Lee M. Cohen's research while affiliated with University of Mississippi and other places

Publications (158)

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Rehabilitation psychology has a rich history beginning with treatment of veterans in World War II and expanding to include work with children with disabilities and their families. Rehabilitation psychologists serve in varied roles (e.g., clinical practice, teaching/training, research, public service, and policy making) and in a range of settings in...
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Social relationships are associated with a significantly lower risk of mortality and morbidity, and this lower risk is usually attributed to the health‐protective effects of social support, or the aid and care that others provide in times of need. Social relationships can also be a source of social influence, or social control, as people monitor ea...
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Obesity poses a major threat to health in the United States and throughout the world. Indeed, the growing global prevalence of obesity, coupled with its close relationship to life‐shortening chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, highlights the importance of understanding, managing, and preventing this alarming public health...
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Enhancing health protective behaviors and decreasing health risk behaviors can substantially reduce the risk of chronic diseases while increasing life expectancy and quality. Thus, interventions to change health and risk behaviors are clearly warranted, but designing and conducting such interventions is a complex endeavor. The present work highligh...
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Social norms powerfully influence behavior broadly and health behavior specifically. This entry focuses on the roles of descriptive and injunctive norms in both influencing and motivating change in health behaviors. First, descriptive and injunctive norms are defined and distinguished from other normative constructs. We next describe research that...
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Stress in the lives of women during pregnancy has adverse implications for pregnancy health and for birth and infant outcomes. During pregnancy, women are at increased risk of mood disorders, which also adversely affect birth outcomes. Unhealthy behaviors such as smoking and lack of close, well‐functioning interpersonal relationships can also have...
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The precaution adoption process model (PAPM) is a theory for understanding how people come to take actions to prevent illness, injury, or other types of harm. Its underlying assumption is that people must pass through a series of six qualitatively different stages on the path from ignorance to action (plus one stage that does not lead to action). T...
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This chapter provides a summary of reproductive and sexual health topics. Included is an overview of sexual behaviors, sexual orientation, and the importance of gathering reproductive and sexual health information via a comprehensive sexual history assessment. Sexual behaviors that increase risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and human...
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The prototype‐willingness model is a modified dual‐process model of health behavior, with a focus on adolescents' health risk. It is based on an assumption that health behavior, especially among adolescents, is often not reasoned or planned but, instead, is a reaction to risk‐conducive social situations. Two decisional pathways are proposed in the...
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Headaches are a painful condition that are experienced cross culturally and across the life spectrum. There are three major primary headache disorders: migraine, tension, and cluster. Additionally, there are a multitude of secondary headache disorders where the headache is a symptom of another illness or injury. In this section, we will review the...
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This chapter discusses the history of the US government's attempts to reform the healthcare system culminating in the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (Public Law No: 111‐148, March 23, 2010). The content of that law and modifications to it are presented. The implication for psychology of the ACA and demographic, econ...
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In this entry, we provide a brief overview of the topic of depression and comorbidity in health contexts. Depression is associated with many chronic health conditions and diseases. Thus, depressive comorbidity is observed frequently among medical patients and could have serious implications for treatment outcomes. This brief entry provides examples...
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People in our society are living longer, at least in part due to improvement in the medical management of chronic illnesses. As people live for longer, they are often affected by one or more chronic medical illness. Given that the risk factors for most of the leading diseases (e.g., cancer, cardiovascular problems, diabetes) are shared, it is incre...
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Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for approximately 25% of all deaths. As people live longer after cancer diagnosis, psychosocial concerns and quality of life among cancer survivors become an increasingly important focus of research and clinical attention. Research in the field of psycho‐oncology examines...
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We provide an overview of ecological momentary assessment (EMA) methods for the psychosocial study of health. We first present historical underpinnings and key defining characteristics of EMA followed by a description of the most prominent advantages of EMA over traditional retrospective assessments, several measurement considerations, and a discus...
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Coping takes place over the course of daily life, yet measures of coping have not always reflected this. This entry discusses how methodology has shaped what we know about coping and what we have learned so far about everyday coping behavior. Each type of coping research method contributes a unique piece of information about everyday coping: retros...
