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Child Health Psychology
A Biopsychosocial Perspective



© 2013 | 360 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Winner of the British Psychological Society Book Award 2017 - Textbook category

"A long overdue prioritisation of child and adolescent health psychology... Taking an interdisciplinary stance to a textbook can be a difficult task. However, despite introducing a variety of concepts, this text is very accessible and a joy to read. A use of both old and new case studies and examples helps to chart the progress in the field... an excellent book for health psychology modules and postgraduate teaching."
- The Psychologist

"This book is well evidenced, has a sound theoretical and scientific basis, and at the same time is insightful and readable – reflecting the author’s enthusiasm for the topic. It will stimulate the reader to find out more about this fascinating area."
- Vivien Swanson, University of Stirling

"Engagingly written in a style that draws the reader in, it covers all the bases and provides an excellent introduction to the area."
- Paul D. Bennett, Swansea University

Child Health Psychology: A Biopsychosocial Perspective is the first sole-authored textbook dedicated to the topic of health psychology as it applies to children and adolescents, drawing on research from several related disciplines including psychoneuroimmunology and developmental psychobiology.

With an overarching biopsychosocial lifespan perspective, Turner-Cobb examines the effects of early life experience on health outcomes, as well as covering the experience of acute and chronic illness during childhood. Lots of helpful aids are provided per chapter including key learning objectives, textboxes putting spotlights on key pieces of research, lists of key concepts to revise, useful websites and further reading suggestions.

With a perspective designed to both inform and to challenge, this stimulating textbook will introduce you to the central relevance and many applications of child health psychology. It will be of interest to final year undergraduate and postgraduate students in health and clinical psychology, as well as to students in health sciences, nursing, and childhood studies.

 
PART ONE: AN INTRODUCTION TO CHILD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
 
Chapter 1: Introduction: What Is Child Health Psychology?
Definition of child health psychology  
The psychosocial context of child health  
The deveopmental context of child health  
The mind-body link: from medieval to moder-day views  
The mind-body connection in modern times  
Health-related behaviour and social cognition models  
The changing face of health threats  
Communicating health  
 
Chapter 2: Defining Health, Illness and Well-Being
Definitions of health and illness  
Stress and coping: chronic versus acute stress  
The relevance of cognitive and social development in health and illness  
How can psychosocial factors influence physical health?  
Biological responses to stress  
How can the immune system be influenced by HPA axis regulation?  
Psychobiological theories of stress and coping  
Resiliency factors and individual differences  
 
Chapter 3: Research Methods and Ethical Issues
Measurement of psychosocial factors  
Mixed methods  
Psychobiological research methods  
Immune markers of stress  
Neurotransmitter and endocrine markers of stress  
Measuring health outcome in children  
The laboratory/experimental research setting  
Naturalistic settings and field research  
Ethical issues and communication in health research with children  
 
Chapter 4: The Influence of Prenatal Exposure to Stress
Terms, definitions and developmental periods in pregnancy  
The normal basal maternal endocrine environment during pregnancy  
The stress response during pregnancy  
Effects of prenatal stress on the fetus in utero  
Effects of prenatal stres on birth outcome  
Effects of prenatal stress on infant and child development  
Prenatal stress effects in the adolescent years and into adulthood  
Interventions to reduce prenatal stress and subsequent effects  
The maternal perspective and a link to immune effects  
 
Chapter 5: The Experience of Stress During Childhood
The Experience of Stress in Healthy Children  
The Contributions of Temperament, Individual Difference and quality of childcare  
Effects of severe or toxic stress, including post-traumatic stress disorder  
Family Environment and Intergenerational Transmission of Stress  
Health in adulthood and across the lifespan  
Communicating stress  
The longer-term outlook and opportunities for intervention  
 
PART TWO: The Experience of Acute and Chronic Illness During Childhood
 
Chapter 6: The Experience of Acute Illness in Childhood
Defining acute illness  
The relevance of illness cognitions in acute childhood illness  
Coping with acute illness in childhood  
Medical procedures and hospitalization in acute childhood illness  
 
