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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "PS 351"
COURSE NAME: "Health Psychology"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2020
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Nicola Petrocchi
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 9:55-11:15 AM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: PS 101
OFFICE HOURS: Before or after class or by appointment

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course will examine five broad areas: the foundations of health psychology including health research; stress, pain and coping; behavioral factors in cardiovascular disease and chronic disease; tobacco, alcohol, drugs, eating, and exercise; and challenges in health psychology.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:

The purpose of this course is to help students develop an understanding of how cognitive, emotional, behavioral, social and biological factors contribute to physical health and illness. Current research and examples across a number of health concerns will be examined and students will have opportunities to evaluate, synthesize and apply this information to case studies and to consider this information for management of their own health. One of the aims of the course is to prepare the student to read psychological literature with a critical eye, considering the difficulties involved in studying human psychological processes in an objective way. 

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

At the end of this course in Health Psychology, students should have an understanding and appreciation of common health concerns and current evidence relating the role of physiology, emotions, cognition, and behavior choices to the prevention and treatment of illness and to the promotion and maintenance of health.

TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Health Psychology: Theory, Research & Practice: Theory, Research and PracticeDavid F. Marks , Michael Murray, e al.Sage Pubns Ltd ISBN-10 : 1526408236 ISBN-13 : 978-1526408235  
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
2 tests 20 % each
Final examination 30%
Individual assignment  15%
participation in class activities 15%

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:
ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS AND EXAMINATION POLICY

Attendance and participation, although not mandatory, are essential to earn a good grade for this course. Students are strongly invited to attend every class meeting, and to come to class prepared and ready to participate in discussions. 

You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. 
ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

WEEK 1

  • Introducing Health Psychology: background and aims.
  • Health inequalities: variability in health and illness.

WEEK 2

  • Health believes and risk perception
  • Motivation and self-determination theory: the social cognition model

WEEK 3

  • Addicting behaviors: smoking and alcohol use
  • Stages of substance use and cessation approaches

WEEK 4 

  • Diet and health: models of eating behavior
  • TEST I

WEEK 5  

  • Body dissatisfaction and dieting
  • Exercise: motivation and behavior

WEEK 6

  • Health risk behaviors: risk believes and decision making approaches
  • Health promotion: cognitive and behavioral approaches

WEEK 7 

  • Becoming ill: illness cognitions
  • Accessing health care & psychological adjustments to physical illness  

WEEK 8 

  • Stress: psychological and physiological factors 
  • How does stress cause illness? The role of coping behaviors

WEEK 9 

  • TEST II
  • Being ill: pain and the placebo effect

WEEK 10 

  • Chronic illness and psychology: cancer
  • Obesity: psychological factors

WEEK 11 

  • Psychological and behavioral factors in cardiovascular disease 
  • Women’s health issues

WEEK 12 

  • HIV infection and AIDS - the pinnacle of stigma and victim blaming
  • End of Life care, dying and death