PSY172 Introduction to Psychological Health and Wellbeing

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Introduction to Psychological Health
and Wellbeing

Unit Information and Learning Guide
Semester 2, 2018
This information should be read in conjunction with the online learning materials,
which can be found on your MyUnits page.
Unit coordinator
Dr. Brianne Hastie
School of Psychology and Exercise Science
440.1.009 (SS1.009)
This unit guide was originally written by John Gardiner, 2009; revised by Davina French,
2017; Brianne Hastie, 2018.
© Published by Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia, July 2018
This publication is copyright. Except as permitted by the Copyright Act no part of it may in
any form or by any electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or any other means be
reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or be broadcast or transmitted without the prior
written permission of the publisher.
Unit information
Information about the unit 3
Contact details 5
How to study this unit 7
Resources for the unit 9
Study schedule 10
Assessment 12
Learning guide
Tutorial 1 18
Tutorial 2 19
Tutorial 3 20
Tutorial 4 21
Tutorial 5 23
Tutorial 6 24
Tutorial 7 25
Tutorial 8 27
Tutorial 9 29
Tutorial 10 30
Self-Management Project 31
Guide to Project Outline 36
Guide to the Self-Management Project 37
Information about the unit
Unit description
Psychology has an important role in designing systems that make people happy, healthy and
productive. This unit will critically examine the concepts of ‘health’, ‘wellbeing’ and
‘happiness’, and will demonstrate how to add quality to people’s lives, through researchguided
practice and the application of behaviour change principles. Topic areas include:
coping with and overcoming psychological pain and stress, addictions and disabilities; in
addition to promoting healthier behaviour in the community.
There are no set prerequisite units for this unit but you are expected to be familiar with the
basic concepts of science, knowledge of the university library, and the APA style.
Aims of the unit
The broad aims for this unit are to:
1. Introduce students to traditional and contemporary conceptualisations of health and
wellbeing from different psychological perspectives.
2. Introduce students to a research-guided natural science approach to facilitating
happier, healthier and more productive lifestyles for individual, specific groups and
3. Provide students with the opportunity to critically evaluate the evidence for the validity
and utility of psychological interventions that are applied to a diverse range of socially
valid behavioural problems.
4. Provide students with experience in designing, implementing and evaluating a selfmanaged
behaviour change program.
Learning outcomes for the unit
On successful completion of the unit you should be able to:
1. List and describe the key differences between the cognitive /medical disease models
and a natural science perspective in understanding and facilitating behaviour change.
2. List and define the principles of behaviour that account for why particular behaviours
are maintained, increased or decreased in frequency.
3. Describe the application of the principles of behaviour used to facilitate personal, and
community, health and wellbeing.
4. Apply understanding of the basic theoretical and practical behavioural principles for the
design, implementation and evaluation of a personal behaviour change program.
5. Report the results of a psychological study using the conventional formats for the
Graduate Attributes of the Australian Undergraduate Psychology
This unit aligns with the graduate attributes specific to our discipline in the following areas:
Graduate Attribute Learning Outcomes
1: Knowledge and
Understanding of Psychology
 Knowledge and understanding of some core topics as
they apply to health psychology, including
o biological bases of behaviour
o learning
o lifespan developmental psychology
o motivation
o social psychology
2: Research Methods in
 Demonstrate practical skills in laboratory-based and
other psychological research.
 Describe the key principles for designing, implementing
and evaluating programs of behaviour change.
 Locate, evaluate and use information appropriately in
the research process.
 Design and conduct basic studies to address
psychological questions
3: Critical Thinking Skills in
 Apply knowledge of the scientific method in thinking
about problems related to behaviour and mental
 Question claims that arise from myth, stereotype,
pseudo-science or untested assumptions.
 Evaluate the quality of information, including
differentiating empirical evidence from speculation.
 Identify and evaluate the source and context of
4. Values in psychology  Exhibit a scientific attitude in critically thinking about,
and learning about, human behaviour.
 Promote evidence-based approaches to understanding
and changing human behaviour.
5: Communication Skills in
 Write a standard research report using American
Psychological Association (APA) structure and
formatting conventions.
6: Learning and the
Application of Psychology
 Describe health psychology
 Apply psychological concepts, theories, and research
findings to solve problems in everyday life and in
 Demonstrate insightful awareness of one’s feelings,
motives, and attitudes based on psychological
What you need to know
Generic information that students need to know is available at the What you need to know
web page, which is linked from the unit LMS page.
The information includes:
 links to the Assessment Policy
 a description of Academic Integrity
 Information about Examinations; Non-discriminatory language; Student appeals;
Student complaints; Conscientious objection and assessment policy
 Information on the determination of grades from components/marks
 information for equity students
Contact details
Unit Coordinator’s contact details
Dr. Brianne Hastie
School of Psychology and Exercise Science
440.1.009 (SS1.009)
Phone: +61 8 9360 7206
Unit Coordinator’s consultation times
The unit coordinator will be available without an appointment at the following times:
Thursdays 11.00am – 12.00pm in teaching weeks, by appointment in study breaks.
Contact via email, and by appointment at other times.