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Traditional healing concepts and practices have long been a central feature of cultures across the planet. Ascribing disease causality to the many health issues that have plagued mankind and the potential treatments that could be used to alleviate these conditions stimulated the rise of traditional medicine and the healers who would practice it. Ha...
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It has been well established that psychological and behavioral processes are closely related to physical health and illness. Further, over the last two decades, a key feature shared across the delivery of healthcare services is the emphasis of the interdisciplinary team. Given the complexity of the health issues treated across a variety of settings...
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Conflicting health information is increasing in amount and visibility. The controversies surrounding prostate cancer screening guidelines and the risks and benefits of human papillomavirus vaccinations are two high‐profile examples that show how conflicting information can have serious implications for the public, health professionals, and policy m...
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At the heart of integrated primary care is team‐based collaboration between medical and behavioral health providers in the biopsychosocial framework (Engel, G.L. (1977). The need for a new medical model: A challenge for biomedicine. Science, 196:129–136. doi: 10.1126/science.847460.). In a fully integrated model, behavioral health providers (BHPs)...
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Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is currently the best technique available to neuroscience researchers interested in mapping the neural correlates of cognition, emotion, and cases in which brain function becomes “disordered.” However, after a quarter century, neuroimaging work has made little progress in affecting how clinicians think a...
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Health literacy, a distinct concept from literacy, is the ability to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. In this entry, we examine the definition of health literacy, how to measure health literacy, predictors of health literacy, and the cost of poor health literacy to so...
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Problematic alcohol use is prevalent in the United States (US) and elsewhere. Given the diffuse effects of alcohol use on health behaviors, understanding the assessment of problematic alcohol use, etiological models of disordered use, and common treatments for alcohol use disorder is imperative for healthcare providers and other relevant stakeholde...
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Recent scientific discoveries in personality and health psychology have elucidated the causal ties between individual differences and health that have been observed for centuries. The use of the Big Five personality framework—conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, openness, and neuroticism—in a biopsychosocial context reveals core relevant...
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Decades of research have examined the relationship between social isolation and health. In this entry, we discuss the impact of social isolation on physical health, mental health, and mortality. We also outline some potential behavioral, psychological, and biological mechanisms behind these relationships. Finally, we discuss some interventions that...
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Expressive writing (EW) is a structured writing technique that encourages the expression or disclosure of one's deepest thoughts and feelings about stressful or traumatic events. EW has been shown to improve health, both psychological and physical functioning, although benefits are not universal. In this chapter we review EW research, focusing on e...
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Counterfactual thoughts contrast reality to an imagined alternative: “what might have been” had some action or circumstance been other than it really was. Counterfactuals are a common element of daily thought and play a varied role in emotional experience and decision making and thus have both negative and positive impact on emotional, physical, an...
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In this chapter, we examine factors that influence the health of children and families. Our discussion is placed within the context of a social ecological framework to highlight the complexity of different systems involved in the health of children and families. We also discuss the impact that a child's health has on the family as well as relevant...
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A wide range of assessments are available to measure body image concerns. Measures have been developed to assess various facets of body image generally, as well as body image in specific populations. This entry provides an overview of body image assessment generally as well as assessments in the field of clinical health psychology.
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Recent advances in genetic research and technology are permitting researchers to identify the genetic basis of awe wide array of health conditions for the first time. In addition, improved understanding of the field of epigenetics is rapidly shaping understanding of how environmental factors and behavioral changes can fundamentally alter gene expre...
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The terror management health model (TMHM) integrates social psychology research on how individuals respond to reminders of their mortality and applies it to decision making in health contexts, where death thoughts are likely to be activated. Specifically, the TMHM predicts when individuals will engage in behaviors that benefit or harm their health...
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Prevention science has become an increasingly important interdisciplinary specialty that has applications across the lifespan, from prenatal care to interventions for the elderly. This paper summarizes recent advances within the specialty, highlighting the relationship between health and prevention and citing integrated models of care between psych...
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At the outset, it should be noted that the term biopsychosocial model was originally introduced by George Engel, G. L. (1977. The need for a new medical model: A challenge for biomedicine. Science, 196(4286), 129–136; Engel, G. L. (1980). The clinical application of the biopsychosocial model. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 137(5), 535–544) bec...
