Psych 3312G 001 FW23

Stress and Coping

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.


LONDON               CANADA

Department of Psychology

Winter 2024


Psychology 3312G    Section 001

Stress and Coping



This course explores theories and research on stress and coping. It examines biological, psychological, individual, and social factors that affect how people cope with stress on both acute and chronic timescales; positive and negative aspects of stress; resiliency; and critical evaluation of findings on coping and recovery.


Antirequisite: HS4208A/B


Antirequisites are courses that overlap sufficiently in content that only one can be taken for credit. If you take a course that is an antirequisite to a course previously taken, you will lose credit for the earlier course, regardless of the grade achieved in the most recent course.


Prerequisite: Both Psychology 2801F/G and Psychology 2811A/B, or the former Psychology 2820E, or both the former Psychology 2800E and the former Psychology 2810.     


Unless you have either the prerequisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enrol in it, you may be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites.


Course Weight: 0.5

Lecture Hours: 3 per week



Instructor: Eric Collins, PhD

Office and Phone Number: Virtual (via Zoom)

Office Hours: By appointment (weekends and holidays excluded)

Email: (48-hour response on weekdays and 72-hours during exams)



Teaching Assistant: TBA

Office: TBA

Office Hours: TBA

Email: TBA


Time and Location of Classes: See Student Centre

Delivery Method: In-Person



Students who are in emotional/mental distress should refer to Health and Wellness @Western for a complete list of options about how to obtain help.


Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also contact Accessible Education at  or 519-661-2147.







Please note: For courses delivered in an online format, that include an online component, or are required to pivot online, students must have a reliable internet connection and computer that are compatible with online learning system requirements. Some courses may also require the use of a remote proctoring platform to ensure assessments are taken fairly in accordance with Western’s policy on Scholastic Discipline for Undergraduate Students and Scholastic Discipline for Graduate Students. Please refer to the course syllabus for further information.



Maté, G. (2004). When the body says no: The cost of hidden stress. Toronto, ON: Vintage Canada


McGonigal, K. (2015). The upside of stress: Why stress is good for you, and how to get good at it. New York, NY: Penguin Random House



Throughout the term, we will explore various theoretical perspectives and research findings concerning stress and coping. We will examine sources of stress and investigate the personal and social determinants that affect our ability to cope. This course challenges the notion that stress is exclusively bad and highlights the new science of stress.




Learning Outcome

Learning Activity


Depth and Breadth of Knowledge.

Students will expand their awareness of stress and coping, and as a result, gain a more sophisticated view of human health and healing 









Knowledge of Methodologies.

Students will improve their understanding of the various quantitative and qualitative methods and methodologies presented in the relevant literature









Application of Knowledge.

Students will learn to think critically about stress and coping and demonstrate an ability to apply theoretical concepts to real-world scenarios









Communication Skills.

Students will sharpen their writing skills and improve their ability to articulate complex concepts













The evaluation and testing formats for this course were created to assess the learning objectives as listed in section 4.0 and are considered necessary for meeting these learning objectives.



        Weight %



Quiz 1


Quiz 2


Quiz 3


Midterm Essay


Final Essay


Final Exam



Participation (Forum Postings): Ten questions will be posted to the Forum on OWL throughout the term. Questions will be generated from weekly lectures and readings. Each student is required to post an original response to each week’s forum question and post a reply to a fellow student’s original response. Each week’s original post and reply are worth a total of 1%. There are no part marks. “I agree” or “I disagree” are insufficient responses and will not be awarded marks. Students are expected to provide thoughtful posts that demonstrate critical thinking and an understanding of theoretical concepts. Each post must include a minimum of 80 words each (160 words in total). Examples of original posts can be found on OWL in the Forum.


Quizzes: There are three quizzes to be completed in-class. Each quiz contains 10 questions taken from the PowerPoints only. Questions are formatted as a mixture of true or false, multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blanks, and matching. Quizzes are closed book and proctored. Also, there will be a 20-minute time limit for each quiz (unless you have approved academic accommodations for extra time). Quiz 1 takes place in-class on January 29 and includes questions from lectures 1-3. Quiz 2 takes place on March 4 and includes questions from lectures 4, 6, and 8. Quiz 3 takes place on March 18 and includes questions from lectures 9 and 10.


Midterm Essay: The midterm essay is a critical reflection (reflective essay) of When the Body Says No. The Cost of Hidden Stress (Maté, 2004). Essays are expected to be a minimum of 2,000 words or 6 pages (max), double-spaced, and formatted in APA style (7th edition). Please review the rubric for more information.


Final Essay: The final essay is an expository essay based on The Upside of Stress. Why stress is good for you, and how to get good at it (McGonigal, 2015). Essays are expected to be a minimum of 2,000 words or 6 pages (max), double-spaced, and formatted in APA style (7th edition). Please review the rubric for more information.


