Howard S. Friedman Health Psychology

ISBN 13: 9780133848922

Health Psychology

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9780133848922: Health Psychology
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Comprehensive overview by 2 leading researchers. Highly readable, appropriate for courses in Behavioral Medicine or Health Psychology.

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About the Author:

Howard S. Friedman is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside. He is an elected Fellow of the Division of Health Psychology of the American Psychological Association, from whom he was awarded the career honor for Outstanding Contributions to Health Psychology. He is also an elected Fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, the AAAS, the Society of Personality and Social Psychology, and the American Psychological Society. An honors graduate of Yale University, Friedman received his Ph.D. from Harvard University.

In 1995, Professor Friedman was awarded UCR's Distinguished Teaching Award, and in 2000, he received the Outstanding Teacher Award from the Western Psychological Association (WPA). Best known for his research on personality and health, Friedman has also published work on education and training in health psychology, life-span health and longevity (using the seven-decade archival Terman data), doctor-patient communication (especially nonverbal communication), social support, and health promotion interventions. His research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, and the American Heart Association.

Some other books authored or edited by Howard Friedman are:

The Self-Healing Personality (Henry Holt, 1991; republished 2000 at www.iuniverse.com) (also reprinted in French and German).
Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1999, 2003).
Readings in Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2001).
The Encyclopedia of Mental Health (editor-in-chief) (San Diego: Academic Press, 1998) (3 volumes).
Hostility, Coping, and Health (American Psychological Association, 1992).
Personality and Disease (New York: John Wiley, 1990) (also available in Japanese edition, 1997).
Interpersonal Issues in Health Care (San Diego: Academic Press, 1982).

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

I have been developing course materials and texts for health psychology as the field itself has taken shape and become an established discipline. In the early 1980s, when I published my first books in health psychology and attended the Arden House conference, I dreamed that in 20 years health psychology would be a major subfield of psychology, bringing important insights for understanding health and illness. And happily, this dream has come true.

Writing the first health psychology textbook in those early days was extremely difficult, because no paradigm or accepted organizing principles existed. Each chapter had to be formed from the mass. Indeed, no formal academic discipline really existed. However, as a core of forward-looking psychologists turned to serious analysis of health, important themes emerged, and it is now clear that we health psychologists have created a remarkable new discipline of which we can be very proud. In this new book, based on my previous work, I have endeavored to capture the maturity of the health psychology discipline while maintaining the excitement of a young and fast-moving field.

Although in one sense this volume involves a natural progression from my previous work, in another sense it is new. In this volume, I have included an ongoing explanation of how health psychology yields an approach that is superior to the traditional medical model of disease. Five distinguishing characteristics mark this book.

First, this book attempts a conceptual integration rather than a simple litany of research findings. The biopsychosocial health psychology model is explicitly contrasted and compared to the traditional biomedical model. Theories and concepts provide the basis for an integrated approach to understanding health and illness. Without good concepts, even the best data lose value.

Second, underlying this approach is a belief that health psychology is most importantly a set of intellectually sophisticated ways of thinking about health rather than a narrow "how-to" profession. It is a socio-behavioral science rather than a branch of medicine. To be a successful health psychologist, one has to be able to think in social science terms, with understanding of probabilities and uncertainties, influences of culture, interactions of the individual and the social group, and inherent individual differences.

Third, this book views health psychology as the application of psychological theories, concepts, and methods to health: the psychology is primary. Thus this book has chapters like "Adaptation to Chronic Illness" and "Quality of Life and the Self-Healing Personality" rather than chapters like "Cancer" or "Heart Disuse." Medical issues like cancer are considered not in chapters of their own but rather are integrated throughout as appropriate (coping with chronic illness, personality and health, psychophysiology, stigma).

Fourth, this book employs many examples, illustrations, and applications to society, and it explains the historical roots of many key concepts. Students learn best when fascinated with the material, and attention to literary style does not mean a sacrifice of scientific rigor.

Fifth, this book emphasizes critical thinking, as students learn a specific content while they are learning how to evaluate theory and research. Students will be best able to promote their own health and the health of others when they understand the nature of health and the nature of research.

The text is aimed at the broad middle of the market, rather than at an advanced specialty course.

In May 1983, about 50 researchers interested in the new field of health psychology gathered for four days (and long nights) at the Harriman mansion called Arden House in upstate New York. Under the guidance of conference chair Stephen Weiss, we laid out models for research, education, policy, and training. So primitive was the field that the conference felt it necessary to assert, "Health psychology is a generic field of psychology, with its own body of theory and knowledge, which is differentiated from other fields of psychology" (Conference consensus, 1983).

Not surprising, many of those at the conference, along with their colleagues and students, have gone on to become major forces in the new field–Nancy Adler, Chris Dunkel-Schetter, Karen Matthews, Lee Sechrest, Neil Schneiderman, Jerome Singer, Shelley Taylor, Camille Wortman, and others. The exhilaration engendered by that meeting has served to inspire countless efforts of research collaboration, student training, and professionalization. I wrote this text with the hope that it captures the excitement of those dreams come to fruition.

Howard S. Friedman
University of California, Riverside

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