8. Health psychology

This chapter looks at the field of health psychology  This is done through the lens of the biological, cognitive and sociocultural approaches.

Students may study any one of the following categories of health problems: stress, addiction, obesity, chronic pain or sexual health. This chapter focuses on stress, addiction and obesity.  Supplementary materials will be available to address the other health problems.

Each chapter is divided into smaller sections with quizzes to test for mastery of key vocabulary and "checking for understanding" questions with sample answers to check for broader conceptual understanding.

I would like to thank Alžběta Kupková from the University of New York in Prague for her contributions to this chapter.
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Chapter 8.1 Determinants of health

This chapter looks at key concepts in health psychology.  The key topics of study are:

  • The biopsychosocial model of health and well-being
  • Dispositional factors and health beliefs
  • Risk and protective factors
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Chapter 8.2 Health problems

This chapter looks at biological, cognitive and sociocultural explanations of health problems. In addition, it addresses the question of why prevalence rates change over time. The key topics of study are:

  • Stress and its effects on health
  • Explanations of addiction
  • Explanations of obesity
  • Prevalence rates of health problems

Chapter 8.3 Health promotion

This final chapter looks at how psychologists attempt to change health behaviours in communities.  The key topics of study are:

  • Theories of health promotion
  • Effectiveness of health promotion programs
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