Health Psychology

Health Psychology

Our Approach

The Health Psychology Research Group is concerned with the application of psychological theory, methods and treatment to the understanding and promotion of physical health. Our perspective is based on the biopsychosocial model which posits that biological, psychological and social processes are integrally and interactively involved in physical health and illness. This initially provocative premise has fueled major advances in psychology, medicine, nursing and public health over the past twenty-five years.

Consistent with our philosophy, research in health psychology emphasizes the integration of knowledge about biological, psychological and social factors. The biopsychosocial perspective also is reflected in both the content and methods used in our research programs. Research is facilitated by the health area faculty's numerous long-standing collaborations with medical practitioners and researchers at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, one of the largest training hospitals in the nation. Availability of medical populations and state-of-the art medical technologies affords a unique opportunity for the student who wishes to pursue research in health psychology.  

Specialized graduate training in health psychology can be pursued through either our Clinical Science or Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience graduate training areas. Graduate student applicants with interests in health psychology should first identify one or more potential mentors listed on this page. Applicants are then encouraged to contact these specific faculty for further information on how to apply.

Our Research

Each member of the Health Psychology research group has a distinctive research program, but there also are many shared interests and extensive exchanges affording the possibility of consultation and research collaboration. The content areas of research strength and focus include:

  • Stress and illness
  • Cardiovascular psychophysiology & pathophysiology
  • Psychoneuroimmunology
  • Patient adherence to medical regimens
  • Responses to organ transplantation
  • Medical treatment-seeking
  • Animal models of hypertension and heart failure
  • Postpartum depression
  • Gender disparities in health care
  • Women's health issues