PSYC 220 Psychology of Health

Spring, Fall

Traditional Western conceptualization of health divides our experiences into physical and mental - body and mind, and also into wellness and illness. Yet many other cultures understand health very differently. Increasingly, Western models of health care aim to approach health from a more integrated and culturally competent model. This is in response to recognition that current leading causes of mortality (such as substance abuse, overeating, unprotected sex, and suicide) are driven by psycho-social factors. It is also increasingly seen as necessary in order to develop health interventions that serve culturally diverse populations. This course will give students access to critical knowledge in the burgeoning field of health psychology, which aims to address these issues. Course material will cover basic theory, research, and intervention methods in the field, integrating content from biology, psychology, sociology, and anthropology. Based on this knowledge, students will create proposals for health psychology interventions in their area of interest, empowering them with the skills necessary to be leaders of progress in the areas of health and wellness. Health psychology is a broad and upcoming field important for those interested in public health, medicine, and psychology.