Psychobiological Processes in Health and Illness is an accessible and engaging introduction to the interrelationships between mind and body across a broad range of topics including infectious illness, autoimmunity, cancer and pain. Taking a biopsychosocial approach, it brings together research from a number of disciplines including health psychology, psychoneuroimmunology and behavioral genetics. The textbook presents established theoretical models relevant to psychobiological processes in health and illness, as well as recent developments in systems, technologies and intervention methods.
The Link Between Stress and Illness
In Chapter 1 we considered theoretical associations between psychological variables (thoughts, feeling and behaviours) and biological variables. It is easy to see how behaviours such as drinking or smoking might influence biological processes, but how does something as (seemingly) innocuous as a thought or feeling influence what happens inside our bodies?
To begin to answer this question, it is useful to examine research focusing on stress. Stress is one of the most widely studied psychological predictors of physical health, and research has indicated that it is associated with a range of cognitive, emotional and physiological alterations.
Since the emergence of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), the search for biological mediators of the stress–disease link has developed rapidly. In the ...