Explain why studies suggest that faith and spirituality are correlated with health

Physiological response

Part 1

Although the physiological response to a stressor may be the same for individuals of all ages, an individual encounters different stressors across his or her life span. Describe some typical stressors that may occur for each age group and explain how the person might cope with the stressor.

  • Childhood
  • Adolescence
  • Early adulthood (under thirty years of age)
  • Middle adulthood
  • Older adulthood (over sixty years of age)

An interesting classic study conducted by Peterson, Crowson, Saldana, and Holdridge (1999) evaluated eight-year-old children who were role-playing characters in potentially stressful situations (a situation in which a person gets a cut from a piece of broken glass or is going to a doctor’s clinic for an injection). The researchers were interested in finding out what coping responses the children would recommend for both themselves and for friends in the same situation. They found that while children were more likely to suggest proactive coping responses for their peers (for example, imagine you are somewhere else doing something fun, take deep breaths, or try to relax), they were more likely to suggest reactive strategies for themselves (for example, yell, cry, or hit the nurse). Explain the possible reasons why the researchers obtained the results that they did.

Next, imagine a hypothetical situation involving adults in which the subject is at fault for a minor automobile accident. Describe some adult reactive and proactive coping responses to such a situation. Would we find the same self-other discrepancy that Petersen et al. (1999) found in their study? Provide a rationale for your response. 400 words


Peterson, L., Crowson, J., Saldana, L., & Holdridge, S. (1999). Of needles and skinned knees: Children’s coping with medical procedures and minor injuries for self and other. Health Psychology, 18(2), 197–200.

Part 2

Explain why studies suggest that faith and spirituality are correlated with health. Describe three possible explanations that are appropriate for this relationship. State which, out of the three, you agree with most and explain why.

Sally has been seeing her primary care physician on and off over the past six months with regard to a pinched nerve in her toe and does not feel that her condition has improved. She still experiences pain when she walks, especially if she has to wear dress shoes, which are required at her workplace. Over lunch one day, her coworkers suggest that Sally try a whole range of CAM ideas, such as acupuncture, Reiki, and homeopathy. Describe the types of treatments mentioned and explain why Sally should or should not try one of these.400 words

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