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Chapter 3

Chapter 3 Health Psychology.docx

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PSYC 3170
Gerry Goldberg

Chapter 3 Health Psychology Health Promotion o General philosophy that has at its core that good health, or wellness, is a personal and collective achievement Importance of health behaviours o Smoking, poor diets, inactivity are the leading social/ behavioural risks attribute half the deaths in Canada What are they? o Health behaviours are undertaken by ppl wishing to enhance and maintain their health o Health habit: health related behaviour that is firmly established and performed automatically without awareness Usually develop in childhood Reinforcement/ learnt behaviours Parents and schools etc... Primary Prevention o Instilling good habits and ridding the bad ones o Taking measures to combat risk factors for illness before an illness ever has a chance to develop 1. Behaviour Change Method Most common, helps ppl alter their problematic behaviours 2. Preventions Method Keep children from developing them in the first place o More recent Factors Influencing Health Behaviours: o Socio-economic Factors: Demographics, access to things, Ppl with higher education have less stress and high social support as opposed to low classers o Age Habits good in childhood, deteriorate in adolescence, improve again in older ppl o Gender Girls more nutrious than boys in school Boys more active... o Values Desired weight and thinness o Personal Control o Social Influence o Personal Goals o Perceived Symptoms o Access to Health Care Services o Place o Cognitive Factors Barriers to Modifying health behaviours o Health habits develop during childhood/ adolescence when most ppl are healthy o Once their bad habits are ingrained ppl are not highly motivated to change em o Knowing one health habit does not enable one to predict another with great confidence Instability of health behaviours o Unstable over time Different health habits controlled by different factors Different factors may control the same health behaviour for different ppl Factors controlling a health behaviour may change over the history of the behaviour 1. New maintaining factors may develop to replace instigating factors Factors controlling health behaviour may change across a persons lifetime Health behaviour patterns, their developmental course, and the factors that change them across a lifetime, will vary substantially b/w individuals Intervening with Children and Adolescents o Socialization Parents teach their kids habits o Teachable moment Certain times are most opportune such as doctor visits, schools, etc.. o Closing the window of vulnerability Junior high school starts many of the bad habits drinking smoking inactivity etc... o Adolescent behaviour affecting Adult health Precautions in adolescence are better predictors of disease after age 45 than are adult behaviours o Intervening with At-Risks Like children and adolescents to learn about at risk ppl is important Daughters of breast cancers....sons of obese....more at risk.,...need more prevention o Focusing on At-Risks Early identification of these ppl may prevent or eliminate poor health habits that can exacerbate vulnerability Efficient and effective use of health promotion dollars to help futures Easier to identify other risk factors that may interact with targeted factor in producing and undesirable outcome o Problem with focus: Ppl do not always perceive their risk correctly Most ppl are too unrealistic in their optimism of their risks Most ppl view their bad behaviours as shared, and their good habits as distinctive Testing positive for something leads ppl to being restrictive/ defensive o Ethical issues When should you alarm ppl! Emphasizing risks that are not inherited can raise complicated issues in family dynamics pitting parents against each other and blaming e.o. Health Promotion in elderly o Healthy older pop. Is essential for the increased quality of life of this growing demographic group for future o Active aging- the process of optimizing opportunities for health and enhancing their quality of life o Controlling alcohol is quite important for elderly o Physical Activity o Risk for depression, accelerated decline o Risk of influenza Ethnic/ gender differences in health risks o Alcohol greater in men o Smoking greater for non-minority men o Aboriginals less likely to exercise o Aboriginals 3x likely to be diabetic o South Asians greater risk for cvs disease, hypertension, diabetes o Combined effects of low socio economic class and biological predisposition to particular illnesses put certain groups at substantially greater risk Attitude Changing health habits o Communications should be colourful and vivid rather than mere statistics o Communicator should be expert and trustworthy similar to the audience o Strong arguments should be presented at the beginning and end of a message not in the middle o Short clear direct o State conclusions directly o Extreme messages produce more attitude changes up to certain points Too extreme are discounted o Illness detection: health promotions emphasized(more effective)as opposed to cancer o If the audience is receptive to changing a habit then the communication should include favourable points ; if the audience is against change then the communication should discuss both sides of the issue Fear appeals o If they install fear, they will change to reduce their fear o Too much fear will cause lack of change and defiance Message Framing o Can be in positive or negative terms, matching the framing of the message to the health behaviour can impact the effectiveness of the message o Prospect theory: different presentations; will change perspectives and actions
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