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Interdisciplinary ResearchCase Studies from Health and Social Science$
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Frank Kessel, Patricia Rosenfield, and Norman Anderson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195324273

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195324273.001.0001

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 Integrating Psychosocial Factors with Biology

 Integrating Psychosocial Factors with Biology

The Role of Protective Factors in Trajectories of Health and Aging

(p.228) 11 Integrating Psychosocial Factors with Biology
Interdisciplinary Research

Teresa E. Seeman

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an interdisciplinary study on the physiological mechanisms through which the sociocultural and socioeconomic environments, as well as personal social and psychological experience, affect health trajectories. Within this framework, the focus has been on understanding the protective effects of social and cultural factors on health and aging — especially the effects of social ties, social support, and psychological resources (e.g., beliefs about one's own efficacy and personal mastery). The first section outlines how a program of research evolved from an initial starting point within the tradition of social epidemiology into a broader research approach that encompasses aspects of neuroendocrinology and clinical geriatrics, as well as concepts from sociology and social psychology. The second section outlines major findings from this research. The third section discusses the story behind the interdisciplinary collaboration.

Keywords:   interdisciplinary study, health, aging, social ties, social support, psychological strength, biopsychosocial research

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