Tutor contact details
Wednesday 8.30am,
9.30am, 10.30am, & 1.30pm Trish Cain
Monday 3.30pm
All Tuesday tutes
Susana Hernández
Wednesday 12.30pm
Thursday 1.30 & 2.30pm
Mirella Wilson
Administrative contact details
The Psychology and Exercise Science administration team can be contacted on
You can also email them regarding enrolment issues
For technical difficulties with Moodle or Echo access contact the IT Service Desk:
Email: or Phone: 9360 2000
How to study this unit
This unit requires a regular commitment of time each week to achieve a passing grade:
 Read the relevant text book chapters before the weekly lecture (2 hours)
 Attend or view the recorded lecture (2 hours)
 Review the content by completing the additional readings and online tasks (1 hour)
 Prepare and attend your tutorial group (2 hours)
 Self-Management project requires weekly tasks (approximately 2 hours)
Contact time
Lectures – 11 lectures of 2 hours each (Mondays 1.30 – 3.30pm)
Tutorials – 10 tutorials of 1 hour each (check your activities timetable)
Time commitment
As this is a 3 credit point unit, we expect you to spend on average 8-10 hours per week for
the total weeks of this teaching period (or 150 hours overall) working on this unit.
Attendance requirements
The lectures are scheduled for 2 hours. There is a ten minute break in approximately the
middle – between the two topics listed in the schedule below. The lectures will help you to
better understand the readings and the unit material. They provide opportunities for added
interpretation of the material and examples, as well as a more detailed explanation of the
subject matter covered in PSY172. The lectures do not simply repeat the information found in
the text book. Attendance is not compulsory and if you do not attend a lecture, Echo
recordings will generally be available. However, due to copyright restrictions some video
clips that are shown in the “live” lectures will not be made available online. Since this unit is
not available for external enrolment, any failures in recording technology will result in the
lecture being unavailable.
Of the 11 lectures, 6 will be in ECL1, and 5 will be online only. Both in person lectures and
online lectures will be available via Echo in LMS.
There are a total of 10 tutorials, one every week, at 1 hours each. The tutorials start in Week
2. Tutorial places are allocated on a first come first served basis. Placement numbers are
administratively set in advance to ensure that the tutorials are well managed for both tutors
and students. If you are having difficulties enrolling in a tutorial online, please contact the unit
coordinator. Please be aware that changes to class allocations may not be possible in all
The tutorials are structured in two parts. The first part is dedicated to a guided discussion of
the readings and/or tasks for the specified topics (see study schedule). Your tutor will be
asking you to comment on the selected study questions for the relevant topic readings and
activities. This is to ensure an equitable process in allocating marks for tutorial participation.
The second part of your tutorial is dedicated to your behaviour change self-management
project. It is structured progressively so you will be provided with guidance on choosing a
feasible project and the know-how to begin data collection for each component stage of your
project. Your tutor will also provide you with information on the structure and format for each
section of your written report. In essence, you will be working on your project as you go and
the write-up is the final outcome.
The benefit of doing the self-management project is that you will gain direct experience with
applying the principles of behaviour to help a “typical” adult client (namely you) improve their
health and well-being. Also your efforts to increase your own healthy behaviours may provide
you with insights into the contextual variables that influence whatever it is that you do, and
inform how to change whatever it is that you do.
Small group and interactive teaching and learning activities
Tutorial attendance is very important as more than half of your final grade for this unit is
related to activities carried out and/or explained in tutorials. In the end of semester exam you
will be assessed on your understanding of the unit material as a whole, so the remaining part
of your final grade is directly related to your understanding of the lectures, essential readings
and tutorial activities.
If you are unable to attend your assigned tutorial group you will need to notify your tutor, who
will nominate a time for you to make up your missed tutorial.
Unit changes in response to student feedback
The unit has developed in scope and student numbers since it commenced in 2009. The
student feedback has consistently indicated that the unit is challenging but rewarding in that
it deals with issues that will affect all of us at some stage. One of the issues identified early in
the unit’s history was the need to get started on the self-management project as early as
possible and thus we now have the project outline as a scheduled task. The size and scope
of the textbook is often highlighted as a concern, so last year the assessment changed from
an essay exam to multiple-choice only, to help you to manage the amount of information that
you will need to know. This resulted in higher average final grades and a lower fail rate.
Resources for this unit
To undertake study in this unit, you will need:
Essential textbook
Morrison, V., Bennett, P., Butow, P., Mullan, B., & White, K. (2012). Introduction to Health
Psychology in Australia (2nd ed). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Publishing.
Copies are available in the reserve collection, but note also that the online quiz is an open
book test based on the textbook, so if you plan to purchase a copy, it is worth doing so early
in the unit.
The textbook is also available electronically:
Vital Source E-text $60
180 Day Digital Rental $50
Online resources
Readings for the tutorials and additional readings to support the text will be located on the
As well as the textbook, there are required readings for some of the tutorials which are
located on LMS in a section headed ‘Tutorial Readings’. For the final tutorial, ‘reading’ will be
replaced by the requirement to view/listen to selected media broadcasts. For each teaching
week there are also one or more resources, often videos, provided on LMS to support your
learning. These are not compulsory; they are there to support some of the more difficult
concepts, and to provide a break from reading.
The following will be provided during the teaching period (technology permitting):
 lecture slides on the LMS system
 lecture recordings via Echo 360
 links to relevant readings on the LMS
Study schedule
Lecture content, linked
to Textbook Chapters.
Tutorial activities Assessments
Week 1.
Introduction to the unit
Ch 1: What is health?
Week 2.
