Health Psychology

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  • A relatively new branch of psy chology that is concerned with how biology, behavior, and the environment interact to influence health and ill ness. Health and illness were once assumed to be strictly biologically determined- however, as medical science improved, it became evident that despite the advances in medicine, chronic illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and substance abuse continued to rise. Over the past quarter-century, it has become clear that many chronic illnesses could be prevented or treated through behavior and lifestyle changes. These realizations fueled the advancement of health psychology, which employs the bio-psycho-social approach to understanding illness. Health psychology is closely related to clinical psychol ogy- however, the emphasis of health psychology is on the effect of mental illness and environmental stressors ...

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