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A Life Course Approach To Health Psychology Essay

In the aboriginal years, illnesses were advised alone in agreement of distinct causes; one abettor led to one accurate disease. However, we now apperceive that the bloom of individuals and societies are afflicted by a aggregate of factors such as ancestral factors, active conditions, socioeconomic cachet and amusing abutment networks. A action advance access to bloom focuses on all ages and stages of action and takes into annual a advanced ambit of processes that collaborate and access people’s bloom from bearing to old age ( Kuh et al, 2003) and additionally has implications on the way bloom affliction needs of bodies are considered. Based on the compassionate that one’s accomplished and present action adventures are shaped by the added socio-cultural context, we can abstraction the accepted arrangement of bloom and ache of an alone by attractive into and analytical their accomplished action contest for clues into present bloom accompanying behaviour (WHO, 2000) such as smoking, boundless booze consumption, ailing diets and agnate behaviours that accept adverse furnishings on one’s bloom and all-embracing able-bodied being.

Although, in the past, the Biomedical archetypal of bloom which emphasizes on the biological determinants or alien bacilli has accurate to be able in the ascendancy of massive communicable diseases ( Havelka et al, 2009), there is a acute charge to accept bloom and diseases from assorted alternative perspectives that booty into annual above affecting factors such as biological, behavioural and psychosocial processes that run throughout the action of an alone and accord appear both accretion and abrasion of physiological and cerebral functioning. Such an access aids in compassionate the development and advance taken by assorted diseases, arch to the conception of antitoxin measures and analysis plans. A action advance access to bloom emphasizes on contest from all stages of life, starting from the intrauterine ambiance and throughout developed life, after belief how such contest access the accident for abiding illnesses and bloom outcomes after in life, which is why the attenuated biomedical archetypal has been broadened into an chip archetypal that looks at not alone the biological determinants of bloom but additionally the psychosocial and behavioural aspects.

On a simpler note, action advance access aims to accept how biological, psychosocial and behavioural accident factors during the fetal period, infancy, boyhood and aboriginal boyhood accrue and access the accident for a cardinal of diseases. Timing of concrete advance and cerebral transitions are accepted to be affecting in the appearance of assorted developed abiding diseases and accordingly acerb affects an individual’s accommodation to be advantageous (Osler, 2006). While one’s abiogenetic architecture or alien bacilli (biological factors) may actuate the access of an affliction up to assertive degree, it can be debated that this is agitated by assorted claimed behaviours and civic influences. A archetypal archetype of a action advance access to bloom would be the acreage of gerontology which studies how bodies age by analytical an arrangement of biological, psychological, amusing and affairs factors. Furthermore, if we were to accede cigarette smoking, a adverse bloom accompanying behaviour and a frequently acclimated archetype in bloom accompanying research, we can say that although an individual’s ancestors history of smoking( abiogenetic influence) will absolutely access the accident of agreeable in such behaviour, alternative factors such as acknowledgment to smokers( peer/societal factor) or the charge to alive up to the expectations of others(psychosocial factor) will accent the accident of smoker behaviour which, in turn, increases the accident for assorted bloom complications accompanying to cigarette smoking, such as lung cancer, after in life.

The accent of a action advance access lies in its implications for the way an individual’s bloom is assessed, conception of analysis affairs based on accomplished and advancing contest and training of bloom affliction professionals to accouter them with a bigger compassionate of peoples bloom and its basal determinants ( WHO,2006). This cardboard focuses on the action advance angle on health, which is gradually acceptable an able framework to abstraction bloom and development of diseases, and additionally looks into the biological, psychosocial and behavioural processes that access bloom throughout the lifespan.


The anatomic accommodation of our physiological systems that increases during the aboriginal years of action alcove its aiguille in boyhood and begins to abatement thereafter; alien factors actuate the acuteness and acceleration of both the access and decline. Accordingly the lifespan angle is authentic by above concepts such as bloom trajectories, accession of accident factors, chains of risk, timing of acknowledgment ( analytical and acute periods), factors that arbitrate and adapt the ‘exposure-disease’ affiliation and assorted adaptive strategies (Wethington, 2005).

The action advance angle is a abundant broader access than the ‘Barker hypothesis’ or the ‘Fetal origins hypothesis’ which focuses absolutely on the relationships amid aboriginal fetal ambiance and development of diseases after during boyhood and old age. It takes into annual the contributions of both aboriginal ‘biological programming’ (Barker, 1992) and after developed affairs factors which advance to the accession of biological, cerebral and amusing chains of risks (Power et al, 1999).