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Family structure, family relationships, and family behaviors are associated with physical health behaviors and physical health outcomes. Having a family member with a chronic medical condition also influences the health and well‐being of the remaining members. Styles of family interaction and behavior affect the family's ability to cope when a memb...
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Marginalized and medically underserved minority populations experience higher than average rates of illness, impairment, and death. These health and longevity disadvantages are referred to as health disparities, which are a function of social injustices. While the health risks and health problems experienced by minority individuals may be modifiabl...
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We describe the cognitive processes, illness‐specific prototypes, and deep‐level schemata (acute/episodic/chronic) that generate the mental representations (illness and treatment representations) guiding people's selection, performance, and evaluation of medically prescribed treatments or self‐selected actions to prevent and control illness threats...
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Health behaviors are positive or negative in valence and are associated with an individual's overall health. There are two types of health behaviors: health‐promoting behaviors and health‐compromising behaviors. Personality traits, particularly the Big Five, show robust associations with both types of health behaviors. The pattern of associations b...
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Selective exposure describes the preference individuals demonstrate for viewpoint consistent information relative to viewpoint inconsistent information. Selective exposure in the domain of health is particularly concerning in light of the deleterious effects it may have on health‐related decision making and health outcomes. Here, we discuss researc...
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Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death globally, but traditional risk factors such as family history and unhealthy lifestyle collectively account for ≤75% of new cases annually, suggesting that other factors are at play in predicting CHD outcome. The aim of this entry is to review the quality of the scientific evidence for stres...
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Depression during pregnancy and the postpartum (i.e., perinatal) period is a prevalent and significant public health problem for women and families. If untreated, perinatal depression can lead to adverse correlates and consequences for women and offspring. Some women may be at greater risk than others for perinatal depression due to a variety of de...
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For decades, researchers across disciplines in the social and health sciences have sought to create theories of health behavior change that can be used to promote healthful change and inform intervention design and implementation. And although theory and research have made great progress in elucidating the predictors and processes affecting positiv...
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Uncertainty is pervasive in medicine and healthcare and can present significant challenges for laypeople, patients, healthcare providers, and health policy makers. This entry provides a concise overview of the different types of health‐related uncertainty, ways in which people respond to uncertainty, and approaches to managing uncertainty, illustra...
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To understand issues concerning veterans, it may be helpful to review contextual information pertaining to the military. Veterans face unique health concerns based upon their military experiences. Some of these concerns may be associated with events occurring during the era in which a person served, and these concerns often include a combination of...
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Social relationships play an important role in psychological and physical health, yet the specific relationship processes that underlie these broader associations are not well understood. One factor that may play an important role is the accuracy of interpersonal perceptions: the extent to which an individual's states and traits are accurately perc...
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Psychological services have increasingly become integrated into adult and pediatric primary, acute, and chronic care health settings. The interdisciplinary teamwork required for optimal patient care in such settings creates particular ethical challenges not found in typical mental health practice. This chapter highlights the key ethical challenges...
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This entry focuses on the relationship between rumination and physical health. Following a review of prominent theoretical models of rumination, we present a conceptual model outlining potential pathways through which rumination may impact health. Specifically, this entry delineates the role of rumination in cardiovascular outcomes, neuroendocrine...
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One of the seemingly contradictory findings in health psychology is the paradox that men have higher mortality rates but women have higher morbidity rates; that is, men die younger than women, but women are sicker than men. There are pervasive sex differences in psychological and physical health. In addition to outlining these differences, this enc...
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Health messages primarily designed to raise awareness without considering the complexity of behavior change are deemed to have limited impact on individual actions and decision making. Message tailoring is a health communication strategy for disseminating theoretically informed individualized recommendations, created through a pre‐assessment of an...
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Patient satisfaction has been linked to a multitude of health outcomes and variables within the physician–patient relationship and clinical care context. The current chapter will explore the successful measurement and assessment of patient satisfaction, as well as key findings within patient satisfaction. A number of correlates of patient satisfact...
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Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) interventions may be beneficial for many psychotherapy patients. But their use may raise a range of ethical challenges and dilemmas. Issues addressed in this chapter include clinical competence, informed consent, boundaries and multiple relationships, consultation and cooperation with other health profes...
