Health psychology

The options are a chance for the students to apply their understanding of concepts from the core of the course.  SL candidates must study one option; HL candidates must study two. 

Each option has three "topics."  The exam will give them three questions to choose from - they will choose one to write a well-developed essay in one hour.  Each question comes from one of the three topics.  There may not be two questions from the same topic.

The health option requires that students study the explanations of one health issue - either stress, addition, obesity, chronic pain or sexual health.

This section contains activities and curriculum tips, teaching ideas, revision strategies, key studies and writing samples for different ERQs.

Learning objectives

The curriculum does not have clearly defined learning objectives, but the questions are set by using the first two columns of the grid in the curriculum guide.  Remember that the general questions can be combined with the questions below.  For example, Discuss approaches to research in determining the effectiveness of health promotion programs.


  • Approaches to research in health psychology
  • Ethical considerations in health psychology

Determinants of health

  • Biopsychosocial model of health and well-being
  • Dispositional factors and health beliefs
  • Risk and protective factors

Health problems

  • Biological, cognitive and sociocultural factors in one health problem.
  • Prevalence rates of health problems

Health promotion

  • Health promotion strategies (two)
  • Effectiveness of health promotion programs.
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