Research on Mind-Body Interactions and Health

Environmental Health Perspectives, September 2003 | Go to article overview

Research on Mind-Body Interactions and Health

The NIH, through the participating institutes, centers, and offices noted below, invites applications in support of research on mind-body interactions and health. "Mind-body interactions and health" refers to the relationships among cognitions, emotions, personality, social relationships, and health. A central goal of this program isto encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation toward understanding the processes underlying mind-body interactions and health as well as toward the application of such basic knowledge into interventions and clinical practice in the promotion of health mad the prevention or treatment of disease and disabilities.

Mind-body research is viewed as one component of health and behavior research. The Public Health Service has documented that many of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States are attributable to social, behavioral, and lifestyle factors (such as tobacco use, lack of exercise, poor diet, drug and alcohol abuse). Numerous studies have also documented that psychological stress is linkedto a variety of health outcomes, and researchers and public health officials are becoming increasingly interested in understanding the nature of this relationship. Research has shown, for example, that psychological stress can contribute to increased heart disease and decreased immune system functioning. Other research has demonstrated that cognitions (attitudes, beliefs values), social support, prayer, and meditation can reduce psychological stress and contribute to positive health outcomes.

Consequently, over the past decade the NIH has increased efforts to encourage and support research on health and behavior. In 1999, using funds especially appropriated by Congress to the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), the NIH issued a request for applications (RFA) for Centers for Mind-Body Interactions and Health (OD-99-005) and subsequently awarded five P50 center grants. On 9 January 2003, the NIH issued two related RFAs tided Mind-Body Interactions and Health: Research Infrastructure Program (OB-03-004) and Mind-Body Interactions and Health: Exploratory/Developmental Research Program (OB43-005). The NIH also commissioned a series of reports from the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine, which include calls for expansion of interdisciplinary health research on mind-body topics.

Three areas of research are emphasized in this RFA. In addition, special importance is given to mind-body research in diverse racial/ethnic and socioeconomic status populations (e.g., cultural beliefs regarding health, perceived racism and health, distrust of health care systems and health care utilization, perceived disability, health). The formation of interdisciplinary teams to perform the research of this initiative is viewed as essential.

The first area of emphasis is the effect of cognitions or personality (e.g., beliefs, attitudes, values, modes of thinking) and of emotions on physical health. Included is research on social, psychological, behavioral, affective, and biological factors mediating these effects. What are the physiological, behavioral, and social pathways by which beliefs, attitudes, and values or particular stress-management interventions affect health? How do emotions, personality, and cognitions interact to affect health?

The second area of emphasis is determinants or antecedents of health-related cognitions (beliefs, attitudes, values, modes of thinking, decision-making styles). That is, given that some beliefs and attitudes have been shown to affect health, how are these beliefs, attitudes, and values developed, maintained, or changed? Specifically, this RFA will support research that addresses issues such as: What contributes to individual differences in the beliefs, attitudes, and values that affect health and biological processes? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Research on Mind-Body Interactions and Health


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.