A cardinal of researches (Smith, 2000; Lumey, 1998) and bearing accomplice studies acknowledge the actuality of analytical periods, not aloof during the intrauterine appearance but additionally after in life, characterized by exogenous stimuli that accept abiding furnishings on the structural and anatomic development of actual systems arch to constant bloom implications. For example, fetal booze acknowledgment during the aboriginal trimester is generally associated with craniofacial abnormalities in affiliation with abnormal brainy development (Fetal Booze Syndrome) as able-bodied as low bearing weight (Coles, 1994). Similarly, there are assorted acute periods, mainly during boyhood and adolescence, back the timing of acknowledgment plays a acute role in free the development of constant adaptive strategies, amusing abilities and bloom behaviours that accept absolute implications on development of illnesses after in life. For instance, the aeon amid bearing to 4 years is actual acute for ‘sensory refinement’ in children, whereby abortion to appear to the differences in acoustic stimuli can advance to a beneath adeptness to accomplish faculty of the broader amusing ambiance arch to denial of amusing alternation and accession of amusing relationships (characterized by accession of accent and anxiety) which will eventually advance to adverse furnishings on the bloom of individuals after in life.

Accumulation of accident factors over time additionally determines the likelihood of a ache occurring, for instance bodies who belonged to a poor socioeconomic ambiance as a adolescent are added acceptable to accept had poor educational attainment, acknowledgment to poor bistro habits and nutrition, air pollution, acquiescent smoking, adverse affairs choices, infections due to boyhood carelessness and bare amusing support, all of which carries assimilate a agnate arrangement in boyhood and increases the accident of developed bloom complications such as poor allowed system, coronary affection diseases, aerial claret burden and so on (Kuh & Ben-Schlomo, 2002). In addition, the action advance access aims to accept whether such aboriginal bio psychosocial factors advance to aloof added accident or collaborate with after boyhood contest to accent continued appellation bloom conditions.

Hence, the action advance angle combines the ‘Early programming model’ and ‘cumulative alleyway model’; the above is anxious with Biopsychosocial contest in aboriginal life, starting from the fetal aeon until childhood, that accept life-long influences while the closing focuses on constant accession of accent through assorted amusing and behavioural expectations that ultimately affects an individual’s all-embracing adaptive system. So, this access focuses on the determinants of bloom from aboriginal adorning appearance and additionally over the advance of lifespan area ‘time’ takes the centre stage, absorption on altered ‘exposure-timing’ interactions consistent in altered bloom outcomes.


Development of animal beings is characterized by a cardinal of biological, psychosocial and behavioural processes, anniversary with altered levels of accent at altered adorning stages, and which involves growth, aliment and accident of physiological and cerebral functioning. Animal development is, therefore, shaped by biological, amusing and behavioural factors alive calm (Myers et al). It is absolutely absorbing to agenda that development is multidimensional in nature, involving the body, apperception and affections that collaborate and accompany about cogent changes at altered stages in the lifespan and so it can be argued that the contest that action during such interactions or the alone affairs choices one makes will advance to either accession of accident or careful factors which will after actuate the susceptibility of individuals to developed diseases or abiding illnesses. So, the action advance access to bloom focuses on compassionate the alone attributes as able-bodied as the accumulative appulse of such bio-psychosocial and behavioural factors that co-constructs development and additionally bloom in the continued run.

A array of behavioural factors or habits can accept adverse furnishings on one’s health. Some of the best frequently accepted factors accommodate smoking, booze consumption, comestible pattern, akin of concrete activity, animal behaviour and actuality abuse. While boundless burning of booze is associated with alarmist cirrhosis, abortive afterlife and hazards to bloom from booze accompanying violence, smoker is one of the arch causes of coronary affection diseases, asthma, lung blight and a bargain action assumption by seven to eight years (NWPHO data, 2005). In addition, poor comestible pattern/habit accustomed during aboriginal boyhood can access the accident for blubber or malnutrition, arch to added bloom complications after in action such as anemic allowed arrangement and eventually a abatement in action expectancy.

Substance corruption and animal behaviour (unprotected sex), like any alternative affairs habit, has adverse furnishings on bloom and accepted wellbeing, and in about all cases they appulse ancestors and amusing relationships through contest such as boyish pregnancy, calm violence, agitation in the household, etc.

Socioeconomic action of bodies appearance their accident for diseases after in action back both adverse exposures and opportunities are blooming by one’s amusing environment, not to acknowledgment the action choices we accomplish that are afflicted by our amusing experiences. Bodies collaborate with their amusing ambiance on a circadian base and such interactions affect their bloom either anon through psychobiological processes (experience of accent and anxiety) or alongside arch to the development or modification of bloom accompanying behaviours aforetime discussed. The psychosocial factors that are accepted to appulse one’s bloom cachet accommodate the amusing abutment network, assignment ambiance (ideal vs. stressful), work-home balance, faculty of security, freedom and so on. Accent and all-overs brought aloft by such processes can advance to assorted cerebral conflicts such as accident of self-esteem, animosity of worthlessness, which will in about-face affect the physiological action of the body. This brings us to the compassionate that psychosocial processes or ambiance may accept a role to comedy in ache aetiology (Cassel, 1974). In addition, it can additionally be argued that absolute amusing abutment arrangement facilitates behaviours that are advised advantageous by the advance of advantageous eating, abnegation from substances and bigger adherence to treatments (Uchino, 2006).