Ch 2: Health inequalities
Advice on writing the
Project Outline
1. Introduction & discussion of
Chapter 1
2. Self-management project:
Introduction to the project.
Week 3.
Ch 3: Health-risk
Ch 4: Health-enhancing
Fleur van
1. Discussion of Chapters 2 – 4
2. Self-management project:
Choosing your interventions,
measures and outcomes.
Design issues.
Week 4.
Ch 5: Predicting health
Ch 6: Reducing risk –
individual approaches
Fleur van
1. Discussion of Chapters 5-6.
2. Self-management project:
Writing project outline.
APA style.
Due 11.55pm
August 26th
Week 5.
Non-teaching week
Online Quiz, textbook chapters 1 – 6
opens 9.00am Monday August 27th 2018
Week 6.
03/09/18 Ch 7: Population
approaches to public
Ch 8: The body in health
and illness
1. Discussion of Chapters 7 – 8.
2. Self-management project:
Refining ideas about
Online Quiz,
chapters 1 – 6
September 9th

Week 7.
Ch 9: Symptom
perception, interpretation
& response
Ch 10: The consultation
and beyond
1. Self-management project:
Undertaking your project.
Baseline period.
Week 8.
Ch 11: Stress, health
and illness: theory
Ch 12: Stress and
illness moderators
Fleur van
1. Discussion of Chapters 9 – 10
2. Self-management project:
Intervention period.
Week 9.
Non-teaching week
Ch 13: Managing stress
Fleur van
1. Discussion of Chapters 11-13
2. Self-management project:
Analysing and presenting your
Ch 14: The impact of
illness on quality of life
Ch 15: The impact of
illness on patients and
their families
Fleur van
1. Discussion of Chapters 14 –
2. Self-management project:
Writing the report I
12. No lecture: use the extra
time to work on your
project report
1. Discussion of recent media
broadcasts related to health
2. Self-management project:
Writing the report II
Final questions

Written report
due 11.55pm
October 21st
Ch 16: Pain
1. Discussion of Chapters 16 –
2. Exam preparation
Ch 17: Improving health
and quality of life
Ch 18: Futures
Exam information
Study break 5
th – 9
th November 2018
Semester 2 exam period (begins 10th November 2018)
Exam date/venue to be provided.
Assessment for this unit is conducted in accordance with the Assessment Policy. There are
no mandatory pass components.
Schedule of assessment items
You will be assessed on the basis of:
Assignment Description Aligned
(p. 4)
(p. 5)
Value Due Date
Online Quiz One hour, openbook,
choice quiz
on textbook chapters
1 to 6; two attempts
will be permitted.
1, 2, 3 1, 3, 6 10% Opens 9.00am
Monday August
Closes 11.59pm
September 9th


Project Outline
Completed on the
template provided
(maximum 500
words excluding
references and
2, 3, 4, 5 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 10% Electronic
Due 11.55pm
Sunday August
26th 2018
Written Report
A written project
report in APA format
(maximum 2500
words excluding
figures, references
and appendices).
2, 3, 4, 5 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 30% Electronic
Due 11.55pm
Sunday 21
October 2018
engagement with
and contribution to
tutorial activities.
1, 2, 3 1, 3, 4, 6 10% Refer to the study
schedule for
tutorial activities.
End of
Two hour closedbook
multiple choice
1, 2, 3 1, 3, 6 40% Please check
your exam
Assessment details
1. Tutorial Participation (10% of the total assessment)
The purpose of the tutorials is to enable you to reach a deeper understanding of the
material covered in the unit through a variety of activities in which all students
participate. Demonstrate engagement with the essential readings by contributing to
guided tutorial discussions based on the study questions, which are listed under the
relevant sections of your learning guide. You will be expected to have prepared
answers to the questions posed and be able to discuss your answers in a wellreasoned
manner. An important part of participation in tutorials is the ability to listen
actively to others so that you can respond and build upon their comments – rather than
simply repeat them.
By preparing for tutorials and doing the study questions, you will have an opportunity
to receive feedback on your understanding of the unit materials throughout the
As a guide to the tutors’ expectations, the following marking rubric is provided. Your
tutor will assess your performance in each tutorial using this rubric. You will receive a
mark out of 4 after the first four tutorials, to enable you to adjust your performance if
necessary. A total mark out of 10 will be posted to the LMS at the end of semester:
Mark out of
Grade Broad description of required quality of participation
0 Fail
Non-attendance, passive attendance, or contributions creating
the impression that the student has not prepared adequately.
‘Token’ participation at a level which suggests inattention, lack
of thought and/or preparation.
Attendance without participation is not sufficient to pass
0.5 P
One or two worthwhile comments, answers or other
0.6 C
Several worthwhile contributions.
0.8 D
One or two contributions of a high order, for instance, showing
careful preparation or developing or linking elements presented
in the discussion so far.
1.0 HD
Several such high order contributions demonstrating clear
understanding of the readings
As the tutors are graduate psychologists or educators, you will need to be sure not to
dominate the group or engage in other inappropriate group dynamics as these will
result in lower marks. The ability to listen and respond to others comments is valued
2. Self-Management project outline and written report (40% of the total assessment)
40% of the total assessment is allocated to a behaviour change self-management
project. The project will be fully explained in your tutorials and you will have feedback
on your project outline to guide you.
