Health Psychology

Research Methods in Psychology


  1. Linda J. Luecken PhD,
  2. Rika Tanaka

Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118133880.hop202009

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

How to Cite

Luecken, L. J. and Tanaka, R. 2012. Health Psychology. Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 2:II:9.

Author Information

  1. Arizona State University, Department of Psychology, Tempe, Arizona, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2012


Health psychology broadly covers all aspects of the intersections among psychological, social, behavioral, biological, and medical factors in health and illness, requiring researchers to use a diverse array of methodological approaches. This chapter provides an overview of commonly used methods in health psychology. We begin by briefly discussing major thematic areas of research in health psychology including the influence of psychosocial factors on health, the psychosocial impact of illness, health behaviors and risk reduction, delivery of health care, and prevention/intervention. We then describe the multiple levels of analysis that characterize health psychology research and differentiate it from other areas of psychology. Next, common issues in study design, such as selection of participants and control groups, third variable effects, effect sizes, and ethical considerations are outlined. Specific methods commonly used to understand health phenomena are discussed, including measurement of stress, health, biological markers, pain, and health behaviors. The chapter concludes by describing emerging methods that offer promise for advancing research on mind-body connections in health and illness.


  • biopsychosocial;
  • stress;
  • methods;
  • health;
  • mind-body