Introduction to Health Psychology, definitions, biopsychosocial model the role of a health psychologist & theories.

What is Health Psychology? Why did it develop? What are the main areas health psychologists address?

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...health psychology is on the physical rather than the mental (however, the mental and the physical are impossible to separate).

At a THEORETICAL level health psychology aims to understand the relations between the body and the mind.

At a PRACTICAL level health psychology aims to intervene in the interface between the individual, the health care system and the whole of society.

During the 1980's and 1990's the field of health psychology was flourishing, the growth of this new movement was due to three main factors;

1. There was a realisation during the 1970's and 1980's that all of the major leading causes of death in Western societies were associated with behaviours (for example smoking, poor diet, alcohol consumption, lack of exercise and stress).

2. There was also a strengthening during this period of the ideology that 'individuals are responsible for their own health'.

3. There was also major disenchantment with the biomedical model of health care.

The above factors have resulted in the growing awareness of the importance of health psychology. Psychosocial factors in ...