Health Psychology (HEALTH PSYCHOL )

Publisher: American Psychological Association. Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association


Health Psychology is a scholarly journal devoted to furthering an understanding of scientific relationships between behavioral principles on the one hand and physical health and illness on the other. The readership has a broad range of backgrounds, interests, and specializations, often interdisciplinary in nature. The major type of paper being solicited for Health Psychology is the report of empirical research. Such papers should have significant theoretical or practical import for an understanding of relationships between behavior and physical health. Integrative papers that address themselves to a broad constituency are particularly welcome. Suitable topics for submission include, but are not restricted to, the role of environmental, psychosocial, or sociocultural factors that may contribute to disease or its prevention; behavioral methods used in the diagnosis, treatment, or rehabilitation of individuals having physical disorders; and techniques that could reduce disease risk by modifying health beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors including decisions about using professional services. Interventions used may be at the individual, group, multicenter, or community level.

  • Impact factor
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    Impact factor
  • 5-year impact
  • Cited half-life
  • Immediacy index
  • Eigenfactor
  • Article influence
  • Website
    Health Psychology website
  • Other titles
    Health psychology
  • ISSN
  • OCLC
  • Material type
    Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

Publisher details

American Psychological Association

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Pre-print on a web-site
    • Pre-print must be labeled with date and accompanied with statement that paper has not (yet) been published
    • Copy of authors final peer-reviewed manuscript as accepted for publication
    • Post-print on author's web-site or employers server only, after acceptance
    • Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to APA journal home page or article DOI
    • Article must include the following statement: 'This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.'
    • Publisher version cannot be used
    • APA will submit NIH author articles to PubMed Central, after author completion of form
    • Wellcome Trust authors may comply using Paid Option.
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective: Amid concern about high rates of obesity and related diseases, the marketing of nutritionally poor foods to young people by the food industry has come under heavy criticism by public health advocates, who cite decades of youth-targeted marketing in arguing for reforms. In light of recent evidence that the same event evokes stronger emotional reactions when it occurs in the future versus the past, highlighting youth-targeted marketing that has yet to occur may evoke stronger reactions to such practices, and perhaps, greater support for related health policy initiatives. Method: In a between-subjects experiment, Web participants (N = 285) read that a major soda company had already launched (past condition) or was planning to launch (future condition) an advertising campaign targeting children. Measures included support for a soda tax and affective responses to the company’s actions. Results: Greater support for the soda tax was observed in the future condition than in the past condition. Moreover, participants in the future condition reported heightened negative emotions about the company’s actions, which mediated the observed effect on soda tax support. Conclusion: The same action undertaken by the food industry (here, marketing soda to children) may evoke stronger negative emotions and greater support for a health policy initiative when it is framed prospectively rather than retrospectively.
    Health Psychology 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To investigate the links between naturalistically-observed conflict, self-reported caregiver-youth conflict, and youth asthma symptoms. Method: Fifty-four youth with asthma (aged 10-17) wore the Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR) for a 4-day period to assess interpersonal conflict and caregiver-youth conflict as they occur in daily life. Conflict also was assessed with baseline self-report questionnaires and daily diaries completed by the youth participants and their caregiver. Asthma symptoms were assessed via daily diaries and baseline self-reports and wheezing as coded from the EAR. Results: EAR-observed measures of conflict were strongly associated with self-reported asthma symptoms (both baseline and daily diaries) and wheezing coded from the EAR. Further, when entered together in regression analyses, youth daily reports of negative caregiver-youth interactions and EAR-observed conflict uniquely predicted asthma symptoms; only EAR-observed conflict was associated with EAR-observed wheezing. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate the potential impact of daily conflict on youth asthma symptoms and the importance of assessing conflict as it occurs in everyday life. More broadly, they point to the importance of formulating a clear picture of family interactions outside of the lab, which is essential for understanding how family relationships “get under the skin” to affect youth health.
