May 28, 2024  
2021-2022 College Catalog 
2021-2022 College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

PSY 218 - Health Psychology

3 Credits, 3 Contact Hours
3 lecture periods 0 lab periods

Overview of health psychology in relationship to cultural diversity in the United States, and awareness of the universal aspect of humanity. Includes mind-body relationships, behavior risk factors, and psychosocial aspects of specific disorders. Also includes health psychology, social, economic, and political dimensions of relationships between and among ethnic and gender groups.

Recommendation: Completion of PSY 100A or PSY 100B or PSY 101  before enrolling in this course. REA 091  with a C or better (or assessment into REA 112 ). If any recommended course is taken, see a financial aid or Veteran’s Affairs advisor to determine funding eligibility as appropriate.
Gen-Ed: Meets AGEC - SBS; Meets CTE - SBS.

Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Explain the history of psychology’s involvement in health.
  2. Contrast health psychology research with epidemiological research.
  3. Evaluate, critique and present research in one major area of health psychology.
  4. Relate the relevant elements of psychoneuroimmunology.
  5. Outline traditional and cross-cultural ways, as well as, gender and ethnic differences in coping with stress and pain.
  6. Assess the major behavioural risk factors affecting health as they relate to gender and ethnicity.
  7. Describe the cultural, gender and psychosocial aspects of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and chronic illnesses.
  8. Assess the current and future direction of health psychology and the role integrative medicine, gender and cross-cultural approaches will play.
  9. Synthesize and demonstrate health psychology dimensions relating to social, economic, and political relationships between and among ethnic and gender groups.

  1. Introduction and overview of health psychology
    1. Patterns of U.S. health, disease and death with regard to gender and multicultural experiences
    2. Psychosomatic medicine and behavioural medicine
    3. The relationship of health psychology to other health-related fields
    4. Health psychology in relationship to cultural diversity in the United States
    5. Universal aspect of humanity
  2. Scientific foundations of health psychology
    1. Research methods in health psychology
    2. Research methods in the epidemiological approach
  3. Health psychology special topics project
    1. Obtain research articles on one health psychology topic of the student’s choice, which includes health psychology, social, economic, and political dimensions of relationships between and among ethnic and gender groups.
    2. Critique each article chosen, synthesize and present the findings
  4. Defining and measuring stress
    1. Physiology of stress
    2. Theories of stress
    3.  Impact of gender and ethnic dimensions
  5. Psychoneuroimmunology
    1. The physiology of the immune system
    2. Personality factors affecting stress and disease
  6. Understanding pain
    1. Stages of pain and the pain syndrome
    2. Theories of pain
  7. Coping with stress and pain
    1. Physical treatments
    2. Social support
    3. Relaxation training, Hypnosis and Biofeedback
    4. Behavior modification and Cognitive therapy
    5. Cross-cultural approaches such as Chinese acupuncture in the U.S.
  8. Exercising
    1. Reasons for exercising and gender and/or ethnic differences
    2. Cardiovascular benefits and other health benefits of physical activity
    3. Psychological benefits of physical activity
    4. Maintaining a physical activity program
  9. Eating to control weight
    1. Factors in weight maintenance
    2. Overeating, obesity and dieting
    3. Bulimia, binge eating, anorexia and gender issues
  10. Substance abuse
    1. The effects of alcohol and other drugs
    2. Changing problem drinking
    3. Treatment for drug abuse
  11. Preventing injuries
    1. Intentional and unintentional injuries
      1. Gender issues
      2. Multicultural issues       
    2. Strategies for preventing injuries
  12. Psychosocial aspects of cardiovascular disease, cancer and chronic illnesses
    1. Gender and ethnicity differences
    2. Following a cardiac rehabilitation program
    3. Psychological treatment for cancer patients
    4. Dealing with chronic illnesses
  13. Current and future direction of health psychology
    1. Progress in health psychology
    2. The role of integrative medicine
    3. Cross-cultural and gender approaches

Effective Term:
Spring 2016