Comprehensive Exams

Most doctoral programs seem to have some form of qualifying or comprehensive exams, although the structure, length, and difficulty seem to vary considerably.  The Health Psychology area at UCLA does too, and I am taking mine this summer.  There are around 160 assigned readings (mostly journal articles) grouped into broad categories from across health psychology.  I think it will be useful preparation for me and hopefully interesting to others to write summaries of the topics.  I am sure the quality will vary, but I am targeting summaries that would make sense even without a background in psychology.  Who knows how many I will get done. Here are the topics:

  • Introduction to Health Psychology (a.k.a. what is health psychology?)
  • Stress Processes, Personality and Disease Etiology
  • Coping and Adjustment to Illness
  • Social Relationships, Social Support, and Health
  • Resources and Resilience
  • Socioeconomic Status and Health
  • Family Processes and Early Adversity
  • Personality and Health
  • Health Behavior: Eating, smoking and fitness
  • Health Behavior Prevention and Change: HIV and Lifestyle Change
  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Psychosocial Interventions
  • Pain and Pain Management
  • Placebo Effects
  • Health Care Services and Patient/Provider Issues

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