- Oxford Library Of Psychology
- Short Contents
- Oxford Library of Psychology
- About the Editor
- The Intellectual Roots of Health Psychology
- A History of the Development of Health Psychology
- Measurement in Health Psychology Research
- Designing and Conducting Interventions to Enhance Physical and Mental Health Outcomes
- Uncertainty, Variability, and Resource Allocation in the Health Care Decision Process
- The Brain, Homeostasis, and Health: Balancing Demands of the Internal and External Milieu
- Stress, Coping, and Health
- Social Support: A Review
- Personality, Disease, and Self-healing
- Adjustment to Chronic Disease: Progress and Promise in Research
- Social Comparison Processes: Implications for Physical Health
- Health and Illness Perceptions
- Physician–Patient Communication
- Aging and Health
- Chronic Pain: Closing the Gap Between Evidence and Practice
- Coping with Cancer
- Expressive Writing: Connections to Physical and Mental Health
- Beyond the Myths of Coping with Loss: Prevailing Assumptions Versus Scientific Evidence
- Family Consultation for Couples Coping with Health Problems: A Social Cybernetic Approach
- Childhood Health and Chronic Illness
- Health Behavior Change
- Advancing Health Behavior Theory: The Interplay Among Theories of Health Behavior, Empirical Modeling of Health Behavior, and Behavioral Interventions
- The Perception of Health Risks
- Physical Activity and Health: Current Research Trends and Critical Issues
- Alcohol Use and Alcohol Use Disorders
- Dispositional Optimism, Psychophysiology, and Health
- Community Health
- Latino Health
- Two Decades of Social Change in Central and Eastern Europe: Implications for Health
- Asian Meditation and Health
- Health and Social Relationships in Nonhuman Primates: Toward a Comparative Health Psychology
- Conclusion: The Achievements and Promise of Health Psychology
Abstract and Keywords
Heavy alcohol use in the general population, especially among late adolescents and young adults, is highly prevalent and associated with a range of adverse health outcomes, such as unintentional injury and sexually transmitted infections, as well as fetal injury in pregnant women. Although heavy consumption tends to decrease as individuals age, the cumulative effect of alcohol exposure increases risk for some forms of cancer, gastrointestinal disease, dementing illnesses, and other serious conditions. Alcohol use can also interfere with treatments for medical illnesses via drug interactions and poor compliance with prescribed treatments. Against this backdrop of considerable health burden associated with alcohol use in the population are findings that, at least among certain subgroups of the population, there are health benefits of moderate consumption. Additionally, alcohol use disorders (AUDs; alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence), are among the most prevalent mental disorders in the United States and elsewhere. AUDs are frequently comorbid with other psychological disorders which in themselves have important implications for health. A number of approaches to the prevention and treatment of problematic alcohol use have been developed and are effective. Some of these can be employed during primary care visits or other contacts with health professionals (e.g., emergency room visits).
Kenneth J. Sher is a member of the Department of Psychological Sciences at the Midwest Alcoholism Research Center of the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO.
Amelia E. Talley is a professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences and the Midwest Alcoholism Research Center at the Univeristy of Missouri in Columbia, MO.
Andrew K. Littlefield, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Psychology, Texas Tech University.
Julia A. Martinez is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Colgate University in Hamilton, NY.
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