Glaser (Video)

    This is  Dr. Kiecolt-Glaser’s discussion of her wound healing research found on YouTube.

    Reappraising Stress Arousal Improves Performance and Reduces Evaluation Anxiety in Classroom Exam Situations

    The attached research study looks at cognitive reappraisal and test performance in a community college developmental math course. The research findings may be particularly helpful to apply not only to the students’ current education but in one’s career as well.

    Stress and Health Disparities Report

    The attached link summarizes research which looks at the relationship between stress and disparities in health.

    Fact Sheet: Health Disparities and Stress

    The attached Fact Sheet reviews the research on health disparities and stress.

    The following research located in Teaching of Psychology provide additional resources that can be incorporated into the classroom:

    1. Slavich, G. M. (2016). Life stress and health: A review of conceptual issues and recent findings. Teaching of Psychology, 43, 346-355.

    2. Renner, M. & Mackin, R.S. (1998). A life stress instrument for classroom use. Teaching of Psychology, 25, 46-48. doi:10.1207/s15328023top2501_15

    3. Nagy, L.M. & Baer, R.A. (2017). Mindfulness: What Should Teachers of Psychology Know? Teaching of Psychology, 44, 353-359.
    4. Hughes, J. S., Gourley, M. K., Madson, L., & Blanc, K. L. (2011). Stress and Coping Activity: Reframing Negative Thoughts. Teaching of Psychology, 38, 36-39.

    How to Make Stress Your Friend (Video)

    Kelly McGonigall's TED Talk "How to Make Stress Your Friend" effectively addresses the benefits of stress and the importance of reappraisal.

    How Stress Affects Your Brain (Video)

    The above TED Ed presentation by Madhumita Murgiam discusses how  stress affects your brain and includes some teaching resources.