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Rehabilitation Psychology

  1. Marcia J. Scherer

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0785

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Scherer, M. J. 2010. Rehabilitation Psychology. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. University of Rochester Medical Center

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Rehabilitation is an integrated program of interventions that empower individuals with disabilities and chronic health conditions to achieve “personally fulfilling, socially meaningful, and functionally effective interaction” in their daily contexts (Riggar & Maki, 2004, p. 1). Rehabilitation psychology is a specialty area within psychology that focuses on the study and application of psychological knowledge and skills on behalf of individuals with disabilities and chronic health conditions in order to maximize health and welfare, independence and choice, functional abilities, and social role participation across the life span (e.g., Hagglund & Heinemann, 2006; Martz & Livneh, 2007). Rehabilitation psychologists are uniquely trained and specialized to engage in a broad range of activities that include clinical practice, consultation, program development, service provision, research, teaching and education, training, administration, development of public policy, and advocacy related to persons with disability and chronic health conditions (e.g., Banks & Kaschak, 2003; Farmer, Donders, & Warschausky, 2006; Frank, Rosenthal, & Caplan, in press; Hanson & Kerkhoff, 2004).


  • rehabilitation;
  • physical disability;
  • developmental disability;
  • aging;
  • assessment