    Health Psychology 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been observed in cardiac patients, but little is known about PTSD in implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) patients. We examined the prevalence and predictors (clinical variables, personality, and anxiety) of PTSD in ICD patients. Method: Three hundred ninety-five ICD patients (20.1% female; mean age = 62.8 ± 10.3 years) from two Dutch referral hospitals completed the 14-item Type D scale (DS14) and the State–Trait Anxiety Inventory to assess Type D (distressed) personality (high negative affect with social inhibition) and anxiety (on the State Anxiety Inventory) at the time of implantation. Logistic regression analysis was performed to identify independent predictors of PTSD at 18 months postimplantation. Results: At 18 months postimplantation, 30 patients (7.6%) qualified for a PTSD diagnosis. Of these patients, 55% (n = 16) had a Type D personality, 83% (n = 25) experienced anxiety at baseline, and 24% (n = 7) had experienced shocks during follow-up. Both Type D personality (odds ratio [OR] = 3.5) and baseline anxiety (OR = 4.3) were significant predictors of posttraumatic stress at 18 months postimplantation, independent of shocks and other clinical and demographic covariates. Shocks were not significantly associated with PTSD. Conclusion: A significant group of ICD patients is at risk of posttraumatic stress 18 months postimplantation, especially Type D patients and patients with increased levels of baseline anxiety. Identification of patients with Type D personality and anxiety at the time of implantation may be warranted to prevent PTSD in ICD patients. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
    Health Psychology 02/2012; 31(2):186-193.
  • Health Psychology 01/2012;
  • Health Psychology 01/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: The authors investigated whether European American (EA) and African American (AA) women took longer to lose weight, and were less likely to maintain weight loss if they perceived others to be overweight. Design: Overweight EA and AA women completed a Figure Rating Scale and the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire prior to a weight loss intervention. Body composition was assessed by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry prior to and following weight loss. rate of weight loss, % body fat at follow-up. For EA, but not AA women, perception of others' body size was inversely associated with rate of weight loss and cognitive restraint, and positively associated with body fat gain following intervention. In linear regression modeling, EA, but not AA, women who perceived others as large, subsequently had greater percent body fat 1 year after weight loss than did those who perceived others as lean, independent of age, baseline body fat, and body size deemed "acceptable." Inclusion of cognitive restraint in the model weakened this effect. Among EA but not AA women, perception of others' body size influenced weight loss and maintenance. This effect may have been mediated by cognitive restraint.
    Health Psychology 08/2009; 28(4):414-8.
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    ABSTRACT: There is considerable evidence that depressive mood is related to lower parasympathetic control of the heart, thus increasing cardiovascular risk. However, little is known about social factors (e.g., social affiliation) that might moderate this relationship. The authors examined whether cardiac autonomic control in healthy individuals with depressive symptoms could be altered by social interaction. Therefore, the authors conducted a 22-hr ambulatory monitoring study with a sample of 63 adults. Depression was assessed by questionnaire. Heart rate, heart rate variability (HRV), physical activity, and negative affect were recorded throughout one day via portable monitoring devices. Multilevel analyses revealed that depression was related to elevated negative affect and higher heart rate throughout the day. Moreover, there was a tendency toward lower HRV in individuals with higher depression scores. This association, however, was moderated by social context. When depressive participants were alone they evidenced lower HRV and higher negative affect, but not when they were engaged in social interactions with a partner, family members, or friends. These findings suggest that the relation between depression and cardiac autonomic control could be altered by social interaction, thus possibly buffering adverse health effects.
    Health Psychology 08/2009; 28(4):501-9.
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    ABSTRACT: Unintentional injury rates in low- and middle-income countries are up to 50 times higher than high-income nations. In South Africa, kerosene (paraffin) is a leading cause of poisoning and burns, particularly in low-income communities where it serves as a primary fuel for light, cooking, and heating. This study tested a community-based intervention to reduce kerosene-related injury risk. The intervention used a train-the-trainers model, whereby expert trainers train local paraprofessionals, who in turn deliver educational materials to community residents. The intervention was theory-driven, pragmatically motivated, and culturally sensitive. Prospective quasi-experimental intervention design with nonequivalent case versus control groups. Three primary outcome measures were considered: self-reported knowledge of kerosene safety, observed practice of safe kerosene use, and self-reported recognition of risk for kerosene-related injury. ANOVA models suggest a large and significant increase in self-reported kerosene-related knowledge in the intervention community compared to the control community. There were smaller, but statistically significant changes, in kerosene-related safety practices and recognition of kerosene injury risk in the intervention community compared to the control community. The intervention was successful. A train-the-trainers model might be an effective educational tool to reduce kerosene-related injury risk in low-income communities within low- and middle-income countries.
