Handbook of Psychology and Health: Cardiovascular Disorders and Behavior - Vol. 3

Handbook of Psychology and Health: Cardiovascular Disorders and Behavior - Vol. 3

Handbook of Psychology and Health: Cardiovascular Disorders and Behavior - Vol. 3

Handbook of Psychology and Health: Cardiovascular Disorders and Behavior - Vol. 3

Excerpt

Cardiovascular diseases are arguably the largest cause of death in the United States. This statement attests to the importance of understanding these disorders, in order to be able to prevent, ameliorate, and reduce the devastation which this set of diseases can cause. Cardiovascular disorders have also been the most, intensely studied of those health hazards that have come to the attention of behavioral scientists. The many ways in which these problems are influenced by environmental, social, and behavioral factors have provided a fertile ground for, study by investigators of many disciplines and persuasions. For these two rea- sons, it is appropriate that a volume in this series be directed toward the study of cardiovascular disease.

The domains of health psychology and behavioral medicine constitute rapidly growing behavioral science fields. The area is not well organized in terms of taxonomy or characterization, and many ways of arranging or classifying the field have been offered. Some do so by type of disease -- cardiovascular, cancer, metabolic, and so on. Other classify the field of health psychology/behavioral medicine according to the point at which behavioral interventions impact (e.g., prevention, treatment, or rehabilitation). Still others classify the field in terms of characteristics of the patient population such as age, and create sub-fields such as pediatric or gerontological health psychology. And finally, others will classify the field in terms of the nature of the disciplinary or sub-disciplinary contribution to the study of behavior and health and thus talk about social psychology and health psychology, clinical psychology and health psychology, and so forth. In this series, we have used several of these classifications of each of the volumes: Volume I --Clinical Psychology and Behavioral Medicine: Overlapping Disciplines -- classified the field in terms of the nature of the psychological contribu-

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