1st Edition

The Routledge International Handbook of Psychosocial Epidemiology

    The health effects of psychosocial factors are a widely discussed and controversial topic. Do positive and negative emotions affect our risk of developing physical disease? Are depressive individuals more likely to have cancer than those with an optimistic outlook on life? And what is the role of IQ in staying healthy and recovering from disease? Importantly, can we improve our health and life expectancy by avoiding certain psychosocial risk factors and maximizing positive psychological well-being? These and other questions are the focus of psychosocial epidemiology, a discipline linking psychological, social and biological sciences.

    The Routledge International Handbook of Psychosocial Epidemiology is the first book to map this growing discipline. Including contributions from many of the leading researchers in the field, it is divided into five sections:

    • Part I: Methodological challenges in studying psychosocial factors and health;
    • Part II: Psychosocial factors in the etiology and prognosis of chronic diseases;
    • Part III: Controversies in the psychosocial approach;
    • Part IV: Interventions and policy implications
    • Part V: Future research directions

    Taking advantage of a huge growth in research in recent years, the book provides the reader with the essentials to evaluate the diverse set of studies on psychosocial factors and health that are published today, and describes study designs in this field of research, progress in judging the validity of epidemiological evidence, as well as challenges in translating evidence into action.

    This is an important and timely book. Providing methodological rigour, critical analysis and the policy implications of this emerging field of study, The Routledge International Handbook of Psychosocial Epidemiology will be an invaluable resource for students and researchers within both behavioural and medical sciences, as well as policy makers and others working in health and social care.


    Professor Lisa Bergman


    Part I: Concepts and Methods in the Study of Psychosocial Factors and Health

    Chapter 1 Psychosocial Epidemiology: Concepts and Methods

    Mika Kivimäki, G. David Batty, Andrew Steptoe, Ichiro Kawachi

    Chapter 2 Causal Inference in Psychosocial Epidemiology

    M. Maria Glymour, Laura D. Kubzansky


    Part II: Psychosocial Factors Linked to Health

    Chapter 3 Social Networks

    Yongjoo Kim, Ichiro Kawachi

    Chapter 4 Workplace Stressors

    Mika Kivimäki, Jane E. Ferrie, Ichiro Kawachi

    Chapter 5 Religious Communities

    Tyler J. VanderWeele

    Chapter 6 Depression and Negative Emotions

    Andrew Steptoe

    Chapter 7 Positive Psychological Wellbeing

    Julie K. Boehm, Eric S. Kim, Laura D. Kubzansky

    Chapter 8 Personality, Intelligence and Genes

    Michelle Luciano, Alexander Weiss, Catharine Gale, Ian J. Deary

    Chapter 9 Gender Differences in the Health Effects of Psychosocial Factors

    Anne McMunn et al


    Part III: Psychosocial Factors in the Etiology and Prognosis of Specific Diseases and Disorders

    Chapter 10 Type 2 Diabetes

    Frans Pouwer, Briana Mezuk, Adam Tabak

    Chapter 11 Cardiovascular Diseases

    Mika Kivimäki

    Chapter 12 Cancer

    Katriina Heikkilä, Markus Jokela

    Chapter 13 Infectious Disease

    Allison E. Aiello, Amanda M. Simanek, Rebecca C. Stebbins, Jennifer B. Dowd

    Chapter 14 Suicide

    G. David Batty, Mika Kivimäki, Steven Bell, Catherine Gale, Martin J. Shipley, Elise Whitley, David Gunnell

    Chapter 15 Mood Disorders and Cognitive Impairment

    Klaus P. Ebmeier, Charlotte Allen, Anya Topiwala, Eniko Zoldos

    Chapter 16 Sleep Disorders

    Torbjörn Åkerstedt


    Part IV: Interventions and Policy Implications

    Chapter 17 Behavioral and Psychological Interventions for the Management of Cardiac Patients

    Alan Rozanski

    Chapter 18 Targeting Psychosocial Factors to Reduce Health Inequalities

    Angela Donkin, Michael G. Marmot


    Part V: Future Research Directions

    Chapter 19 Current State of Psychosocial Epidemiology: Where Are We? What Are the Next Steps?

    Mika Kivimäki, Andrew Steptoe, G. David Batty, Ichiro Kawachi


    Mika Kivimaki is Professor and Chair of Social Epidemiology at the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London, UK, Director of the UK Whitehall II cohort study, Research Professor in Clinicum, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland, and Principal Investigator of the IPD-Work Cohort Consortium.

    G David Batty is Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology & Public Health at University College London, UK, an Honorary Professor of Epidemiology in the MRC Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Glasgow.

    Andrew Steptoe is Head of the Department of Behavioural Science and Health in the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care in the Faculty of Population Health Sciences, University College London, UK, and Principal Investigator of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA).

    Ichiro Kawachi is John L. Loeb and Frances Lehman Loeb Professor of Social Epidemiology, and Chair of the Social & Behavioral Sciences Department at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, USA. 

    ‘This Handbook is an outstanding work of scholarship. Written by leading international experts it provides a timely, comprehensive illustration of the most substantial achievements in this new scientific discipline. The nineteen chapters address major social and psychological determinants of health and related disorders, discuss interventions and policy implications of current knowledge, and offer useful recommendations for students and researchers. Given its excellence, the book will be an authoritative resource for anyone interested in this important field of scientific inquiry.’ - Johannes Siegrist, Senior Professor of Work Stress Research, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany.