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Health Psychology

Health psychology is a branch of psychology dealing with how biological, psychological, and social factors come together to influence the health of the individual. The biopsychosocial model is one of the largest  theories involved in health psychology.

Proponents of health psychology are often promoters of health and focus on examining health policies in order to examine how they influence behaviors of individuals as well as how to improve teaching and communication in the health community. They may also work extensively in determining effective interventions to improve health as well as prevention strategies. Health psychologists may also be involved in topics such as quality of life in terms of terminal illness and chronic illnesses, as well as working in patient-provider relations to ensure appropriate techniques are used to improve adherence to treatment regimens. 

Main areas of research and discussion in health psychology include pain and pain management, sleep and health, personality and health, and stress and coping. How sleep deprivation, personality type, and coping style affects health are some of the sub-topics in these areas. Not only does health psychology examine how these behaviors affect our mental health and well-being, it also involves the health sciences by examining the systems of the body in depth and how they are affected by certain behaviours. Psychoneuroimmunology, which examines the immune system, is heavily influenced by stress, for example, and can lead to various physical disorders.

Image Credit: Marek Jacenko / Wikimedia Commons

Different treatment approaches used in health psychology include biofeedback, coping techniques, guided mastery, cognitive-behavioural therapy, operant conditioning and classical conditioning. All of these treatment methods seek to guide the individual into understanding their problematic behaviour and then changing it using a variety of approaches. This can help the person lead a healthier, happier life, and avoid the onset of physical or mental illness.

Categories within Health Psychology

Health Psychology Theories and Theorists

Postings: 19

Health psychology has many theories and theorists, including the biopsychosocial model which seeks to explain how biological, psychological, and social factors impact human health.

Pain and Pain Management

Postings: 1

Pain and pain management includes the Gate Theory of Pain and examines various ways in which pain can be managed to improve health and well-being.

Sleep Disorders and Deprivation

Postings: 11

Sleep disorders like insomnia are covered in this sub-category, and the ways in which sleep deprivation and sleep disorders affect human health is examined.

Personality and Health

Postings: 12

Different personality types, such as being overly pessimistic or very high strung and controlling, can negatively affect our health, therefore it is important to be educated about this in order to prevent it.

Systems of the Body and Disorders

Postings: 10

The systems of the body include the nervous system, endocrine system, cardiovascular system, digestive system, renal system, reproductive system, immune system, and respiratory system, and various disorders in these systems can be influenced by negative health behaviours.


Postings: 2

Psychoneuroimmunology focuses on the immune system and how psychological issues can impact our immune system, leading to various autoimmune disorders.

Management of Chronic Illness

Postings: 4

Health psychology looks at how chronic illnesses can be managed to examine quality of life, rehabilitation, and promoting work and play.

The Use of Medication to Treat ADHD: Facts and Opinions

Cacioppo and Freberg (2013) discussed medication and its usage in the treatment of depression and bipolar disorders on pages 767 to 771. Cacioppo and Freberg (2013) further discussed medication and its usage in the treatment of ADHD on pages 779 to 780. What are your thoughts on the use of medication? Do the benefits outweigh th

The Nervous System and Stress

"The nature of the autonomic nervous system is important to our understanding of stress. The sympathetic division was designed to deal with emergencies that could be resolved relatively quickly. Our ancestors either escaped that lion or they did not. Worrying about far distant dangers is a luxury that human beings did not have u

Area of Adult Development and Aging

Choose an aspect of adult human development and aging. As a researcher, identify gaps in knowledge and provide possibilities for research. Construct two research questions that you think would address gaps in knowledge for this topic. Identify several resources that would appropriately address new approaches to studying th

Diversity within Health and Medicine

Diversity within Health and Medicine Conduct a comprehensive literature review of your selected application area finding peer-reviewed, scholarly journal articles that focus on the intersection between social psychology and Diversity within Health and Medicine. Focus your presentation on both theory and application I am co

Influences of Obedience and Conformity

Prepare a response in which you evaluate the effect of group influence on the self-using classical and contemporary literature. Address the following in your paper: 1) Compare and contrast the concepts of conformity and obedience. 2) Analyze a classic study concerning the effect of group influence on the self. 3) Analyze a c

Teaching or Educational Psychology

Can someone help me with what opportunities for professional associations are available in the area of teaching psychology or educational psychology? Also, how can individuals involve themselves in professional organization(s) associated with teaching or educational psychology that might be operating while enrolled in college?