Final Exam: The final exam is to be completed in-person. This assessment contains 40 questions taken from the PowerPoints only and is closed book and proctored. Questions are formatted as a mixture of true or false, multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blanks, and matching. Also, there will be a 60-minute time limit (unless you have approved academic accommodations for extra time). The final exam is cumulative and covers lectures 1-12. Date and time are to be announced.




Unless you receive academic accommodations for missed course work, you receive a grade of zero for that component. The weight of accommodated missed course work is re-distributed to an assessment of equal weighting. Alternatively, you are permitted a re-write for missed course work, as long as it is within one week of the original closing date. There are no extra assessments for missed course work without accommodations


PLEASE NOTE: Because this is an essay course, as per Senate Regulations, you must pass the essay components to pass this course. That is, the average mark for your written assignments must be at least 50%


This course is exempt from the Senate requirement that students receive assessment of their work accounting for at least 15% of their final grade at least three full days before the date of the deadline for withdrawal from a course without academic penalty.


The expectation is that course marks will be distributed around the following averages:


70%     1000-level to 2099-level courses

72%     2100-2999-level courses

75%     3000-level courses

80%     4000-level courses


The Psychology Department follows Western’s grading guidelines, which are as follows (see:


A+       90-100             One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level

A         80-89               Superior work that is clearly above average

B          70-79               Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory

C          60-69               Competent work, meeting requirements

D         50-59               Fair work, minimally acceptable

F       below 50       Fail


Note that in the event that course grades are significantly higher or lower than these averages, instructors may be required to make adjustments to course grades. Such adjustment might include the normalization of one or more course components and/or the re-weighting of various course components.


Policy on Grade Rounding: Please note that although course grades within the Psychology Department are rounded to the nearest whole number, no further grade rounding will be done. No additional assignments will be offered to enhance a final grade; nor will requests to change a grade because it is needed for a future program be considered. To maximize your grade, do your best on each and every assessment within the course.



Open Date

Due Date


Jan 8

Jan 15

Forum Posting 1

Jan 15

Jan 22

Forum Posting 2

Jan 22

Jan 29

Forum Posting 3

Feb 5

Feb 12

Forum Posting 4

Feb 12

Feb 26

Forum Posting 5

Feb 26

Mar 4

Forum Posting 6

Mar 4

Mar 11

Forum Posting 7

Mar 11

Mar 18

Forum Posting 8

Mar 18

Mar 25

Forum Posting 9

Mar 25

Apr 8

Forum Posting 10











Readings (Chapters)


Jan 8

Introduction to Stress and Coping

Maté (1-4)


Jan 15

Biology of Stress

Maté (5-8)


Jan 22

Stress and Cognitive Transactional Models

Maté (9-12)


Jan 29

Coping and Stress Management

Maté (13-16)


Feb 5

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Maté (17-19)


Feb 12

The Health Burden of Stress

McGonigal (1-2)


Feb 26

The Science of Stress

McGonigal (3)


Mar 4

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

McGonigal (4)


Mar 11

Dissociative and Somatic Related Disorders

McGonigal (5)


Mar 18

Anxiety, OCD, and Trauma-Related Disorders

McGonigal (6)


Mar 25

Theoretical Mixed Bag

McGonigal (7)


Apr 8

Mental Health: Well-Being and Recovery




We acknowledge that Western University is located on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak and Chonnonton Nations, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum.


With this, we respect the longstanding relationships that Indigenous Nations have to this land, as they are the original caretakers. We acknowledge historical and ongoing injustices that Indigenous Peoples (e.g., First Nations, Métis and Inuit) endure in Canada, and we accept responsibility as a public institution to contribute toward revealing and correcting miseducation, as well as renewing respectful relationships with Indigenous communities through our teaching, research and community service.




Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other scholastic offences. Plagiarism and cheating are considered very serious offences because they undermine the integrity of research and education. Actions constituting a scholastic offence are described at the following link:


As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offences. All multiple-choice tests and exams will be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses using reliable software, and records will be made of student seating locations in all tests and exams. All written assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn, a service designed to detect and deter plagiarism by comparing written material to over 5 billion pages of content located on the Internet or in TurnItIn’s databases. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and (


Computer-marked multiple-choice tests and/or exams will be subject to submission for similarity review by software that will check for unusual coincidences in answer patterns that may indicate cheating.


In classes that involve the use of a personal response system (PRS), data collected using the PRS will only be used in a manner consistent to that described in this outline. It is the instructor’s responsibility to make every effort to ensure that data remain confidential. However, students should be aware that as with all forms of electronic communication, privacy is not guaranteed. Your PRS login credentials are for your sole use only. Students attempting to use another student’s credentials to submit data through the PRS may be subject to academic misconduct proceedings.


Possible penalties for a scholastic offence include failure of the assignment/exam, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University.