The project outline (worth 10%) is a short document describing what you plan to do. It
is written on a template which is provided on the LMS. Please use the margins and
spacing that are provided and submit it as a Word document. It should be no longer
than 500 words excluding references and appendices.
The final written report of the project should be a maximum of 2500 words in length,
not including references, figures or appendices. Please use 12-point font and doublespacing,
and submit your report as a Word document. Note: you do not need an
abstract for this assignment. This report is worth 30% of your grade and requires a
significant amount of time to prepare adequately (i.e., don’t leave it till the last week to
start writing up your project!).
As per university policy, extensions may only be granted with written
documentation from a medical or allied health professional related to a personal
illness, condition, or a medical problem that required the longer term care of a
dependant family member. Notify the unit coordinator as soon as possible when
you anticipate that you will require an extension – extensions must be sought
before the due date for an assignment. Please ensure that your medical
certificate specifies the number of days that your illness has prevented you from
3. Online Quiz (10% of the total assessment)
This is a multiple choice test. It will be open for two (2) weeks and will assess the
material in the first 6 chapters of the text book. It is essentially an open book exam of
the material covered to this point. You will receive your mark upon completion of the
quiz and may take two (2) attempts, but you will not be able to access the second
attempt until 24 hours after the first. Each attempt will be limited to one (1) hour.
4. End of semester exam (40% of the total assessment)
You will be required to complete a two hour closed-book multiple choice exam. This
exam will be assessing your understanding of the unit materials as a whole.
The end of semester exam is a two-hour closed book exam.
While I have no more information about this year’s exam timetable than you do, you
should be aware that last year the exam was timetabled for the very last day of the exam
period. It would therefore be very unwise to book an early vacation or return overseas
before the timetable becomes available.
If you have a disability or medical condition, you can apply for alternative exam
arrangements to ensure that you are able to sit exams on an equitable basis. You should
contact the Disability Support Office on 9360 6084, email:
If you are unable to sit exams because of a serious illness or other exceptional personal
circumstances, you can apply through the Exams Office to defer sitting an exam.
For further information, please refer to
Assignment submission
Your proposal outline and final self-management project report should be submitted
online through the LMS, as WORD documents (.doc or .docx). In order to submit you
will be asked to confirm that you have complied with the University’s policies on
academic integrity.
LMS assignment submission now passes through software called Urkund. Urkund is
pattern-matching software that enables you to check your work for inadvertent
plagiarism. You can submit as many drafts as you wish in advance of the assignment
due date to help find places where your referencing may be inadequate or incorrect.
Urkund will provide you with reports for this purpose. You should then be sure to
(re)submit your final assignment by the due date, keeping in mind that the final Urkund
report will also be available to the marker. The assignment dropbox will only take one
file at a time, so all elements of your submission must be contained within a single
document, and you will need to delete any earlier submission before you can upload a
new file.
At busy times some Urkund reports can take a very long time to appear – several hours
and in some cases more than a day. Your submission will be timed as the time that you
upload your assignment and submit it – an Urkund report that is returned after the
deadline does not make your submission late, but it does mean that you cannot amend
your work without incurring a late penalty.
To ensure fairness and equity across students, penalties will be applied to late
submission of assignments. There will be a 10% deduction for each day the
assignment is overdue for up to five working days, unless an extension has been
granted. If your assignment is more than five days late it will receive no marks.
Extensions will only be granted if written documentation can be provided.
There are strict word limits for both of your written assignments. It is School policy that
your assignments must not exceed the published word limit; markers will not read beyond
the word limit, so you are likely to lose marks for incomplete work. These are limits
though, not targets. Many of the project reports that received HDs last year were around
2000 to 2200 words.
Attendance/participation requirements
It would be advantageous to attend ALL lectures and tutorials. Remember 50% of your final
PSY172 grade is related to activities undertaken as part of the tutorials. If you are unable
to attend a tutorial you must inform your tutor who will advise you on the possibility of making
up the missed tutorial. Make-up tutorials will normally only be granted under the following
conditions: (1) a medical excuse from a health professional related to an illness that caused
you to be absent on the day of the tutorial, or that required the care of a dependent family
member, or (2) a legal document attesting to your participation in a legal proceeding.
Deferred assessments may be granted in cases of extenuating personal circumstances
such as serious personal illness or bereavement.
Any student who believes he/she has a disability for which accommodations within the
education environment are needed should contact the Disability Support Office on 9360
6084, email: Accommodations will be made once written
documentation from the Disability Support Officer has been received.
Determination of the final grade
Your final grade for PSY172 will be based on performance. The weighting for each
component is provided in the assessment schedule and in most cases the total marks
available for a piece of work are equal to that value, so that your mark for a piece of work
represents exactly the number of marks that you have earned towards your total unit mark.
The exam is an exception since it is marked out of 100 but weighted at 40%.
See Section 11 of the Assessment Policy regarding grades for further information in
regard to grade allocation procedures.
Notation Grade Percentage Range
HD High Distinction 80 – 100
D Distinction 70 – 79
C Credit 60 – 69
P Pass 50 – 59
N Fail Below 50
DNS Fail Below 50, did not submit any
assignments after HECS census date.
S Supplementary Assessment 40 – 49*
*The award of the grade of S shall be at the discretion of the Unit Coordinator.
