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Health Psychology at NDSU

What is Health Psychology?

Health Psychology
 is an exciting and relatively new field devoted to understanding psychological influences on how people stay healthy, why they become ill, and how they respond when they do get ill. Health psychologists both study such issues and develop interventions to help people stay well or recover from illness. - Shelley Taylor, 2014

In addition to being its own sub-area in psychology, psychologists from a variety of sub-areas (e.g., social psychology, clinical psychology, developmental psychology etc.) are health psychologists. Health psychologists, including those at NDSU study topics such as:

  • how sleep is related to health,
  • health-related decision making,
  • how stress affects health and biological functioning in humans,
  • how stress affects pregnancy, 
  • how to communicate health information,
  • drinking behaviors and treating problem drinking,
  • eating disorders,
  • suicidal thoughts and behavior,
  • health-related self-regulation,
  • associations between nostalgia and health,
  • promoting health.
Graduate Programs

Prospective graduate students interested in health psychology may apply to either our Health/Social Psychology or Psychological Clinical Science Ph.D. programs.

Undergraduate Courses

Undergraduate students interested in health psychology may enroll in our many health-related psychology courses and are encouraged to seek research assistantships in our health psychology labs.

  • PSYC 210 - Human Sexuality
  • PSYC 212 - Psychological Aspects of Drug Use and Abuse
  • PSYC 250 - Developmental Psychology
  • PSYC 280 - Introduction to Health Psychology
  • PSYC 381 - Understanding Suicide and its Impact
  • PSYC 465 - Psychobiology
  • PSYC 481 - Health Psychology
Health Psychology Faculty and Research at NDSU


Research interest(s)

Keith F. Donohue, Ph.D.

Cognitive and emotional influences on the consequences of alcohol intoxication

Robert D. Dvorak, Ph.D.

Self-regulation of health-risk behavior

Kathryn H. Gordon, Ph.D.

Disordered eating and suicidal behavior

Clayton Hilmert, Ph.D.

Stress, psychophysiology, and health

Verlin B. Hinsz, Ph.D.

Motivating food safety, health attitudes and behavior

Leah Irish, Ph.D.

Sleep, stress, health behaviors

Kevin D. McCaul, Ph.D.

Relationships between cognitions, feelings and self-protective health behaviors

Michael D. Robinson, Ph.D.

Personality, emotion, cognition, self-regulation

Clay Routledge, Ph.D.

Existential motives, the self, nostalgia, psychological health and well-being

Wendy Troop-Gordon, Ph.D.

Peer relationships and developmental psychopathology

Health Psychology Resources

Tell me more about health psychology. - APA Division 38: Health Psychology

How does a person become a health psychologist? -
 Becoming a Health Psychologist (from APA Division 38)

What types of career opportunities are there for a health psychologist? -
 Health Psychology on

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Department of Psychology
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8622 / Fax: (701) 231-8426
Campus address: Minard Hall 232 
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 2765 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Department Chair: James Council, Ph.D.
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Last Updated: Wednesday, July 02, 2014 9:26:49 AM