Health Psychology

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. - ShelleyTaylor, 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.

Study Topics

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
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
Graduate Programs

Prospective graduate students interested in health psychology may apply to our Ph.D. in Psychology program.

Health Psychology Faculty and Research at NDSU

Katherine Duggan, Ph.D. - Research Interests: Personality, sleep, cardiovascular disease, lifespan development, healthy aging, statistics/methods

Jeremy Hamm, Ph.D. - Research Interests: Motivation, emotion, self-regulation, life transitions, healthy aging

Clayton Hilmert, Ph.D. - Research Interests: Stress, psychophysiology, and health

Verlin B. Hinsz, Ph.D. - Research Interests: Motivating food safety, health attitudes and behavior

Leah Irish, Ph.D. - Research Interests: Sleep, stress, health behaviors

Michael D. Robinson, Ph.D. - Research Interests: Personality, emotion, cognition, self-regulation

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

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