Experience Modulates the Reproductive Response to Heat Stress in C. elegans via Multiple Physiological Processes.
ABSTRACT: Natural environments are considerably more variable than laboratory settings and often involve transient exposure to stressful conditions. To fully understand how organisms have evolved to respond to any given stress, prior experience must therefore be considered. We investigated the effects of individual and ancestral experience on C. elegans reproduction. We documented ways in which cultivation at 15°C or 25°C affects developmental time, lifetime fecundity, and reproductive performance after severe heat stress that exceeds the fertile range of the organism but is compatible with survival and future fecundity. We found that experience modulates multiple aspects of reproductive physiology, including the male and female germ lines and the interaction between them. These responses vary in their environmental sensitivity, suggesting the existence of complex mechanisms for coping with unpredictable and stressful environments.
Project description:Background:Adults with adverse childhood experiences and exposure to adverse life events experience a diverse array of physical, mental, and social health problems across their lifespan. Adult exposure to emotional trauma, physical injury, or other adverse life events may result in the development of post-traumatic stress and post-traumatic stress disorder. Understanding individuals' response to stress and their coping strategies is as important as the stimulus or the causes of the stress for effective stress management interventions. Methods:This is a mixed quantitative and qualitative online survey study which explores the coping strategies to stress in adults with adverse childhood experiences and exposure to adverse life events through analysis of emerging themes from survey questionnaire responses of study participants. Results:Participants who respond to stress through adaptive coping focused either on problem-solving, 17.6% (32 out of 188), or on emotion-focused coping, 45.2% (85 out of 188). Participants engaged in problem-solving mainly through therapy such as counseling and other professional stress management, whereas those who chose emotion-focused coping used diverse strategies including practicing mindfulness, meditation, and yoga; using humor and jokes; seeking higher power or religious pursuits; engaging in physical or breathing exercises; and seeking social support. Participants who practiced maladaptive coping styles constituted 37.2% (70 out of 188) of respondents and resorted to avoidance of the stressful condition, withdrawal from a stressful environment, disengagement from stressful relationships, and use and abuse of drugs and/or alcohol. Conclusion:An understanding of emerging themes in coping strategies calls for collaborative and multidisciplinary approaches in the design, implementation, and execution of health education and promotion programs tailored to meet the diverse needs of priority populations. Stress management educators need to take into account the vulnerabilities of individuals who resort to maladaptive coping and institute evidence-based behavioral and social service intervention strategies, including life skills training, to prevent the consequences of maladaptive coping and to enhance the self-efficacy of individuals to cope more effectively with stress and stressful life events.
Project description:Ongoing rapid domestication of Atlantic salmon implies that individuals are subjected to evolutionarily novel stressors encountered under conditions of artificial rearing, requiring new levels and directions of flexibility in physiological and behavioural coping mechanisms. Phenotypic plasticity to environmental changes is particularly evident at early life stages. We investigated the performance of salmon, previously subjected to an unpredictable chronic stress (UCS) treatment at an early age (10 month old parr), over several months and life stages. The UCS fish showed overall higher specific growth rates compared with unstressed controls after smoltification, a particularly challenging life stage, and after seawater transfer. Furthermore, subjecting fish to acute stress at the end of the experiment, we found that UCS groups had an overall lower hypothalamic catecholaminergic and brain stem serotonergic response to stress compared with control groups. In addition, serotonergic activity was negatively correlated with final growth rates, which implies that serotonin responsive individuals have growth disadvantages. Altogether, our results may imply that a subdued monoaminergic response in stressful farming environments may be beneficial, because in such situations individuals may be able to reallocate energy from stress responses into other life processes, such as growth.
Project description:Introduction:Community psychiatric nurses work in extremely stressful environments with intense patient relationships as they try to prevent self-harm and manage aggressive behaviors. In order to improve their ability to manage the stressful work environments, community psychiatric nurses need to incorporate formal coping strategies into their daily work routines. With evidence-based coping strategies, community psychiatric nurses can effectively manage the stressful situations in their work environment to increase their work longevity. The purpose of this study was to explore the individual coping strategies currently used by community psychiatric nurses in practice in order to develop an intervention strategy for future implementation. Methods:This was an exploratory qualitative study using an interpretative approach. A purposive sampling method was used to identify participants from the community psychiatric nurses in a region of Ghana. Participants were recruited and interviewed, guided by semi-structured questions, until saturation was reached. The interviews were audio-taped, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed thematically. Results:A total of 13 participants, 10 women and 3 men ages 26 to 60?years, were interviewed for this study. From the inductive analysis, four coping themes emerged from the data including: 1) self-disguise, 2) reliance on religious faith, 3) self-motivation, and 4) reduction in the number of home visits. The participants described their work environment as stressful, almost to the point of overwhelming. In this regard, they identified the individual coping strategies as critical daily practices for self care to manage their high stress levels. Conclusion:Individual coping strategies are often used by community psychiatric nurses in daily practice. The participants identified personal coping strategies as critical interventions to manage stress and to decrease their risk for burnout. However, community psychiatric nurses must develop.personal-mastery in various coping strategies to care for themselves, as well as motivate them despite the challenging working environment. The individual coping strategies adopted by community psychiatric nurses was not only helped them deliver care, but also protected their clients so people would not label them as 'mental patients.' Collectively, the four strategies reported in this study need to be developed into a cohesive and comprehensive intervention.