Cultures and their health beliefs

Can someone help me with targeting a culture (with statistics) in the United States as well as their health beliefs and recommendations as to how medical personnel can deal with them?

Underrepresentation of Research Studies and Cultural Groups

Can someone help me with finding the problems that may be associated with underrepresentation of various cultural groups in research studies, and does it devalue the data collection? Are there any efforts that can be made to assure inclusion of all groups as research subject?

Health Benefits of Social Support

What are some of the ways that social support can have an effect on health conditions as well as examples of two populations that may be at risk for reduced social support. How can these populations bridge the gap between the need for and utilization of social support?

Science of Mindfulness

Can someone help me more fully understand the concept of the Science of Mindfulness? How can it be used to reduce stress? Two helpful articles are: The Science of Mindfulness - Daniel Siegel Benefits of Mindfulness Practices for Improving Emotional and Physical Well-Being

The Effect of Hope on a Cancer Patient

How does hope have an effect on a person with terminal cancer? How might an individual help a patient to generate or sustain hope in dealing with the cancer? Explain how hope might relate to the stress response and the immune response system.

The health effects of smoking and solutions to quit

Cigarettes are by far the most common form of tobacco used in North America (Berger, 2008, p. 527). However, fewer people are starting to smoke, and almost everyone quits by late adulthood (Berger, 2008, p. 527). What are some of the health effects of cigarette smoking? What are some possible solutions to help individuals quit s

Community Health

If you were a health psychologist would you be more interested in preventing disease or managing it? Why? Describe how you might design a community health campaign. In your description, consider both risky behaviors and health promoting behaviors.

The impact of obesity in early childhood

I need a few notes, about 100 words, on this topic (the impact of obesity in early childhood) including some of the gaps that still need to be filled in research and also critical considerations like social change, diversity, globalism, and ethics.

Sensorimotor Treatment

I need assistance regarding the treatment of a sensorimotor disorder. Can you compare and contrast the different approaches to treating the disorder that can be identified as it relates to its effectiveness of treatment? Discuss and challenge underlying treatment disorders.

Current US Health Care Policies

Discuss and critique current health care policies and proposals in the US, and their overall impact on children and adolescents.

Counseling Psychology: Client-Centered vs. Gestalt

What are the basic tenets of Carl Rogers' Client-Centered Therapy? What about Gestalt theory, as dictated by Fritz Perls? Analyze and assess the relationship between the two theories and why their contributions were/are important to Counseling Psychology.

Mr. Kravinsky and pathological behaviors

Look in the textbook and use the Table 1.1 outline for the criteria of Mental Disorder and consider information presented in the module lecture. Then read about the case of Zell Kravinsky as outlined in The World Around Us feature 1.1. (p. 6-7 in the text). Post your answer the following: 1. Does Mr. Kravinsky represent p

Inflammation response to disease is exemplified.

Explain the inflammation response to disease in general and include at least one specific example in the form of a disease or condition that causes an inflammatory response in the body. Requirements Cites - At least 2 websites as resources. Use critical thinking and substantiate opinions/claims with research Explai

Genetic screening

Please help answer the following questions. What are the pros and cons of genetic screening? Would you want to have it done, if you had prevalence for a disease in your family? Why or why not?

Health care ethics

I need help with critical issue from the 21st century and argue the risk of adopting a stance of either ethical relativism or utilitarianism in regard to the chosen issue. Additionally, discuss how will, free will, and uninfluenced will would affect taking a stance on the chosen issue.

Pain management

What are the goals of programs in pain management? What do the studies show? Are these programs effective?

Placebo effect

Analyze the Placebo Effect. How does it work? Include a summary of Patient Characteristics, Situational Determinants and Social Norms in your response.

Treatment options for Clinical Pain are included.

Consider the following three cases of clinical pain: o Case 1: Various types of pain from a below-the-knee amputation resulting from diabetic neuropathy o Case 2: Acute pain from an abdominal hysterectomy o Case 3: Chronic headaches (non-migraine)  Comment on whether surgical, pharmaceutical, behavioral, and cognitiv