The grade descriptors are provided in the Murdoch University Handbook and Calendar
Learning Guide: Tutorial activities
The following guide first outlines the study questions that will be discussed in tutorials. You
will be expected to demonstrate engagement with the essential readings by contributing to
guided tutorial discussions based on these study questions. You will be expected to have
prepared answers to the questions in advance and to be able to discuss your answers in a
well-reasoned manner.
Where a chapter number is given this is a chapter of the Course Textbook:
Morrison, V., Bennett, P., Butow, P., Mullan, B., & White, K. (2012). Introduction to Health
Psychology in Australia. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Publishing.
Tutorial One – Week 2
Chapters 1
Chapter 1:
Think of someone you know that you would describe as being ‘very healthy’ and write down
the reasons and a brief descriptor of the person (age, gender etc.).
Tutorial Two – Week 3
Chapters 2 – 4
Chapter 2:
1. Read the ‘The Western Australian Aboriginal Child Health Survey: findings to date on
adolescents’ (available on LMS). What are the factors that the authors consider to be
likely to influence health and wellbeing?
2. Which risk factors are significant to this population?
Chapter 4:
What is one “health enhancing behaviour” that you engage in? What maintains that
Tutorial Three – Week 4
Chapters 5 – 6
Chapters 5 – 6:
I’m thinking about joining an exercise class and have even gone as far as filling out the
application form… What stage would I be in? (e.g. Pre-contemplation? Action?) What
suggestions would you make to me that would help me move to the next stage?
Read the paper by Leanne Hides et al. (2014) (available on LMS). This is a protocol paper,
this is, it describes a study that has yet to take place. It is an Australian study comparing
different interventions for alcohol use in young people. If you are short of time you only need
to read through to the end of the section on ‘psychological interventions’ on page 6.
1. What is the setting for this study, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of
choosing this setting to try to change behaviour?
2. Which core components of motivational interviewing are described in the paper?
Tutorial Four – Week 6
Chapters 7 & 8
Chapter 7:
Think of one public health campaign (e.g., related to smoking, alcohol usage, healthy eating,
exercise) and describe any particular component of a sociocognitive model that has been
addressed in the campaign.
Chapter 8:
Think about a specific illness and answer the following questions:
a) What might be issues for people suffering from this illness? Are there differences
between subgroups of individuals in these issues (e.g., gender or age differences)?
b) How could Health Psychologists (or Psychologists in general) assist people with this
particular illness?
c) What could be some of the challenges for Health Psychologists working with people
suffering from this particular illness?
Tutorial Five – Week 7
Self-management project
You should now be preparing to commence your self-management project:
1. How will you go about incorporating the feedback on your project outline into your
2. Do you have any questions about undertaking the project?
3. Do you have any questions about writing up the project?
Tutorial Six – Week 8
Chapters 9 & 10
Chapter 9:
Read the article by Judith Finn et al (available on LMS) as well as the textbook
chapter. List five reasons why some people delay in seeking help for their health
Chapter 10:
After reading the chapter and the recommended reading “An evidence-based perspective on
greetings in medical encounters” (Makoul, Zick & Green, 2007 available on the LMS) how
would you define what makes a good bedside manner?
Think of your last encounter with a health professional, and evaluate the interaction based on
the criteria from the article.
Tutorial Seven – Week 10
Chapters 11 – 13:
The Student Stress Scale
The scale below is an adaptation of Holmes and Rahe’s 1967 study (The Social
Readjustment Rating Scale). Each event is given a score that represents the amount of
readjustment a person has to make in life as a result of the change. People with scores of
300 and higher have a high health risk. People scoring between 150 and 300 points have
about a 50-50 chance of serious health change within two years. People scoring below 150
have a 1 in 3 chance of serious health change.
Event Life-Change Units
Death of a close family member 100
Death of a close friend 73
Divorce between parents 65
Jail term 63
Major personal injury or illness 63
Marriage 58
Being fired from a job 50
Failing an important course 47
Change in health of family member 45
Pregnancy 45
Sex problems 44
Serious argument with close friend 40
Change in financial status 39
Change of major 39
Trouble with parents 39
New girl- or boyfriend 38
Increased workload at school 37
Outstanding personal achievement 36
First quarter/semester in college 35
Change in living conditions 31
Serious argument with instructor 30
Lower grades than expected 29
Change in sleeping habits 29
Change in social activities 29
Change in eating habits 28
Chronic car trouble 26
Change in number of family get-togethers 26
Too many missed classes 25
Change of college 24
Dropping of more than one class 23
Minor traffic violations 20
Add up your points to get your Total Life Change Score ___________
1. Which of these “stressors” do not apply in your current context?
2. What other “stressors” are not included but would be in the top 20?
3. What else would you need to know in order to predict who would develop a health
condition in the next few months? (see chapter 12)
Tutorial Eight – Week 11
Chapters 14 & 15
Complete the General Health Questionnaire below
Complete the General Health Questionnaire below
Please consider the last four weeks and answer the following questions by selecting and circling
one of the four answer options.
