Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Psychosocial Variables

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_486



Variables encompassing psychological and social factors.


The term “psychosocial” has a broad meaning when considering health research and social epidemiology. It is formed from two words: psychological and social. Psychological factors can be positive, such as happiness, affect, and vitality, or negative, such as anxiety, perceived stress, and depressive symptoms. These can also be split to distinguish between trait and state aspects. Personality traits, depressive factors, well-being, quality of life, and the impact of significant life events and trauma are less likely to fluctuate on a day to day basis (i.e., more trait-like or stable variables), whereas anxiety, perceived stress, mood, affect, happiness, and vitality are more unstable (i.e., more state-like). Furthermore, cognitive, behavioral, and affective facets within psychosocial factors can be identified. For example, someone may think about...

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References and Readings

  1. Barefoot, J. C., Helms, M. J., Mark, D. B., Blumenthal, J. A., Califf, R. M., Haney, T. L., O'Connor, C. M., Siegler, I. C., Williams, R. B. (1996). Depression and long term mortality risk in patients with coronary heart disease. American Journal of Cardiology 78, 613–617.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Sport and Exercise SciencesUniversity of BirminghamEdgbastonUK