This accessible primer on health psychology covers the key theories and models of the discipline. Through the use of real-life case studies and examples, it covers a broad range of topics related to the field of health psychology including: health promotion, risky health behaviour and health in healthcare settings. It explains how health psychology serves to not only promote positive health and reduce maladaptive health behaviours, but also support those who are chronically ill.
Unlike medicine, health psychology takes a more holistic approach through the interaction of psychological, social and biological factors to improve health. This book outlines the inter-relationship between how we think and feel, our biological systems and the social contexts in which we live. It discusses how belief and attitude can shape behavior, the pivotal role of stress and how we can adjust to chronic illness. Drawing from experience, the authors answer important and common questions like how can we stop people from smoking? Does stress really make us ill? Why don't people take their medication as prescribed? And how can we support people to adjust to a chronic health condition? It also provides a unique focus on children and adolescent health which considers how developmental changes impact health behaviours and subsequent health.
It is an essential introductory text suitable for students, professionals and general readers interested in this important and emerging topic area. It also provides useful information for those interested in working in the field by providing an overview of what health psychologists do, where they work and the pathways available to become a registered health psychologist.