Question 0 1 2 3
1. Been able to
concentrate on what
you’re doing
More so than
Same as usual Less so than usual Much less than
2. Lost much sleep over
Not at all No more than usual Rather more than
Much more than
3. Felt you were playing
a useful part in
More so than
Same as usual Less so than usual Much less than
4. Felt capable of making
decisions about
More so than
Same as usual Less so than usual Much less than
5. Felt constantly under
Not at all No more than usual Rather more than
Much more than
6. Felt you couldn’t
overcome your
Not at all No more than usual Rather more than
Much more than
7. Been able to enjoy
your normal day-today
More so than
Same as usual Less so than usual Much less than
8. Been able to face up
to your problems
More so than
Same as usual Less so than usual Much less than
9. Been feeling unhappy
and depressed
Not at all No more than usual Rather more than
Much more than
10. Been losing
confidence in
Not at all No more than usual Rather more than
Much more than
11. Been thinking of
yourself as a
worthless person.
Not at all No more than usual Rather more than
Much more than
12. Been feeling
reasonably happy,
all things
More so
than usual
About the same
as usual
Less so than
Much less than
General Health Questionnaire Scoring
Scoring – Likert Scale 0, 1, 2, 3 from left to right, then add them up.
12 items, 0 to 3 each item, Score range is therefore 0 to 36.
Scores vary by study populations but scores about 11-12 are typical.
1. Where would a screening instrument such as this be useful?
2. Would it be a useful indicator of a person’s overall “Quality of Life”?
3. What else would you want to include?
4. What sort of definition of “General Health” is being adopted here?
Tutorial Nine – Week 12
Health behaviour in the media
A study was published recently on the value of fitness trackers in a weight loss program. The
original article is posted on the LMS. Reading the article is optional – but if you do, don’t be
put off by the document being 57 pages long – the article is only the first 10 pages. Your
required preparation is to listen to one of two radio programs on which the study and its
authors were featured:
ABC Radio National’s Health Report on September 26th 2016, where a transcript is also
available if you prefer to read the material
or ABC Radio National’s Life Matters on September 27th 2016
Be ready to discuss the following questions:
1) Was there anything you wanted to know about the study that wasn’t mentioned in the
radio program?
2) What reasons did the study’s authors suggest for the main outcome – that the
participants who were given a fitness tracker actually did worse?
3) Which of the reasons do you find most convincing, or do you have any other
Tutorial Ten – Week 13
Chapters 16 – 18
1. Consider the statement: ”health psychology has provided many answers to the
question of why people do or do not engage in healthy behaviour”. Is the
predominantly individualistic focus of health psychology sufficient?
2. Consider the statement: ”health psychology has identified individual cognitions and
coping behaviours that are amenable to interventions aimed at improving illness
outcomes”. What ways could some of these interventions be introduced into the
healthcare system?
3. Consider the statement: ”health policy has no relevance for health psychologists”.
Does this hold in light of recent governmental campaigns or policy changes, in for
example, smoking bans in public places, health screening, and immunisation policy?
Self-Management Project Guidelines
All submitted assignments must be typed (with the exception of graphs). Please use 2.5cm
margins; double-space your work and use size 12 fonts and APA 6th Edition style for
citation (Murdoch site and the manual is
in closed reserve).
Step 1: Identify your health/wellbeing goal and target behaviour. Think about and
try to identify these before your first tutorial
Look at your lifestyle, and after reviewing the first chapter of the textbook, think about what
aspects you could change to increase your level of health and wellbeing.
 Identify one goal (for example, increasing physical fitness or improving your emotional
wellbeing etc.).
 Next, identify one or more specific target behaviours that relate to achieving your
goal (for example, increasing exercise and eating more vegetables). Think about
which of these is most achievable FOR YOU.
Here we define health very broadly – your overall physical and mental health, productivity at
work or university, your relationships, your financial security and so forth. Here are some
potential health targets from which you can choose. You are welcome to choose some other
behaviour not on the list, pending tutor’s approval.
Physical health behaviours – often best
tackled with a reward schedule
Role functioning (being better at what you
do) – may respond to rewards or to a
time management/problem solving
Eating habits (e.g. junk food – fruit & veg –
Reduce recreational screen time
Reduce alcohol or tobacco consumption Decrease Phone calls/texts/twitter/facebook
Drink more water or less coffee Increase productive work habits
Improve sleeping habits Increase reading before class
Mental health/ emotional wellbeing –
often best tackled with a meditation
or relaxation intervention
Other individual goals – best intervention
will vary
Improve mood Increase frequency of a desired behaviour
e.g. musical instrument practice
Reduce stress Decrease swearing
Reduce anger Decrease excessive shopping
Decrease road rage/driving stress Paying down debt or Start saving
Step 2: Defining and Changing Behaviour
 Define your dependent variable. This is the behaviour you identified above, it is the
thing you hope to change. Consider the following when selecting your behaviour
change target:
 Can you improve it in 5-7 days?
o This is a very short intervention so identify a variable that you can change
immediately, not your long term goal. For example, you may wish to lose
weight, but in one week you won’t see much change. Instead target a
behaviour that you can observe immediately – eating less fat, sugar or
calories. Your variable will then be what you eat, grams of fat or number of
calories, not your weight.
 Set one small target
o Be realistic about what you can achieve in the time available – if you take no
exercise now, then you may not be able to achieve a 5km run every day with
a short self-administered intervention. Target only one thing: don’t try to
change the world.
 Make sure you can measure your target daily
o This means that having regular dental check-ups (an important health
behaviour) will not work for you, nor will going to the gym three times a week
or aiming to drink less alcohol if you only drink at weekends anyway. It must
be a daily behaviour.
 Choose a target without floor and ceiling effects
o If you already take a lot of exercise, you may not be able to improve it very
much – this is called a ceiling effect. If you already consume almost no fat,
then you may not be able to show much reduction in your intervention phase –
this is called a floor effect. Choose something with room to change.
