Psychology for Health and Social Care

Effect on Psychological Factor

The development of life span and behaviour of individual are directly affected by factors of psychological. These psychological factors have significant impact on different stages of individual's life cycle. Both environmental and social factors have direct and huge impact on behaviour and nature of human which helps to improve their development process (Sarafino and Smith, 2014). The present research study is focused on psychological principles in health and social care and to study its principles, it includes various theories of life span development. Further this will also help to understand social and biological factors which influence human behaviour in health and social context. Along with this, report will also comprises applications of its various theories.

Theories of life span development

In psychological theories there are various varieties of services which are provided to distinct individuals in their life stage development by health and social care organization. In this context, the life stages are infancy, early childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, late adulthood and in last death stage. These different life stages could be easily understood by different individuals and the psychological theories are stage, open ended, continuity and discontinuity theory. The description of different life stages, its characteristics and psychological theories have been stated below:

Life Stage Years Case Scenario Psychological Theories
Infancy 0- 2 years Infant is dependent on adults and in this stage bond develops between infant and their caregiver like mother. According to stage theory each individual face equal stages which lies between birth and death in lifespan development. Future expectations of individual influence them to choose appropriate development path.
Early Childhood 3- 10 years Children learn to do things and increasingly become independent from parents and their cognitive skills develop. The open ended theory stated that each individual develops different assumptions and hypothesis and these assumptions plays vital role in reaction to different situations. Individual’s decisions and reactions are based on cultural, physiological and psychological factors (Staub, 2013)
Adolescence 11- 20 years Develops own identity by seeking independence from parents and they start thinking complex, idealistic and logical. Continuity theory helps to determine new and creative changes in stages of individual's life cycle. This theory stated that late adulthood uses suitable strategies which are associated with past behaviours and actions for their lifespan development.
Early Adulthood 21- 40 years Develops own identity by seeking independence from parents and they start thinking complex, idealistic and logical. Discontinuity theory helps in determining instant and sudden changes (unexpected and diverse changes) in different stages of individual. This theory also focuses on indifferent and isolated changes in life stages of individuals (Brown, 2013).
Late Adulthood/ Death 41- 65+ years Expands their personal and social involvements and responsibilities. In older age they start consider adjustments to changes in both perception and life.  

Psychological theories with relate to different life stages in health and social care

Psychological theories are related to stages of lifespan development. To understand development of lifespan, there are few theories such as Piaget and Erikson theory. The description of both theories have been stated below:

Piaget's theory

This is a comprehensive theory of cognitive development which defines both development and nature of human intelligence. Piaget stated that in development of human, childhood stage plays a vital role.

Erik Erikson theory

This theory involves eight stages of personality development which known as psycho-social development stages.

Social and biological factors that influence human behaviour in given case study above

Behaviour of human is influenced by both social and biological factors, these factors are discussed below:

Social Factors

The social factors affects and influence individual behaviour and helps in gaining knowledge, language and skills through society. In childhood stage Sam learns most of things from his family, these thing affects behaviour of Sam and in this context, education is also a factor which influence life of Sam. Lower level of education represents bad behaviour and other factors such as media, culture, society environment also affects behaviour of Sam. By local authority Sam has been placed to care home where he was in 24 hours under observation, this situation changes his behaviour such as irritation, stress and suicidal tendency (Aveyard, 2014). The lack of awareness about disease is also a social factor which increases irritation and suicidal attempts in Sam.

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Biological factors

In biological factors, genetics aspects plays a vital role which influence Sam's behaviour because genetic make up has high role to determine behaviour of human.. Skills such as talents, intelligence and habits comes from heredity so, all these factors influence Sam's behaviour. The major reason behind disease of Sam, Alzheimer is basically loss of neurons. The internal system such as nervous system and sensory system also get affected in illness which also give adverse effect on behaviour.

With the help of this, it analysed that both social and biological factors influences and shapes the behaviour of human (Vaughan and Rodriguez, 2013).

Importance of social roles in context of health and Social care settings

As per given case scenario, Sam is facing few issues in his lifespan development which gives adverse and negative impact on his behaviour and his mental and physical health also affected. At this stage of life, Sam is not able to fight and take a stand for his problems and in this situation both physical and mental healths are important to solve these issues. Further, life span development is directly depends on both social and biological factors which affects behaviour of Sam. According to scenario, Sam is facing issues of depression and mental disorder so, in this situation proper care and support from family and society matters most. In addition good nutrition and regular medication are very important for improvement of physical and psychological health (Mooney, 2013). With the help of this, Sam will be able to fight with his disease. In this context, Sam is an Alzheimer patient and has chances to loss his memory due to high level of stress. In this situation, social roles are very important because they helps to determine and also remind his identity. The social roles will also helps in developing self concepts, self confidence and identity in Sam. Along with this, they will help to maintain traditional behaviour and conformity in Sam's behaviour and they are important for development of both physical and mental health of Sam.