Chapter 7: The Experience of Chronic Illness in Childhood
Defining chronic illness  
The prevalence of chronic illness  
The impact of chronic illness: the stress context  
The relevance of illness cognitions in chronic childhood illness  
Coping and adaptation in chronic childhood illness  
Parental coping in chronic childhood illness  
Interventions in chronic childhood illness  
Medical procedures and hospitalization in chronic childhood illness  
 
Chapter 8: Terminal Illness and Survivorship Issues
Childhood palliative care and terminal illness  
The Challenge of Surviving Childhood Illness  
Physical, medical or late effects in the survival of childhood illness  
The psychosocial experience in the survival of childhood illness  
Psychosocial interventions for survivors of childhood cancer  
Implications for the life-course perspective  
 
Chapter 9: The Experience of Pain in Childhood
The biopsychosocial approach to the experience of pain  
The pain experience in children and analgesic management of pain  
The prevalence of pain and disability in children  
Cognitive, behavioural and emotional factors in coping with pain  
The role of early life pain experience on subsequent pain  
Psychosocial interventions in acute and chronic pain  
 
Chapter 10: The Experience of Parental Illness and Death
The child as carer  
Coping and adjustment: the impact of caregiving on the young carer  
Interventions to lessen the negative impacts on young carers  
Dealing with issues of death and dying  
Bereavement services for children  
 
Chapter 11: Summary and the Way Ahead
Summary of Health Risks and Resiliency Factors  
Promoting and Maintaining Health  
Psychosocial factors and issues in child health not mentioned  
The role of health psychology in future child health  

Provides a long overdue prioritisation of child and adolescent health psychology, relating this to later functioning in a lifespan perspective...  An invaluable aspect of this book is its research methods section: providing accessible details on psychobiological assessment, including stress, neurotransmitter and endocrine markers... Discussion is highlighted throughout by helpful figures charting biological aspects that many psychologists may be new to, such as the biological life cycle of stress, as well as complex theories and cognitions, such as young children's experiences of pain... Taking an interdisciplinary stance to a textbook can be a difficult task. However, despite introducing a variety of concepts, this text is very accessible and a joy to read. A use of both old and new case studies and examples helps to chart the progress in the field... an excellent book for health psychology modules and postgraduate teaching, providing an introduction to both child-focused research and biological measurements.

BPS members can read the full review here.

The Psychologist

A comprehensive overview of how health psychology relates to children’s health is long overdue. Many of the theories within health psychology have been developed in relation to adult populations, and it is unclear how they might apply to children and young people at different developmental stages.  This book is well evidenced, has a sound theoretical and scientific basis, and at the same time is insightful and readable – reflecting the author’s enthusiasm for the topic. It will stimulate the reader to find out more about this fascinating area.

Vivien Swanson
University of Stirling

Health psychology has lacked a text book focusing on child health psychology, but has now found one with this excellent text by Julie Turner-Cobb. Engagingly written in a style that draws the reader in, it covers all the bases and provides an excellent introduction to the area.

Paul D. Bennett
Swansea University

This is a welcome book which meets a long-neglected need in the field of child and adolescent welfare. It will be an invaluable reference for academics and clinical practitioners alike, but given that Dr Turner-Cobb  writes in such an engaging and lucid style the book should appeal to general readers wishing to gain an understanding of this important topic. Thoroughly recommended.

Peter Schabil

I really cannot praise this textbook enough. Written specifically from a child health perspective, this textbook means that children and young people's nurses no longer need to adapt and apply adult health psychology to the child and young person, which is not easy to do and often not that applicable. This text would also be of use to students and practitioners working in the field of child and adolescent mental health, health visiting, school nursing and midwifery, as well as children and young people's nursing. The chapters are easy to read, accessible and of particular note are the suggested resources at the end of the chapter. Julie Turner-Cobb's enthusiasm for her subject area is clearly evident. Quite simply one of the best textbooks I've reviewed this year!

Mrs Zoe Veal
Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences, University of The West of England, Bristol
August 19, 2016

Sample Materials & Chapters

Child Health Psychology -Ch. 9: The Experience of Pain in Childhood


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