 Choose something that you can talk and write about in a public space
o Keep it legal – for example illicit drug use is an important behaviour to try
to change, but choose something else for class.
o Keep it safe – do not try to tackle serious mental health problems without
professional support.
o Avoid embarrassment – condom use is a common behavioural target in
the published literature, but you may not want to talk about it in class (and
remember, your target behaviour must occur daily!)
 Define your independent variable. This is what your research leads you to think will
be effective for changing your health/wellbeing behaviour. This must be a
psychological variable. Use techniques that have been shown by empirical
research to be effective in meeting your goal, or have been used with similar goals.
These behaviour change techniques (interventions) fall into three broad categories –
again it is important that each of them can be executed every day of your intervention
 Reward/Punishment interventions:
These work best for health behaviour change – e.g. eating and exercise. You
might reward/punish yourself with money (e.g. $1 “fine” to savings for every
hour of television watching) or activities (e.g. for every hour of study you
could reward yourself with a 5 minute facebook session). Research suggests
that rewards are generally more effective than punishments, but there are
individual differences – choose something that will be motivating for you.
 Meditation or relaxation interventions:
If you target stress or mood, then an intervention like this might be suitable,
but also think about how you will complete it – for example set aside a time
and place. Exercise (which for some people will be the thing they want to
improve) can also be effective as an intervention for improving mood.
 Scheduling/problem-solving interventions:
Sometimes your suboptimal health behaviour can be the result of poor
planning or time-management, and the best intervention can be one that
provides you with the time or information to meet your goals. For example do
you eat too much takeaway food? For some people the best intervention will
be a reward for eating more healthily, but for others the best approach might
be to make a shopping and cooking plan ahead of time with recipes easily to
hand – this is a problem-solving approach and is based on identifying for
yourself the main barriers to changing your behaviour. Such an approach
can also be a stress-buster.
 Keep your project simple – one target behaviour (DV) and one intervention strategy
Step 3: Measuring Behaviour
 Decide how you will measure your behaviour (diary sheets, rating forms, paper or
electronic etc.). If you are targeting mood or stress then suitable published measures
are readily available. Remember – your measurement must be taken daily. Some
measures will be taken several times a day but reported as a daily average.
Step 4: Outline Submission
 Submit an outline of your project, using the template provided. In it you will define
quite precisely what you are going to do.
 While your outline is with your tutor for assessment, try out your observation
recording process over a few days to see if it works, and whether the data is relatively
“stable” over the period. A stable baseline may have some fluctuations (i.e. go up and
down from day to day) but there should be no discernible trend – either going up
(ascending) or going down (descending) as this will confound your results.
 You may need to modify your dependent variable (e.g., you might want to change
how many minutes walked to how far walked on a daily basis using a pedometer) or
recording sheet as required.
Step 5: Completing Phase A
 Once you are happy that you have a clear research plan and method, move on to this
step, but think about how you will incorporate your tutor’s feedback on your outline
into your study.
 Continue with your measurements and decide when your baseline observations are
stable: for example, the observation of 5-4-5-5-4-5 would be identified as a
horizontally stable pattern; which simply means that there is no evident trend in the
date and any differences in this series of numbers are likely to be only a result of
random variation. Your goal is to have horizontal stability (only random variation) in
the baseline data.
 Once you have good observation methods and a stable baseline established, it is
time to implement your behaviour change strategy (step 6 below). Do not move on to
step 6 before you have received feedback from your tutor.
 At the same time (or earlier) get on top of the literature research. You don’t need to
wait for the results of your study to start writing the introduction. You will already have
done some research to identify your intervention method – start collecting relevant
references to support your introduction. You will need to describe your goals and
targets, why they are important for health and wellbeing, and what past research has
shown about the effectiveness of the intervention that you have chosen.
Steps 6 – 8: Phase B and further
 Implement the intervention (behaviour change) strategy and continue to collect data
on the behaviour during the intervention. Continue for at least five days.
 Reverse it according to your design.
 Make sure that you consider intervention integrity (How will the reader of your report
know that you rewarded or punished yourself as you said you would? How will you
record this, and any lapses in behaviour or recording?)
 Keep writing. Outline the procedures for the conduct of your project. Specify when
data will be collected, and when consequences will be delivered. State the
contingency as clearly as possible (and make sure you implement it). Describe the
design of your study as clearly and succinctly as you can.
 Create a graph of your baseline data and show it to your tutor.
Step 9: Final analysis and write-up of your project
It is now time to complete the assignment by writing up the project. Remember the written
report should be a maximum of 2500 words in length (with text in 12-point font and doublespaced),
not including references, figures or appendices.
It is important to include the appropriate sections in your report (Introduction; Method;
Results; and Discussion) and to properly cite your references. It is important that you include
sufficient detail so that somebody could not only replicate your project but also improve upon
it, for example state and clearly define the target behaviour.
Be sure to report and discuss
 Analysis of your data –
 Visual analysis of trend lines for means
 Descriptive statistics (e.g. mean of baseline period/s vs mean of
intervention phase)
 Any unexpected outcomes
 Evaluate the effectiveness of your intervention in relation to improvement over
 Evaluate the effectiveness of your intervention in relation to whether the objective
was met within the time line you specified.
