Life-Span Perspectives on Health and Illness

Life-Span Perspectives on Health and Illness

Life-Span Perspectives on Health and Illness

Life-Span Perspectives on Health and Illness

Synopsis

This volume offers a comprehensive and conceptually integrated overview of the changing biological, psychological, and social/environmental influences on health and illness from the prenatal period through infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Based on the premise that protective and risk factors vary with life stage, several chapters examine the development of major biological systems and the changing role of genetics and environment over time. In addition, they provide information on environmental influences during the prenatal period and early childhood, chronic illness in childhood, and health and health risks in adolescence. Chapters on adulthood give special emphasis to mid-life transitions in health, resiliency in later life, and the impact of caregiving on health. Final chapters focus on death and dying and on an integrative model of health and illness across the life span.

Excerpt

Until recently, psychology and medicine have existed to a great extent as parallel universes. However, with the emergence of the behavioral medicine and health psychology fields, the recent research on the critical connection between mind and body, the emphasis on holistic medicine and health promotion, and the recognition of the importance of psychosocial aspects of illnesses, there have been unprecedented interdisciplinary efforts by two disciplines to collaborate on the treatment of disease and maintenance of health. As a consequence, psychology has progressed from playing an ancillary role in medicine to one that is more integrated into the comprehensive treatment of illness, particularly chronic illness, and the promotion of health and wellness.

The goal of this book is to expand this integration of psychology with medicine by placing these disciplines into a life-span developmental context. the life-span approach presents a broad conceptual perspective for viewing human development. When medicine is viewed in this framework, the development of biological, psychological, and social systems can provide a new way of contextualizing health and illness. This developmental context provides information that has significant implication for medical and psychological treatments and outcomes. With a life-span developmental perspective as the guide, this book examines the changing influence of biological, psychological, and social factors on health and illness during infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.

The first section of the book (chapters 1-4) introduces the life-span model. Chapter I traces the historical relation between psychology and medicine. in addition, models for examining the connections among biological, psychological, and environmental factors and health are described, with particular attention . . .

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