The emergence of critical health psychology: can it contribute to promoting public health?

J Health Psychol. 2006 May;11(3):331-41. doi: 10.1177/1359105306063298.


The purpose of this article is twofold: first to provide an overview of the emergence of critical health psychology for those working in the related social and health sciences and as a review of its major developments for health psychology; and second to discuss critically the potential for critical health psychology to contribute to promoting public health with specific reference to the directives espoused by Prilleltensky (2003) and Murray and Campbell (2003). The identification of three philosophical phases of the emergence of critical health psychology is used to examine the directions of the field and the challenges facing critical health psychology in order to contribute to public and global health.

MeSH terms

  • Behavioral Medicine*
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Politics
  • Psychology, Social
  • Public Health* / economics