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This textbook aims to provide students with a stimulating alternative to the textbooks currently available by placing the discipline within the context of the social world and encouraging them to question some of the assumptions and values underlying much current research. A comprehensive survey of the discipline is provided, framed within a lifespan approach, and emphasising social-cultural factors such as gender, ethnicity and social-economic status. All major topics are covered, including health behaviours, health promotion, coping strategies, stress, biomedical and biopsychosocial models of health and illness, chronic illnesses, psychoneuroimmunology, disability, pain, and patient-provider communication. Each topic is situated within its social and cultural context and constantly linked back to real-world experience. Chapters include valuable features such as research updates, learning objectives and recommended readings. This book will be an invaluable resource for students of health psychology across a range of disciplines including psychology, anthropology and health studies.