    Health Psychology 08/2009; 28(4):493-500.
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    ABSTRACT: The present issue contains one of the first studies published in Health Psychology-by Resnicow and colleagues-that uses elements of community-based participatory research (CBPR) (Resnicow et al., 2009). The authors engaged community partners (three health maintenance organizations or HMOs) to develop and implement a fruit and vegetable promotion intervention (Tolsma et al., 2009). African American HMO patients (the intervention targets) participated in formative work (i.e., focus groups) on survey items and intervention content and in survey pilot testing. A diverse group of researcher and nonresearcher expert stakeholders (e.g., African American health plan staff; consultants with expertise in Black identity theory, on which the intervention was based) was engaged in major project decisions regarding the measures and intervention design.
    Health Psychology 08/2009; 28(4):391-3.
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    ABSTRACT: Meta-analysis was used to synthesize results of studies on emotional consequences of predictive genetic testing for BRCA1/2 mutations conferring increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Studies assessing anxiety or cancer-specific distress before and after provision of test results (k = 20) were analyzed using a random-effects model. Moderator variables included country of data collection and personal cancer history of study participants. Standardized mean gain effect sizes were calculated for mutation carriers, noncarriers, and those with inconclusive results over short (0-4 weeks), moderate (5-24 weeks), or long (25-52 weeks) periods of time after testing. Distress among carriers increased shortly after receiving results and returned to pretesting levels over time. Distress among noncarriers and those with inconclusive results decreased over time. Some distress patterns differed in studies conducted outside the United States and for individuals with varying cancer histories. Results underscore the importance of time; changes in distress observed shortly after test-result disclosure frequently differed from the pattern of distress seen subsequently. Although emotional consequences of this testing appear minimal, it remains possible that testing may affect cognitive and behavioral outcomes, which have rarely been examined through meta-analysis. Testing may also affect understudied subgroups differently.
    Health Psychology 08/2009; 28(4):510-8.
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    ABSTRACT: To test whether differences of history and strength in tobacco control policies will influence social norms, which, in turn, will influence quit intentions, by influencing smokers' regret and rationalization. The data were from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Policy Evaluation Southeast Asia Survey, a cohort survey of representative samples of adult smokers in Thailand (N = 2,000) and Malaysia (N = 2,006). The survey used a stratified multistage sampling design. Measures included regret, rationalization, social norms, and quit intention. Thai smokers were more likely to have quit intentions than Malaysian smokers. This difference in quit intentions was, in part, explained by the country differences in social norms, regret, and rationalization. Reflecting Thailand's history of stronger tobacco control policies, Thai smokers, compared with Malaysian smokers, perceived more negative social norms toward smoking, were more likely to regret, and less likely to rationalize smoking. Mediational analyses revealed that these differences in social norms, accounted, in part, for the country-quit intention relation and that regret and rationalization accounted, in part, for the social norm-quit intention relation. The results suggest that social norms toward smoking, which are shaped by tobacco control policies, and smokers' regret and rationalization influence quit intentions.
    Health Psychology 08/2009; 28(4):457-64.
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate smokers' thoughts and worries about their smoking behavior. Researchers have sometimes asked smokers to make such self-assessments but typically using retrospective summary judgments. Using ecological momentary assessment, community and student smokers reported five times daily during two separate 1-week intervals. Smokers reported their thoughts about smoking, worries about smoking, and level of contemplation to quit smoking. Smokers reported thinking negatively about their smoking 26.8% of the time they had a cigarette. The most frequent thoughts reported by smokers related to immediate reinforcement of smoking (e.g., "How I smell like cigarettes"). However, smokers reported more intense worry about thoughts related to health concerns (e.g., "Symptoms I'm having because of smoking"). The occurrence of negative thoughts was significantly and positively related to contemplation about quitting, worry about smoking, and risk perceptions. Finally, self-reported worry intensity was more strongly related to contemplation of quitting than negative thought occurrence. Our results show that thoughts about smoking (i.e., cognitions) and feelings about smoking (i.e., worry) are loosely connected and it is feelings rather than cognitions that are most related to contemplation to quit.
    Health Psychology 08/2009; 28(4):484-92.