How can psychology help reduce stress in health-priority populations?

APA's Health Disparities Initiative forms stress and health disparities working group.

By Lula A. Beatty, PhD

Stress is strongly associated with poor health and quality of life outcomes, especially among vulnerable, underserved communities. APA’s strategic initiative on Improving Health and Reducing Health Disparities, housed in the Public Interest Directorate, has convened a working group on stress and health disparities to critically summarize major findings on the role of stress in health priority populations, including information on the biopsychosocial mechanisms through which stress affects different health outcomes. Through the work of this group, we hope to develop strategies on how APA and psychology can better address the effects of stress on health priority populations in the United States.  

Members of the working group include Elizabeth N. Brondolo, PhD, chair (St. John’s University); Peter J. Gianaros, PhD (University of Pittsburgh); Cheryl L. Woods Giscombé, PhD, MSN, RN (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill); Jay R. Kaplan, PhD (Wake Forest School of Medicine); Cindy Hsin-Ju Liu, PhD (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center); Aric A. Prather, PhD (University of California, San Francisco); Rashaun Roberts, PhD (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) and KaMala S. Thomas, PhD, MPH (Pitzer College).  

The working group’s first meeting will be held in Washington, D.C., in late fall of 2013. Questions about the working group or the Health Disparities Initiative can be addressed to Patty DiSandro.