Conclusion: The Achievements and Promise of Health Psychology

Howard S. Friedman

in The Oxford Handbook of Health Psychology

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195342819
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Conclusion: The Achievements and Promise of Health Psychology

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The preceding chapters in this handbook reveal that the influences that fostered the emergence of health psychology could become a threat to health psychology if psychologists abandon the unconventional ideas that led to the field’s successful development. Health, recovery, and longevity are best approached with a science-based biopsychosocial model that often goes well beyond the traditional biomedical approach to disease. Hugely important are social relations, individual differences in reactions and behavior patterns across time, and interactions between biological predispositions and psychosocial environments. Improving population health and minimizing health disparities will likely require changes and improvements that go well beyond anything possible within the traditional biomedical health care system. Sophisticated research methods and sound measurements are a critical challenge of the complex biopsychosocial model but also a hallmark of excellent health psychology research.

Keywords: Health psychology; social support; social integration; health; biopsychosocial model

Article.  4610 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Health Psychology

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