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Body image is a multidimensional construct that refers to a person's subjective appraisal of his or her own physical characteristics and qualities. Body image concerns are prevalent in a number of medical conditions and clinical populations (e.g., individuals with obesity, patients with cancer). In addition, several psychiatric disorders are associ...
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Self‐esteem is a central aspect of the self‐concept that develops during childhood and adolescence. Yet most people do not know that self‐esteem also shapes people's health by influencing psychological, physical, and social well‐being. The authors detail two dominant models that have emerged to explain these connections. First, the resource model p...
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Adherence determines the effectiveness of a treatment or medication plan aimed at providing individuals with optimal health. In contrast, nonadherence occurs when a patient fails to follow the treatment plan by either intentional or unintentional nonadherence. Nonadherence rates vary across diseases, but, on average, 50% of patients are nonadherent...
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This entry describes direct‐to‐consumer (DTC) testing in the context of genetic testing. Our coverage first includes variables that increase intentions in (or uptake of) DTC genetic testing such as demographics and perceived benefits or barriers. Next, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes associated with DTC genetic testing are described....
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As a result of the large and increasing flow of international migrants, scholarly interest in acculturation, and its links with positive and negative indicators of psychosocial functioning, has substantially increased over the last few decades. This entry reviews contemporary models of acculturation, the role of acculturation in substance use among...
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Team science (TS) is a new interdisciplinary field that examines the processes by which scientific teams organize, communicate, and conduct research to achieve scientific breakthroughs that surpass those attainable by individual or simply additive efforts. Whereas the science of TS examines conditions that facilitate or hinder interdisciplinary res...
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The primary goal of this chapter on health correlates and consequences of social comparison is to highlight the major contributions that social comparison theory has made to health psychology. To achieve this aim, this chapter will provide a brief overview of social comparison theory, highlight specific scientific developments related to health beh...
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Although historically viewed as the outcomes of inert treatments, placebo and nocebo effects represent the component of medical treatment effects resulting from psychological factors. Researchers have found evidence for placebo and nocebo effects in both classic and contemporary medicine. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are required to account...
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Community health worker and patient navigation interventions are related approaches designed to promote health and increase access to healthcare. Community health workers have assisted community members in receiving healthcare services for more than half a century and have been used both in the United States and internationally to improve care and...
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Health inequality in America is a serious problem; while there has been some improvement in particular areas, the overall picture is bleak. The health status of minorities continues to lag far behind that of the majority population, especially for African Americans. Although a multitude of individual and environmental factors contribute to disparat...
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Sexual orientation and gender minority populations face stressors that contribute to health disparities within this population. Minority stress theory has been a recent major advance in our understanding of health disparities within this population. The present review uses the minority stress model to provide a framework for understanding the links...
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In this entry, an overview of the topic of depression and relapse in healthcare settings is presented. It is well documented that depression is often a chronically reoccurring condition, with repeated episodes of relapse and recurrence. It is also frequently associated with numerous medical conditions and diseases. Thus, depressive relapse is a fre...
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Eating disorders can be very debilitating and often significantly impact physical health, emotional health, and overall well‐being. The disorders most frequently not only occur in females but also occur in males and individuals from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds. There are many potential causes of eating disorders that range from biologica...
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In this chapter, we argue for the importance of employing naturalistic observation methods in research on social factors underlying health and disease. We review existing field observation methods and highlight the Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR) as an innovative yet by now well‐validated tool for the unobtrusive (acoustic) observation of r...
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Awaiting health news, such as the results of a diagnostic medical test, is often a distressing experience for patients. As with nonmedical waiting periods, anxiety and rumination can make it difficult for patients to navigate their day‐to‐day lives until the uncertainty surrounding their health is resolved. Although the intensity of these negative...
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An informal caregiver, or caregiver, is an individual who provides unpaid services to a family member or friend with a physical or mental illness or condition. As the demands on caregivers are great, individuals in this role often experience multifaceted burden, including financial, schedule, and physical or health‐related burden. Research has iden...
