Behavioral health's challenge to academic, scientific, and professional psychology

Joseph D. Matarazzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Yearly expenditures for health care in the US exceed $200 billion; interdisciplinary analysts believe that the financial human costs associated with such preventable dysfunctions as lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, drug and alcohol abuse, and vehicle accidents are a needless waste of human and fiscal resources. A consensus has emerged that the behavior of the individual is today's unexplored frontier in the study and understanding of health. Psychology is a discipline with 100 yrs of experience in the study of individual behavior, including behavior change. It is asserted that every specialty of academic, scientific, and professional psychology has within its ranks individual psychologists with the potential to help map some of the important landmarks in this beckoning and relatively unexplored frontier-the health behavior of individuals. Although this potential is considerable in behavioral medicine, it is equal if not greater in the field of behavioral health, which involves helping willing and currently healthy children and adults to remain healthy. (45 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1982


  • need for psychological study of health behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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