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Exam questions/mark schemes for stress and life events/daily hassles

Past exam questions on the life events/daily hassles topic, with mark schemes

Vicky Maile

on 11 March 2013

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Transcript of Exam questions/mark schemes for stress and life events/daily hassles

Jan 12 June 2009 June 2012 Lee and Denis were talking in the doctor’s waiting room. Denis remarked that his new neighbours were very noisy and that whenever he drove into town it was getting increasingly difficult to find anywhere to park. Lee said that his wife had died recently and that he was just about to retire.
Using examples from the conversation above, discuss the difference between life changes and daily hassles (4). During the last few months, Paula has suffered from headaches and colds, and has been having difficulty sleeping. She decided to keep a diary and found that her headaches, colds and sleep problems were associated with experiences such as having too much homework, losing house keys and being stuck in traffic.

3a) What is the name for these sorts of stress-related experiences? (1)

3b) Use your knowledge of psychology to explain why Paula might be feeling unwell (4)
You have two minutes to refresh your memory of the research into life changes/plan an answer for an 8 mark question.

You will then complete the question on your own, without notes. AO2 = 4 marks

Discussion of difference between life changes and daily hassles

1 mark for using examples or naming Lee to explain Life Changes and 1 mark for using examples or naming Denis to explain Daily Hassles.

For example,
Lee is experiencing Life Changes (1 mark).
Daily Hassles are things such as the problems with traffic (1 mark).
2 further marks for discussion of the difference.
Denis is suffering from frequent, minor, everyday events whereas Lee is suffering from infrequent, major events (2 marks).

Credit other psychologically informed elaboration of discussion of difference, for example
reference to chronic/acute and links to stress. Mark scheme How would you answer this? In your groups, create a mini plan, with what you think the examiner is looking for you to include in your answer. Then complete the question on our own. 3a) AO2 = 1 mark
Analysis of unfamiliar situation and application of knowledge of daily hassles.
These experiences are known as daily hassles (1 mark). Accept 'hassles'.

3b) AO2 = 4 marks
Analysis of unfamiliar situation and application of knowledge of daily hassles.
Research has shown that these daily hassles play an important role in our health. Unlike life changes, these daily hassles can have a greater impact. Paula is experiencing several hassles, such as losing things and having too much to do, and as the stress from these hassles accumulates, so her health may deteriorate. Being unable to sleep is a sign of stress, which further reinforces the negative relationship between hassles and illness. A more biological explanation might focus on the fact that with continued stress the body’s immune system is impaired.

1 mark for a basic statement of the relationship between stress/hassles and illness and a further 3 marks for elaboration of this idea (this could include theory and/or research evidence). The elaboration must be linked to Paula’s situation.
Mark scheme Complete your own mini plan - how would you achieve all four marks. Complete the question. How would you answer this? Outline and evaluate research into life changes as sources of stress (8) AO1 = 4 marks
Knowledge of research
AO2 = 4 marks
Evaluation of research

Research could include the development of Holmes & Rahe’s social readjustment rating scale and/or the use of the scale - but candidates must make it clear which aspect they are referring to. They could also include Rahe et al study of naval personnel that showed there was a positive correlation between LCU score and illness. Any other relevant study can receive credit, but it must be explicitly linked to life changes.

The evaluation can consider methodological issues: correlations cannot indicate cause and effect; individual differences in how life events are interpreted; rating scale is completed retrospectively. Candidates could also use daily hassles as evaluation, ie it is better to look at small daily events than the less common but larger ones.
Examiners should be aware of depth/breadth trade-off. Candidates can offer one piece of research/study in detail or more than one but in less detail or an overview of what research has shown without reference to a specific study. Mark scheme
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