Project description:BACKGROUND: This article reports on the relationship between cultural influences on life style, coping style, and sleep in a sample of female Portuguese immigrants living in Germany. Sleep quality is known to be poorer in women than in men, yet little is known about mediating psychological and sociological variables such as stress and coping with stressful life circumstances. Migration constitutes a particularly difficult life circumstance for women if it involves differing role conceptions in the country of origin and the emigrant country. METHODS: The study investigated sleep quality, coping styles and level of integration in a sample of Portuguese (N = 48) and Moroccan (N = 64) immigrant women who took part in a structured personal interview. RESULTS: Sleep quality was poor in 54% of Portuguese and 39% of Moroccan women, which strongly exceeds reports of sleep complaints in epidemiologic studies of sleep quality in German women. Reports of poor sleep were associated with the degree of adoption of a German life style. Women who had integrated more into German society slept worse than less integrated women in both samples, suggesting that non-integration serves a protective function. An unusually large proportion of women preferred an information-seeking (monitoring) coping style and adaptive coping. Poor sleep was related to high monitoring in the Portuguese but not the Moroccan sample. CONCLUSION: Sleep quality appears to be severely affected in women with a migration background. Our data suggest that non-integration may be less stressful than integration. This result points to possible benefits of non-integration. The high preference for an information-seeking coping style may be related to the process of migration, representing the attempt at regaining control over an uncontrollable and stressful life situation.
Project description:Whether sexual selection impedes or aids adaptation has become an outstanding question in times of rapid environmental change and parallels the debate about how the evolution of individual traits impacts on population dynamics. The net effect of sexual selection on population viability results from a balance between genetic benefits of "good-genes" effects and costs of sexual conflict. Depending on how these facets of sexual selection are affected under environmental change, extinction of maladapted populations could be either avoided or accelerated. Here, we evolved seed beetles under three alternative mating regimes to disentangle the contributions of sexual selection, fecundity selection, and male-female coevolution to individual reproductive success and population fitness. We compared these contributions between the ancestral environment and two stressful environments (elevated temperature and a host plant shift). We found evidence that sexual selection on males had positive genetic effects on female fitness components across environments, supporting good-genes sexual selection. Interestingly, however, when males evolved under sexual selection with fecundity selection removed, they became more robust to both temperature and host plant stress compared to their conspecific females and males from the other evolution regimes that applied fecundity selection. We quantified the population-level consequences of this sex-specific adaptation and found evidence that the cost of sociosexual interactions in terms of reduced offspring production was higher in the regime applying only sexual selection to males. Moreover, the cost tended to be more pronounced at the elevated temperature to which males from the regime were more robust compared to their conspecific females. These results illustrate the tension between individual-level adaptation and population-level viability in sexually reproducing species and suggest that the relative efficacies of sexual selection and fecundity selection can cause inherent sex differences in environmental robustness that may impact demography of maladapted populations.
Project description:The ability to respond appropriately to challenges is an important contributor to fitness. Variation in the regulation of glucocorticoid hormones, which mediate the phenotypic response to challenges, can therefore influence the ability to persist in a given environment. We compared stress responsiveness in four populations of tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) breeding under different environmental conditions to evaluate support for different selective pressures in driving the evolution of glucocorticoid regulation. In accordance with the environmental unpredictability hypothesis, stronger stress responses were seen in more unpredictable environments. Contrary to the reproductive value hypothesis, the stress response was not lower in populations engaging in more valuable reproductive attempts. Populations with stronger stress responses also had stronger negative feedback, which supports a "mitigating" rather than a "magnifying" effect of negative feedback on stress responses. These results suggest that combining a robust stress response with strong negative feedback may be important for persisting in unpredictable or rapidly changing environments.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Mental health problems are leading contributors to the global disease burden in adolescents. This study aims to highlight (1) salient context-specific factors that influence stress and coping among school-going adolescents across two urban sites in India; and (2) potential targets for preventing mental health difficulties. METHODS:Focus group discussions were undertaken with a large sample of 191 school-going adolescent boys and girls aged 11-17 years (mean = 14 years), recruited from low- and middle-income communities in the predominantly urban states of Goa and Delhi. Framework analysis was used to identify themes related to causes of stress, stress reactions, impacts and coping strategies. RESULTS:Proximal social environments (home, school, peers and neighborhood) played a major role in causing stress in adolescents' daily lives. Salient social stressors included academic pressure, difficulties in romantic relationships, negotiating parental and peer influences, and exposure to violence and other threats to personal safety. Additionally, girls highlighted stress from having to conform to normative gender roles and in managing the risk of sexual harassment, especially in Delhi. Anger, rumination and loss of concentration were commonly experienced stress reactions. Adolescents primarily used emotion-focused coping strategies (e.g., distraction, escape-avoidance, emotional support seeking). Problem-focused coping (e.g., instrumental support seeking) was less common. Examples of harmful coping (e.g., substance use) were also reported. CONCLUSIONS:The development of culturally sensitive and age-appropriate psychosocial interventions for distressed adolescents should attend to the challenges posed by home, school, peer and neighborhood environments. Enhancements to problem- and emotion-focused strategies are needed in order to bolster adolescents' repertoire of adaptive coping skills in stressful social environments.
