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Psychological Theories Related to Family Health

  • By: Linda Brannon
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Theories are as important to understanding family health as they are to understanding any area of research and practice. Theory provides a framework for describing and explaining phenomena—in this case, health-related behaviors. In addition, scientific theories provide a basis for researchers to organize their observations and to draw hypotheses for further testing. Thus, researchers rely on theories for integration and for guidance. Some of the theories that are relevant to family health come from psychology.

Psychological theories related to health behaviors fall into two groups: theories and models directed specifically to health-related behavior and more general psychological theories that have components that apply to health behavior. The family aspect of some of these theories is limited; psychological theories often emphasize the role of the individual, sometimes ...

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