I. What is Health?

A. Absence of Disease

B. Health as a Positive Continuum

C. Definitions of Health Throughout History

II. Biomedical Model vs. Biopsychosocial Model

A. Biomedical Model

1. Characteristics

2. Limitations

B. Biopsychosocial Model

1. Characteristics

2. Research Implications

3. Clinical Implications

III. What is Health Psychology

A. Definition of Health Psychology

B. Stages Necessary for an Unique Field

IV. Health Psychology in Relation to Other Fields

A. Behavioral Medicine

B. Behavioral Health

C. Medical Sociology

D. Medical Anthropology

E. Health Psychology






Definition of Health Psychology:


* the aggregate of the specific educational, scientific, and professional contributions of the discipline of psychology to the promotion and maintenance of health, the prevention and treatment of illness, the identification of etiologic and diagnostic correlates of health, illness, and related dysfunction, and the improvement of the quality of the interaction between the individual and the health care system.



Eight Stages that Health Psychology must achieve before becoming an unique field of study.


1) own national and international associations.*

2) establish its own journal(s)*

3) receive acknowledgment from other fields*

4) post doctoral training in health psychology *

5) recognition from NIH that Health psychology is a separate and distinct field from clinical.

6) departments of Health Psychology within Medical Schools.

7) recogniton by other psychological & legal professionals that distinguishes between health psychology and clinical psychology.

8) designation by American Board of Professional Psychologist and state licensing boards.