Child Health Psychology: A Biopsychosocial Perspective


Julie M. Turner-Cobb

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  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Copyright


    In memory of my wonderful mother, in love and appreciation of her generosity, kindness and sense of humour

    List of Figures

    List of Tables

    About the Author

    Julie Turner-Cobb is a health psychologist with an active research interest in psychoendocrinology and an established publication record in the area of child health psychology. She is a Chartered psychologist and an associate fellow of the British Psychological Society, a registered Practitioner psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council and an associate editor for the British Journal of Health Psychology. Currently a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath, she is Director of Studies for the MSc in Health Psychology. She has published extensively in the areas of acute and chronic illness in children and in adults, with a particular focus on the family context and the role of social support and coping. She has been investigating the effects of psychosocial stress on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functioning for over 20 years, and has been involved in advancing the theory and measurement of cortisol testing in children. A major theme which carries through much of her work is the application of the common cold as a paradigm for the influence of psychosocial factors on acute illness in otherwise healthy children. She has made frequent contributions on radio, talking about her research, and has been a consultant for television documentaries requiring cortisol expertise. She lives in Bath and is a mother of two daughters.


    This book has been waiting to escape for many years and is a culmination of a variety of research interests and a range of teaching experiences. Writing a textbook of this type is both an enormous endeavour and a thrilling journey of discovery. There are numerous brilliant people who have inspired and influenced the development of my ideas and research over the past 20 years or so, too many to mention, but thanks in particular are due to David Spiegel, to my research colleague David Jessop, and to the Westminster Stress Research Group.

    I do not care to admit how long it has taken to complete this text, but suffice it to say I am indebted to my colleagues at the University of Bath for their patience and confidence in its eventual completion. I am very grateful to the University and the Department of Psychology for affording me a period of sabbatical study to move ahead with my writing. I would particularly like to thank my health psychology colleagues Ed Keogh, Paula Smith and Karen Rodham for their wise words and advice on topics that I found myself branching into but which were not my original area of specialty. Thank you for letting me tread on your turf, so to speak: I enjoyed our discussions and look forward to engaging in some of the potential collaborative research that emerged.

    Special mention goes to Tim Gamble for his insightful and somehow always timely suggestions for fascinating nuggets of news and relevant websites. Thanks also to my clinical collaborator, Mike Osborn: talking with you has the effect of unleashing new ideas and ways of looking at health interventions. Much appreciated and by no means least is the assistance of my hard-working team of postgraduate students, including Fiona Begen, Tara Cheetham, Steve Dean, Lifang Neo and Carmen Skilton, for literature searches, compiling tables, proof reading and all-round, positive enthusiasm.

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