Article

Health Psychology, Social Class, and Counseling

Elizabeth M. Altmaier, Jessica A. Lohnberg and Torricia H. Yamada

in The Oxford Handbook of Social Class in Counseling

Published in print March 2013 | ISBN: 9780195398250
Published online May 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195398250.013.0011

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Health Psychology, Social Class, and Counseling

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  • Psychology
  • Counselling Psychology
  • Psychological Assessment and Testing
  • Developmental Psychology

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Social class is a variable of increasing relevance and importance in counseling psychology, related closely to assessment methods and interventions that focus on health-related goals. Although social class was regarded and treated as a "nuisance" variable in earlier research, it is now understood that social class contains discrete pathways that operate within a developmental framework to influence health outcomes. Additionally, considering how social class affects health outcomes has led to an expanded understanding of social class. Counseling psychology is uniquely positioned to intervene within the context of social class to enhance health and reduce mortality because of our specialty's values regarding promotion of social justice, its embrace of advocacy and other nontraditional interventions, and our clear commitment to multiculturalism. The particular societal problem of homelessness is used to illustrate the contributions of counseling psychology to improved health and well-being. The chapter concludes with implications for training.

Keywords: social class; counseling; social justice; multiculturalism; health-related goals

Article.  8706 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Counselling Psychology ; Psychological Assessment and Testing ; Developmental Psychology

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