Mechanisms of Psychological Influence on Physical Health: With Special Attention to the Elderly

Mechanisms of Psychological Influence on Physical Health: With Special Attention to the Elderly

by Laura L. Carstensen

Paperback(Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 1989)

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In recent years ideas about the influence of psychological status on physical health have been elevated from intuition and clinical lore to a legitimate area of scientific study. Mechanisms of influence are, indubitably, diverse. Some of this influence is indirect, accounted for simply by the instrumental help that social engagement, associated with good mental health, affords people; for example, psychologically "healthy" people are probably more likely to comply with medication regimens and engage in other healthful behaviors to a greater extent than those who are socially withdrawn or psychologically unstable. But recent studies suggest that while the importance of these more obvious factors cannot be denied, the complete picture includes factors that are much more subtle and complex. A body of research is beginning to accumulate that suggests that all three major regulatory systems -- the central nervous system, the endocrine system, and the immune system -- are affected by cognitions, emotions and behavior. There is no doubt that a relationship between mental and physical health exists, but very little is known about the specific mechanisms by which such influence occurs. At least in part, empirical research in this area has been limited by the inherent need for an interdisciplinary approach and synthesis of collected data. Recently, a few researchers in a number of different disciplines have begun to study directly the linkage between psychological and emotional well­ being and health.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781461280767
Publisher: Springer US
Publication date: 09/27/2011
Edition description: Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 1989
Pages: 196
Product dimensions: 6.69(w) x 9.61(h) x 0.02(d)

Table of Contents

1 Concurrent Morbidity between Physical and Mental Illness: An Epidemiologic Examination.- 2 Social Support Influences on the Disease Process.- 3 Interpersonal Relationships and Immune Function.- 4 Bereavement, Depression, and Immunity: The Role of Age.- 5 Stress, Illness, and Secretory Immunity.- 6 Differential Emotions Model for the Study of Health and Illness Processes in Aging.- 7 Recent Advances in the Neurochemical Modulation of Behavior: Focus on Depression and Alzheimer’s Disease.- 8 Psychological Factors in Coronary Arteiy Disease: Epidemiologic Evidence.- 9 Some Thoughts on the Cross-Cultural Prevalence of Dementia.- List of Contributors.

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