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The current entry explores the role of sport, exercise, and physical activity within the field of health psychology. From a biopsychosocial perspective, the entry examines how sport and exercise influence mental health outcomes and how psychological and social factors influence participation in sport and exercise. Information pertaining to individu...
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Motivational interviewing (MI) is an evidence‐based and patient‐centered approach to encouraging changes to habits, most typically targeting health risk behaviors including substance misuse and addictions, treatment adherence, diet, or physical activity. MI eschews education, professional advice, and persuasion in favor of conversational strategies...
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Telepsychology is a feasible treatment modality that demonstrates promise for providing evidence‐based treatment to clients with limited or no access to mental health treatment, especially for clients who live in rural and underserved areas. Telepsychology services and clinics should be implemented after conducting a comprehensive needs assessment,...
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We review the many ways in which romantic relationship processes are connected to physical health. First, we discuss how being in a romantic relationship (especially when that relationship is high in quality) predicts better health. Second, we examine the health correlates of attachment style, which captures the extent to which people perceive thei...
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This article traces the origin and evolution of the health belief model, a behavior change framework that has been and is still widely used throughout the world. The health belief model is the basis of or is incorporated into interventions to increase knowledge of health challenges, enhance perceptions of personal risk, encourage actions to reduce...
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The rhetoric surrounding diet and obesity focuses on the individual—individuals exert control over their diet, and these choices directly impact a person's risk for obesity. However, social, economic, and psychological factors shape our eating and diet choices. In this entry we review these factors, describing the connections between diet and obesi...
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Social justice is understood by many as the extent to which resources, opportunities, benefits, and burdens are allocated fairly across a society. In health and medical contexts, these allocations readily encompass access to healthcare goods and services, as well as the distribution of desirable and undesirable health outcomes across various social...
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Thriving refers to subjective and objective success—feeling and functioning well—across multiple domains of life (e.g., physical, mental, cognitive, social, functional, economic). It goes beyond success at a single point in time, as well‐being is dynamic in nature, and is affected by numerous factors, including one's personality, habitual behaviors...
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This chapter describes the clinical epidemiology of shoulder impairment in older adults, standard approach to management, and the current ambiguity of the literature on the effectiveness of interventions for optimizing long‐term outcomes. Preliminary data is presented grounded within a theoretical model, supporting the hypothesis that patients use...
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Close relationships have important implications for physical health and well‐being. However, not everyone approaches relationships in the same way. In this entry, we discuss how a person's attachment orientation, or characteristic approach toward close relationships, is associated with health outcomes. First, we briefly review the state of the curr...
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Messages about health can be framed to emphasize what might be gained from performing a behavior (gain framed) or what might be lost by failing to perform a behavior (loss framed). The frame of a message can significantly influence its persuasiveness, but the optimal frame depends on characteristics of the target behavior, audience, and message con...
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Although learning health information can prove critical for health promotion, people sometimes opt to avoid learning such information. In this entry, we review and discuss health information avoidance research. We first examine the prevalence of health information avoidance and review demographic and personality predictors of health information avo...
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Schizophrenia is a severe brain disease that often results in significant distress and devastating disability. Its clinical presentation includes delusions, hallucinations, disorganized behavior and speech, and negative symptoms, although virtually every function associated with the central nervous system is affected in some regard. Despite decades...
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This entry reviews key theory and evidence of social influences on stress‐related neuroendocrine activity, with a focus on the autonomic nervous system and hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis, and activity during basal conditions in response to challenges like laboratory stressors. We review evidence linking positive aspects of social relationships...
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This chapter reviews models of personality and coping, explores relationships between them, and discusses how they influence mental and physical health outcomes. Aspects of personality outlined include the five‐factor model, optimism, and expectancy‐value motivational processes. Subsets of coping responses are addressed, including problem‐focused v...
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Integrated primary care involves the delivery of mental and behavioral health services within primary care health settings. Models of integrated primary care behavioral health (IPCBH) evolved in response to the growing demand to address mental and behavioral health needs within primary care while improving access and reducing barriers to care. IPCB...
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Transgender individuals, meaning those whose gender identity or gender expression differs from that typically associated with sex at birth, are at increased risk for certain types of health problems, chronic diseases, and mental health issues. These health‐related problems are largely impacted by the social context in which transgender individuals...