Health Psychology and Public Health: Theoretical Possibilities
AbstractPublic health has either implicitly or explicitly drawn upon a range of psychological theories. This paper identifies four areas where the application of such theory could be developed, health communication, environmental initiatives, the negotiation of behaviour and participation and empowerment. Recommendations are made regarding content, sources and recipient characteristics that can be used to develop targeted health communication campaigns. Psychology also has a role to play in informing structural approaches to prevention. To facilitate this, a framework which focuses on cues, reinforcer and barriers and an understanding of how behaviour is achieved through negotiation and interaction is outlined. Finally we highlight a role for psychology in approaches that focus on participation and empowerment in relation to health.