Project description:We propose that the domain general process of categorization contributes to the perception of stress. When a situation contains features associated with stressful experiences, it is categorized as stressful. From the perspective of situated cognition, the features used to categorize experiences as stressful are the features typically true of stressful situations. To test this hypothesis, we asked participants to evaluate the perceived stress of 572 imagined situations, and to also evaluate each situation for how much it possessed 19 features potentially associated with stressful situations and their processing (e.g., self-threat, familiarity, visual imagery, outcome certainty). Following variable reduction through factor analysis, a core set of 8 features associated with stressful situations-expectation violation, self-threat, coping efficacy, bodily experience, arousal, negative valence, positive valence, and perseveration-all loaded on a single Core Stress Features factor. In a multilevel model, this factor and an Imagery factor explained 88% of the variance in judgments of perceived stress, with significant random effects reflecting differences in how individual participants categorized stress. These results support the hypothesis that people categorize situations as stressful to the extent that typical features of stressful situations are present. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to establish a comprehensive set of features that predicts perceived stress.
Project description:The experience of psychological distress is prevalent in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), including high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. It has been shown that people with MS use less adaptive coping compared with healthy individuals. This study examined the ability of coping strategies to predict maladaptive and adaptive psychosocial outcomes across areas of stress, depression, anxiety, and quality of life (QOL) in people with MS.107 people with MS completed measures of depression (Beck Depression Inventory-II), anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory), QOL (Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life-54), stress (Daily Hassles Scale), and coping (COPE inventory).Consistent with expectations, depression, frequency of stress, trait anxiety, and mental health QOL were predicted by adaptive and maladaptive coping styles. Severity of stressful events was predicted by maladaptive, but not adaptive, coping styles. Depression and mental health QOL were most prominently connected to coping use. Emotional preoccupation and venting showed the strongest relationship with poorer psychosocial outcomes, whereas positive reinterpretation and growth seemed to be most beneficial.The results of this study highlight the importance of intervention programs targeting specific coping strategies to enhance psychosocial adjustment for people with MS.
Project description:Environmental enrichment (EE) is an experimental setting broadly used for investigating the effects of complex social, cognitive, and sensorimotor stimulations on brain structure and function. Recent studies point out that parental EE experience, even occurring in the pre-reproductive phase, affects neural development and behavioral trajectories of the offspring. In the present study we investigated the influences of pre-reproductive EE of female rats on maternal behavior and adolescent male offspring's coping response to an inescapable stressful situation after chronic social isolation. For this purpose female Wistar rats were housed from weaning to breeding age in enriched or standard environments. Subsequently, all females were mated and housed in standard conditions until offspring weaning. On the first post partum day (ppd 1), mother-pup interactions in undisturbed conditions were recorded. Further, after weaning the male pups were reared for 2 weeks under social isolation or in standard conditions, and then submitted or not to a single-session Forced Swim Test (FST). Offspring's neuronal activation and plastic changes were identified by immunohistochemistry for c-Fos and glucocorticoid receptors (GRs), and assessed by using stereological analysis. The biochemical correlates were measured in the hippocampus, amygdala and cingulate cortex, structures involved in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis regulation. Enriched dams exhibited increased Crouching levels in comparison to standard reared dams. In the offspring of both kinds of dams, social isolation reduced body weight, decreased Immobility, and increased Swimming during FST. Moreover, isolated offspring of enriched dams exhibited higher levels of Climbing in comparison to controls. Interestingly, in the amygdala of both isolated and control offspring of enriched dams we found a lower number of c-Fos immunopositive cells in response to FST and a higher number of GRs in comparison to the offspring of standard dams. These results highlight the profound influence of a stressful condition, such as the social isolation, on the brain of adolescent rats, and underline intergenerational effects of maternal experiences in regulating the offspring response to stress.