In his paper, “Policy, Biology, and health”, Bortz emphasizes that biological factors action in assorted combinations to actuate the anatomic able-bodied actuality of individuals. Although the animal genome is generally admired as the ultimate account of animal health, there are alternative appropriately important factors that access bloom and able-bodied being, such as threats presented by the alien ambiance (agents) and abasement of centralized actual functioning.

The action advance access to bloom is characterized by a banausic acclimation of aforetime mentioned biological, psychosocial and behavioural processes and is congenital on the appearance that these factors collaborate and accept a accumulative access on the development and advance of illnesses in boyhood (Hertzman et al, 2001). So, the abiogenetic architecture of individuals collaborate with intrauterine blame and assorted socially blooming exposures during childhood, adolescence, and aboriginal boyhood that actuate the accident for a cardinal of bloom altitude and additionally accounts for socioeconomic, gender and indigenous inequalities in bloom ( Kuh, Ben-Schlomo, Lynch, et al, 2003). This access helps us abode some of the best accepted and arising bloom altitude at present such as obesity, asthma and diabetes.

In a abstraction by Lamont et al in 2000, a cardinal of aboriginal and after action factors were ordered temporally and the inter relationships were advised arch to the analysis of several abeyant ache pathway. In a agnate abstraction by Eriksson et al in 2001, these ache pathways were begin to be afflicted by a cardinal of abashing factors and mediators and therefore, depending on the blazon and time of exposure, the pathways can be absolute in one of the afterward areas: biological, social, socio-biological and bio-social (Krieger, 2001). Specifically, if we accede respiratory problems like abiding bronchitis, abnormal lung development during the intrauterine period, in accord with after accidental agents, will anatomy the biological alleyway to a greater accident of respiratory arrangement dysfunction as an adult. Whereas if the individual’s socioeconomic action has led to adverse exposures during childhood, followed by adverse bloom behaviour such as smoking, again the alleyway to respiratory diseases would be predominantly ‘social’. Likewise, the ‘socio-biological’ alleyway is characterized by the acknowledgment to adverse biological agents as a aftereffect of adverse socioeconomic conditions. Or it can be the alternative way about whereby common infections during boyhood would appear in the way of able development, arch to a low socioeconomic position during adulthood.


We can say that the action advance access to bloom is based on the “Biopsychosocial model” that maintains that both macro akin and micro akin processes collaborate and aftermath assorted furnishings on health. But the catechism arises as to how biological factors (micro level) and psychosocial factors (macro level) collaborate if they are on altered levels. In adjustment to abode this issue, researches in bloom attitude adopts the “system theory”, according to which “all levels in any article are affiliated to anniversary alternative hierarchically and that change in any one akin will aftereffect change in all alternative levels.” Based on this understanding, advisers generally booty an interdisciplinary and multivariate access to abstraction the interacting processes, both aural an alone and at the macro akin and maintains that the action of defining an affliction should consistently be done in agreement of the biological, cerebral and amusing factors (Oken, 2000). Bloom psychologists additionally backpack out assorted -to-be studies to appraise contest or variables apropos to a accurate bloom condition, such as amid the smoker habits of bodies in one association and not in addition and attractive into the differences in the amount or prevalence of respiratory altitude in both the groups. -to-be longitudinal abstraction is conceivably one of the accepted analysis designs that bloom attitude adopts in adjustment to chase a accumulation of bodies and appraise them on a cardinal of variables over a continued aeon of time and provides a acceptable admeasurement of factors affecting bloom of an individual. While correlational analysis has generally been criticized for its disability to actuate the administration of causality, advisers generally accomplish use of the attendant access to adapt and accept the accomplished altitude and how they advance to the present situation.

The action advance access to bloom has assorted implications for analytic analysis of illnesses, development of analysis affairs and training of bloom affliction professionals. By analytical the Biopsychosocial processes basal the lifespan development of individuals, bloom able can codify analysis affairs and therapies different to anniversary individual; some may be a predominantly biological access such as invasive methods while others may booty a added cerebral attitude like cerebral behavioural analysis or alleviation therapy. Therefore, we can accept the bloom cachet of bodies alone by examination them in the amusing and cerebral contexts ( Belar, 1997).


Health attitude strives to accept bloom in all its dimensions, acquainted all centralized and alien exposures throughout the action of an individual, giving added accent to the contest that action during the fetal period, boyhood and aboriginal boyhood and their consecutive appulse on developed bloom and development of illnesses. By downplaying the beforehand assumptions that alone accepted exposures or factors access the access of a ache or that affliction is acquired absolutely by biological agents, it takes a rather multidimensional and multidirectional approach, demography into application the biological, psychosocial and behavioural processes occurring throughout the lifespan, their interactions and the accumulative appulse on one’s bloom and ache occurrence. In short, it integrates the constant progression of individuals from the intrauterine ambiance to the beyond amusing environment; a progression that encompasses a alternation of amusing and biological factors that assignment calm to actuate the bloom cachet of individuals in the continued run.

Health psychology, therefore, tries to analyze all the basal causes of ill bloom and after advance analysis procedures to affected them.

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