Article

Health Psychology

Regan Gurung

in Psychology

ISBN: 9780199828340
Published online November 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199828340-0031
Health Psychology

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
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  • History and Systems in Psychology
  • Educational Psychology
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Health psychology is an interdisciplinary subspecialty of psychology dedicated to promoting and maintaining health, and preventing and treating illness. Franz Alexander and Helen Flanders Dunbar together established the first formal gathering of individuals interested in studying the influences of the mind on health in the 1920s. This movement within the mainstream medical establishment was coined psychosomatic medicine and grew into the American Psychosomatic Society (APS). The new field of psychosomatic medicine had many supporters, which led to the formation of the first society specifically dedicated to the study of mind and body connections. Another movement within the field of medicine, called behavioral medicine, looks at nonbiological influences on health. The Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM), a multidisciplinary, nonprofit organization founded in 1978, is dedicated to studying the influences of behavior on health and well-being. Unlike SBM and APS, whose members are overwhelmingly physicians, the American Psychological Association’s Division of Health Psychology (Division 38) is a group specifically for psychologists and came into being in the mid-1970s. Health psychologists play close attention to the way that thoughts, feelings, behavior, and biological processes all interact with each other to influence health and illness. In many ways health psychology is greater than a subfield within the discipline of psychology, as it is built on theoretical ideas and research findings from many other areas in psychology. For example, many of the ways used to understand why we get stressed and how we cope come from social and personality psychology. The field of health psychology can be carved into three broad natural segments: stress and coping, health behaviors, and issues in health care. The first section of this bibliography introduces general overviews, textbooks, and reference works relating to health psychology. Attention is also paid to journals that publish articles presenting novel methods, as well as controversies. The bibliography’s remaining sections examine different topics in health psychology.

Article.  7580 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Developmental Psychology ; Health Psychology ; History and Systems in Psychology ; Educational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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