 Evaluate the effectiveness of your intervention in relation to previous findings
using similar methods.
 Describe what you would do differently in implementing future self-management
Self-Management Project Related Readings
A significant part of the project is to locate research literature related to your topic using your
library skills and assistance from the librarians. There are a number of books and articles on
EReserve and on LMS to help you with the design, implementation and reporting of your
project but you will need additional references in the introduction section of your project
Online resources are also useful, some examples are listed below. As a general rule,
websites maintained by governments, universities, professional bodies and major not-forprofits
such as Beyond Blue or the Heart Foundation offer reliable advice and information,
but be selective about your sources of information online.
Beyond Blue – ( for examples of mood monitoring and
self-management interventions for “reducing stress”, “reducing alcohol consumption..”,
“sleeping well”, “keeping active” and other simple interventions.
Centre for Clinical Interventions –
( for simple interventions
covering Anger Coping Strategies, Assertive Communication, Problem Solving, etc.
Australian Dietary Guidelines –
As a concrete example of the need to be discerning when searching online, take the issue of
safe alcohol consumption. Sites include: Guidelines from the Federal
Government – a good source of information. Health information from the WA State Government –
has many links to the Federal site above and interesting examples of intervention
strategies – a good source of information and examples. The site for Drinkwise Australia; a not-forprofit
run by the alcohol industry! Also has links to the Federal site above, but offers
advice, for example, on ‘how to drink properly’! A trap for the unwary – not a reliable
source of health information.
A Guide to the Self-Management Project Outline (worth 10% of your final grade):
A template for this assignment will be available on the LMS, but the headings are provided
below for your information; note that these are the headings for the outline only – the actual
project report will require different headings, in line with APA format. The word limit is 500
words excluding references (section 5) and appendices. The guidelines below explain
exactly what is required in each section.
1. Dependent variable (2 marks)
In this section describe the emotional or behavioural outcome that you will be trying to
change. If you have a broader goal (e.g. to get fit or improve grades) then mention this
as well, but be clear about which specific behaviour is your target – the one you will be
measuring. If there are health relevant guidelines, give this information as well, e.g.
your health target will be 10,000 steps per day or 5 serves of vegetables. Citations
may be used but are not expected.
2. Independent variable (2 marks)
In this section describe your intervention. Describe what you will be doing e.g.
introducing a reward or implementing a time management plan, and why you think it
will work for you. Be clear about the timing of your intervention, e.g. the reward will be
delivered at the end of each day, or the meditation will take place each morning upon
rising. Again, citations may be used but are not expected.
3. Data collection method (2 marks)
Describe how will you collect and record your daily data. If you are using a published
scale, for example to measure stress, then you should provide a citation for it. If you
have designed your own recording sheet or scale, attach a copy.
4. Design (2 marks)
State what sort of research design you will use. For example ABAB or ABA. Show that
you understand what this will require in practice and include the length of time you
anticipate for each phase (this may change of course).
5. References (2 marks)
Provide a list of at least three references relevant to your project, you may or may not
have used them in the sections above. They must be in APA format (6th edition) and
should demonstrate that you have searched an appropriate literature. There are
several guides to APA style on the LMS.

A Guide to the Self-Management Project (worth 30% of your final grade):
A template for this assignment will be available on the LMS, but the headings are provided
below for your information; note that these are the headings for the project report (they
differ from the project outline), in line with APA format. The word limit is 2500 words
excluding references (section 5) and appendices. The guidelines below explain exactly what
is required in each section.
1. Introduction (6 marks)
A clear title should summarize the main topic of the report and identify the variables
(e.g. the effect of X on Y).
A good introduction should address the importance of the problem, e.g. cost to the
community or the individual, and provide evidence that the chosen intervention
strategy is appropriate and likely to be effective. Previous literature should be clearly
described such that a person unfamiliar with the topic can understand it. Terms
should be clearly defined and abbreviations spelled out at first use.
The introduction is expected to refer to at least five peer-reviewed sources
(journals/books other than text), and may additionally use appropriate web sites, e.g.
government or university sources.
It should conclude with a clear statement of the research question or hypothesis.
2. Method (6 marks)
The method should be divided into subsections:
 Design identified as single case/subject with reversal/other.
 Participant demographic information (gender, age, fitness, etc.).
 Measures described in enough detail that a researcher could obtain or reproduce
the same items (e.g. copy of recording sheets in appendix).
 Procedure described in sufficient detail that the study could be replicated.
3. Results (6 marks)
One or more graphs (figures) should be the focus of this section. The figure(s) should
include a concise caption, clear axis labels and appropriate scale, and an accurate
representation of data.
This should be accompanied by a description of major findings.
Further means may be provided, as well as an explanation of missing data or
unexpected events.
4. Discussion (6 marks)
The first para. should give a clear statement of the outcome – was the hypothesis
The results should then be discussed in relation to previous research findings.
At least 2 limitations should be mentioned, for example reliability/ validity of the
measures, sources of bias in self-report, ethical problems.
Future research recommendations should be made.
A concluding paragraph should summarise the outcome and consider its implications
for the individual or the community.
5. Presentation/Style (6 marks)
The paper should be logically organized and build a coherent argument, with
transitions used to connect ideas and link paragraphs.
The paper should be correctly formatted in APA style, employ correct spelling and
grammar, and use a clear and scientific writing style, but it may be written in the first
or third person.