Research Agenda for Psychosocial and Behavioral Factors in Women's Health



This Research Agenda for Psychosocial and Behavioral Factors in Women's Health was developed by the American Psychological Association's Women's Health Conference Advisory Committee. Chosen to represent the broad range of women's health concerns, the Advisory Committee began its work months before the conference and continued for over a year after the conference. The conference, entitled Psychosocial and Behavioral Factors in Women's Health: Creating an Agenda for the 21st Century, was convened to highlight the importance of psychosocial and behavioral factors in women's health, including the extensive research implicating behavioral and psychosocial factors in a number of major chronic diseases and conditions that influence women's health across the life span.

Before the conference, each Advisory Committee member prepared a list of recommendations in her/his area of expertise with documentation of their importance for women's health. At the beginning of the conference, the Advisory Committee met and divided into four working groups on the basis of content areas. The Advisory Committee met for a one-day working session immediately following the conference to discuss and refine the preconference recommendations and the deliberations of the working groups. This process culminated in the identification of four-draft agendas-one for each of the four working groups: Research, Education and Training, Health Services, and Public Policy.

These four agendas were further edited and refined during the year following the conference and combined to form the single agenda presented here. Over the course of its deliberations, the Advisory Committee decided to focus most heavily on the Research agenda and to provide briefer agendas on Education and Training and Public Policy. The Health Services agenda has been omitted from this report to allow a more complete focus on Health Services after the second conference, to be held September 19-21, 1996.

Chairs of the working groups were Brenda DeVellis, Ph.D., Patricia Morokoff, Ph.D., and Carolyn Mazure, Ph.D., for Research; Nancy Russo, Ph.D., for Education and Training; Helen Coons, Ph.D., for Health Services; and Renee Royak-Schaler, Ph.D., and Kelley Phillips, M.D., for Public Policy.

We thank the Advisory Committee members, especially those who served as chairs and the representatives from co-sponsoring and contributing agencies, associations and organizations. Their contributions made this report possible. We also thank those individuals who were not on the Advisory Committee but who helped with specific parts of the Agenda. They are Laurence A. Bradley, Ph.D., Jody Brown, Ph.D., Laura Brown, Ph.D., Richard Gelles, Ph.D., Vickie Mays, Ph.D., Susan Reisine, Ph.D., Ruth Striegel-Moore, Ph.D., Carol Weisman, M.D., Terrance Wilson, Ph.D., and Gail Wyatt, Ph.D.

Sheryle J. Gallant, Ph.D.
Gwendolyn Puryear Keita, Ph.D.