Health Behavior and Management

Psychological aspects as well as the social environment are important factors influencing health and health Behavior. Personality factors such as self-efficacy or optimism, attitudes and expectations, but also experiences and emotions affect how individuals behave in general, but importantly also how they behave regarding their health and how they experience their health state. While individuals with predominantly negative affective states report worse health states and more physical symptoms, their optimistic counterparts experience enhanced psychological and physical well-being. Others with high self-efficacy expectations feel competent to execute certain health Behaviors such as physical activity, while others again engage in risky Behaviors such as smoking, mainly because their social environment is doing the same.

In return, “objective and experienced health” affect individuals’ Behavior and experiences. Chronic health conditions may result in depression and anxiety in some patients, while others grow from their experiences and live a happy and fulfilled life.

For both, individuals and society, it is thus important to gain an in depth knowledge of health Behaviors and health experiences, which can be addressed and changed with appropriate interventions or changes to the health system.

These are among the diverse aspects addressed within the Major of Health and Social Behavior. Most importantly, we will provide:

  1. A broad theoretical background in
    • psychological, social and cultural determinants of health;
    • health impairment and psycho-social outcomes.
  2. A methodological background to design, run, analyse and evaluate studies in this field.

The curriculum includes lectures, seminars and workshops covering the following topics:

  • Theories of health Behavior
  • Gender and health
  • Culture and health
  • Social background and health inequalities
  • Stress and coping
  • Chronic health conditions and psychological outcomes
  • Health Behavior interventions

The Major in Health Behavior and Management will prepare students for diverse professional areas such as: research (continue with a PhD in epidemiology, psychology etc.), public health sector, or health organizations.

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