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Health Psychology

Health Psychology
Theory, Research and Practice

Fourth Edition
Additional resources:

June 2015 | 656 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Health Psychology students will need to understand how to evaluate and critically-appraise the latest theory and research before it can be applied. This fully-revised and updated fourth edition takes a critical approach and places Health Psychology in a real-world context, enabling students to understand how public policy, theory and research can influence communities and individuals alike.

The new edition includes:

  • A new chapter on diet and obesity
  • Updated material on stress and coping, doctor-patient communication, death, dying, bereavement and quality of life
  • Introductions to the social, political and economic conditions that influence our health
  • Breadth of coverage from social inequality through to chronic illness and screening
  • An enhanced SAGE edge™ companion website ( with a suite of features to enhance students' learning experience.

Chapter 1: Health psychology: an introduction
Chapter 2: Macro-social influences
Chapter 3: Social justice
Chapter 4: Culture and health
Chapter 5: A-Z of research methods and issues in health psychology
Chapter 6: Sexual health: Theories, models and interventions
Chapter 7: Food, diets and obesity
Chapter 8: Alcohol and drinking
Chapter 9: Tobacco and smoking
Chapter 10: Physical activity and exercise
Chapter 11: Information, communication and health literacy
Chapter 12: Stress and coping
Chapter 13: Screening and Immunization
Chapter 14: Health promotion
Chapter 15: Lay representations of illness
Chapter 16: Illness and personality
Chapter 17: Medicine taking: Adherence and resistance
Chapter 18: Pain and pain control
Chapter 19: Cancer and chronic diseases


Visit the Companion Website

For lecturers:

  • PowerPoint slides featuring figure and tables from the book 
  • A testbank that provides a range of multiple choice and text answers  

For students:

  • Learning Objectives for each chapter
  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards which strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts
  • Mobile-friendly Interactive quizzes that test the understanding of key chapter concepts
  • Links to videos that offer a new perspective on the material covered in the book

This book has become a classic in the field - sophisticated,  accessible and interesting.  It is of great use to students, teachers and practitioners of Health Psychology world wide.

Leslie Swartz, Distinguished Professor of Psychology
Stellenbosch University.

This is a remarkable book. It is exceptionally complete, thoughtful, and deep.  It avoids the superficial accounting of many texts and does not shy away from controversy. It is fully rooted in today’s science of health psychology.

Stevan E. Hobfoll, Ph.D. Professor of Behavioral Sciences, Medicine, and Preventive Medicine
Rush University Medical Center, Chicago

A very nice introductory text that takes a biopsychosocial approach to health and illness, and recognizes the importance of culture, health literacy, and issues such as racism and health inequities/disparities that continue to impact disadvantaged communities.

Cheryl L. Holt
University of Maryland

Like other textbooks, this book provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of health psychology. Unlike other books however, this one takes a holistic-systems approach to health, and uses the novel concept of the Health Onion to do so: The myriad determinants of health are presented as different layers – biological, familial, behavioral, neighborhood, social and cultural – that must be scientifically-examined and peeled away to understand health. Consequently, the book contains many valuable chapters that other textbooks lack, including chapters on macro-level influences (Chapter 2), social justice and social inequality (Chapter 3), and cultural factors (Chapter 4). Moreover, the examples provided to illustrate each layer of the influences on health are global ones, and include health and its psychology in Europe, the USA, Asia, Africa, and elsewhere. This unique approach helps students understand that the health of individuals is a part and product of the family, social-network, neighborhood, and society in which they are embedded. Hence, this revised edition provides an excellent overview of health and of the science of health psychology in their local and larger contexts.

Hope Landrine
Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University

Just as the Journal of Health Psychology is not like any other journal in the field, this new edition of David Mark’s "Health Psychology” textbook is different from all the other textbooks in the field. It will broaden your perspectives as it educates your mind.

Kenneth A. Wallston
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Combines really broad scope (eg consideration of social context) with relatively deep and up-to-date consideration of issues. Really useful as an overview of the area of health psychology.

Ms Linda Morison
School of Psychology, Surrey University
November 13, 2017

Very useful for Access students who are intending to study Nursing, Social Work or Mental Health in Higher Education. A very comprehensive account of research methods and professional practice

Mrs Michele Ponting
Access to Higher Education, Portslade Aldridge Community Academy
October 3, 2017

This in-depth text supports a wide variety of contemporary topics, many of which have received recent media coverage. The inter-disciplinary relevance is striking and the well-informed yet accessible style allows for a cover-to cover read, or the chance to dip into relevant sections as needed. A superb addition to any bookshelf or book list.
Sally Tazewell, Lecturer in Early Years and Early Childhood Studies, University Centre Weston

Mrs Sally Tazewell
Dept of Care and Early Years, Weston College
April 19, 2017

Excellent comprehensive guide

Miss Maria Nolan Fortune
Career Education , Portobello Institute
November 24, 2016

This text is essential for students, it offers up to date information on policy and theory and how it can be applied to practical application. Students can use the text to understand the detriments of health allowing them to develop their knowledge and understanding on how these can influence individuals or communities

Miss Ella Malton
Department of Health & Social Studies, Grimsby Institute of HE And FE
November 17, 2016

Ch 7- food, diets, obesity

Smaller focus on health literacy (no longer whole chapter but part of Communication chapter) – makes more sense for course mapping

Less focus on community approaches- again, wasn’t crucial to course. Instead, more general ‘Health promotion’ chapter

More on Lifespan issues, such as Death, Dying and Bereavement along with Quality of Life

More on Stress and Coping.

More on Doctor-Patient Communication

New figures

Key terms set out at the end of chapters (as well as in glossary)

New to c/w:
20 Multiple-Choice Questions and 3 Short-Answer
Questions per chapter for the Instructor’s Manual.
10 Multiple-Choice Questions per chapter for the student
self-assessment quiz.

Flipcard Glossary
One revised video clip per chapter of authors discussing the key ideas of each
Case studies from book

Sample Materials & Chapters

Health Psychology: Introduction

Preview this book

For instructors

Review and Desk copies for this title are available digitally via VitalSource.

Request e-review copy

If you require a print review copy, please call: (800) 818-7243 ext. 6140 or email