Health Psychology

Health psychology is a study of the processes of mental and behavioral health, illness and health care. It is concerned with understanding how mental, behavioral and cultural factors contribute to physical health and illness. Psychological factors can directly affect health. For example, the constant environmental pressures affecting the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, cumulatively, can be detrimental to health. Behavioral factors can also affect a person’s health. For example, other behaviors may, in the long run, be harmful (by smoking or excessive use of alcohol) or improving health (exercise). Psychologists take a biopsychosocial approach. In other words, health psychologists understand that health is a product not only of natural processes (e.g. germ, tumor, etc.) but also of mind (e.g. thoughts and beliefs), behaviors (e.g. habits) and social processes (e.g. social status). and nationality).

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