Tests and examinations for online courses will be conducted using a remote proctoring service. By taking this course, you are consenting to the use of this software and acknowledge that you will be required to provide personal information (including some biometric data) and the session will be recorded.  Completion of this course will require you to have a reliable internet connection and a device that meets the technical requirements for this service. More information about this remote proctoring service, including technical requirements, is available on Western’s Remote Proctoring website at: 

In the event that in-person exams are unexpectedly canceled, you may only be given notice of the use of a proctoring service a short time in advance. 



Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found at:


If you experience an extenuating circumstance (e.g., illness, injury) sufficiently significant to temporarily make you unable to meet academic requirements, you may request accommodation through the following routes:

  1. For medical absences, submitting a Student Medical Certificate (SMC) signed by a licensed medical or mental health practitioner in order to be eligible for Academic Consideration;
  2. For non-medical absences, submitting appropriate documentation (e.g., obituary, police report, accident report, court order, etc.) to Academic Counselling in their Faculty of registration in order to be eligible for academic consideration. Students are encouraged to contact their Academic Counselling unit to clarify what documentation is appropriate.


Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation.


Students seeking academic consideration:

  • are advised to consider carefully the implications of postponing tests or midterm exams or delaying handing in work;  
  • must communicate with their instructors no later than 24 hoursafter the end of the period covered SMC, or immediately upon their return following a documented absence


Students seeking accommodation for religious purposes are advised to contact Academic Counselling at least two weeks (no later than one week) prior to the religious event and as soon as possible after the start of the term.

12.0 Contingency Plan for Return to Lockdown: IN-Person & Blended classes


In the event of a COVID-19 resurgence or any other event that necessitates the course delivery moving away from face-to-face interaction, all remaining course content will be delivered entirely online, either synchronously (i.e., at the times indicated in the timetable) or asynchronously (e.g., posted on OWL for students to view at their convenience). The grading scheme will not change. Any remaining assessments will also be conducted online, as determined by the course instructor.



In courses involving online interactions, the Psychology Department expects students to honour the following rules of etiquette:

  • please “arrive” to class on time
  • please use your computer and/or laptop if possible (as opposed to a cell phone or tablet)
  • please ensure that you are in a private location to protect the confidentiality of discussions in the event that a class discussion deals with sensitive or personal material
  • to minimize background noise, kindly mute your microphone for the entire class until you are invited to speak, unless directed otherwise
  • In classes larger than 30 participants please turn off your video camera for the entire class unless you are invited to speak
  • In classes of 30 students or fewer, where video chat procedures are being used, please be prepared to turn your video camera off at the instructor’s request if the internet connection becomes unstable
  • Unless invited by your instructor, do not share your screen in the meeting


The course instructor will act as moderator for the class and will deal with any questions from participants. To participate please consider the following:

  • If you wish to speak, use the “raise hand” function and wait for the instructor to acknowledge you before beginning your comment or question.
  • Please remember to unmute your microphone and turn on your video camera before speaking.
  • Self-identify when speaking.
  • Please remember to mute your mic and turn off your video camera after speaking (unless directed otherwise).


General considerations of “netiquette”:

  • Keep in mind the different cultural and linguistic backgrounds of the students in the course.
  • Be courteous toward the instructor, your colleagues, and authors whose work you are discussing.
  • Be respectful of the diversity of viewpoints that you will encounter in the class and in your readings. The exchange of diverse ideas and opinions is part of the scholarly environment. “Flaming” is never appropriate.
  • Be professional and scholarly in all online postings. Use proper grammar and spelling. Cite the ideas of others appropriately.


Note that disruptive behaviour of any type during online classes, including inappropriate use of the chat function, is unacceptable. Students found guilty of Zoom-bombing a class or of other serious online offenses may be subject to disciplinary measures under the Code of Student Conduct.










Office of the Registrar: 


Student Development Services:


Psychology Undergraduate Program:


If you wish to appeal a grade, please read the policy documentation at:

Please first contact the course instructor. If your issue is not resolved, you may make your appeal to the Undergraduate Chair in Psychology (


Copyright Statement: Lectures and course materials, including power point presentations, outlines, videos and similar materials, are protected by copyright. You may take notes and make copies of course materials for your own educational use. You may not record lectures, reproduce (or allow others to reproduce), post or distribute any course materials publicly and/or for commercial purposes without the instructor’s written consent.


Policy on the Recording of Synchronous Sessions: Some or all of the remote learning sessions for this course (if scheduled) may be recorded. The data captured during these recordings may include your image, voice recordings, chat logs and personal identifiers (name displayed on the screen). The recordings will be used for educational purposes related to this course, including evaluations. The recordings may be disclosed to other individuals participating in the course for their private or group study purposes. Please contact the instructor if you have any concerns related to session recordings. Participants in this course are not permitted to privately record the sessions, except where recording is an approved accommodation, or the student has the prior written permission of the instructor.