The social roles helps to achieve and maintain good health and also give support in patients difficult time period. The environment of society also plays a important role in development of human. In Sam case, society can provide him help in both financial and support level, which will give positive impact on his behaviour (Hanson, 2014). With this he will feel that all are giving him attention and also taking care of him, this will give him strength to fight with disease and also reduces depression level. Same things apply with family, friends and staff members of care home.

Application of psychological theories in relation to individuals

The following two psychological theories are explained below-

Cognitive appraisal (Richard Lazarus)- As per cognitive appraisal theory, individual are affected by the environment that generates direct or indirect impact on well being of the individual. The environment produces stressors, from which individual gets affected and these triggers stressful situation for the person (Heider, 2013). In return to these stressors individual creates a dealing mechanism. This mechanism consists of two stages one is primary and other one is secondary. Primary appraisal stage includes a situation where the individual tries to find out the meaning of situation that may generate stress like environment for him/her. In secondary appraisal state arises from the primary stage. Where the person is not able to identify as to what should be done with the situation.

James-Lange: Theory of Emotion- According to this theory any individual triggers many emotions in many situationist of life. For example, when we see a wounded dog, we immediately get a feeling of dismay and sadness for the tragic condition of the dog (Neisser, 2014). This is due to the fact that emotion aroused only after the person personally witnessed the situation. This James and Lange state that any emotion of stress and confusion trigger after any stressful constitution is been experienced by the individual. Stress related emotions trigger complex physiological changes in an person biological structure.

Behaviour disturbances in relation to psychological theories

As per the given case study, analysation is done in the following as to how psychological theories relate to behavioural disturbances in an individual.

Cognitive appraisal (Richard Lazarus)- In the case study it was evident that Karen is undergoing difficult conditions that are effecting the mental wellbeing of her. She is facing anxiety and pervasive development disorder that are lowering her self esteem and confidence to perform her daily job duties. These inability triggered after the primary appraisal encounter with her husband's problem (Maslow, 2013). And now as a result of the same in her secondary appraisal encounter she does not know what to do with the critical situation.

James-Lange: Theory of Emotion- As per this theory Karen was undergoing mental stress and pressure due to non employable skills of her husband and the medical conditions of her son and daughter. As already she is facing these problems from the past 8 months, her medical well being is now getting impacted from the long exposure of stress (Howell, 2012). The negative thoughts that lingering in minds are due her incapability of saving her marriage from breakdown. This exposure has triggered behavioural changes in her self and that is why she constantly fears losing her job and skills.

Psychological theories informs understanding of mental disorders

Theories provide understanding of mind and behaviour- The theories form a tool in better understanding of behaviour and mind of an individual. They are a framework and study that provides evidence of factors that bring fluctuation in thought process of an individual. As the individual is able to understand the what and how of human behaviour, psychologist can understand the individual on a efficient way (Mowday, Porter and Steers, 2013). Through understanding learning is improved and the psychologist is able to identify various influential factors related to behaviour and mind, that impact the mental health of an individual.

Inspires research proceeding in psychology- Researchers and psychologist use these theories as base of future research. As psychology is field which constantly developers and evolves its literature, research of these theory is important for development and promotion of research related activities in these field (Zuckerman, 2014). New discoveries helps the psychologist in updating there knowledge base in terms of discoveries and inventions in treatment facility. Research furthers add to answer of various new issues and challenges faced by the individual studying psychology.

Helps in Prognosis- Prognosis is a term used to denote prediction ability of the psychologist after diagnosis of the mental disorder. People have a perception that better treatment facility are responsible in healing the mental disorder. It is not right as only correct diagnosis and prognosis leads to identifying correct metacentre services. Psychology theory are the only source that are evident to predict the future condition of the mentally disorder patient.

Initiates better treatment- Psychology theory helps in the advancement and development of treatment facility for the patients and service users. As technology is ever evolving the, researchers and psychologist are inventing new treatment services for the patients or service users (Giorgi, 2009). Understanding of mental disorder through psychology theory helps in generating better treatment facility for the patients.

Application of psychological principles affecting behaviour change

Behaviour change is a part of psychological concepts , depicting the change of behaviour in an individual after application of psychological principles. Environment, personal and social characteristics are the responsible factors to bring in any any psychological or behavioural change in an individual. Identity as a principle of psychology state that an individual is associated with the identity of the health and social care organisation (Munn-Giddings and Winter, 2013). For example, a n individual receiving treatment of depression through NHS expert, is associated with NHS as a brand name. Any sort of disorientation in services provided to the individual will hamper the image of the services provide and not of the expert. Company as a brand name is responsible to keep the customers loyalty towards itself.

Likewise, environment factors are considered to be effective in triggering psychological changes in an individual. Thus to provide better treatment service the care provider will have to emphasize on maintaining the environment of the organisation to be positive. Let’s say a person suffering from alcohol addiction appears for treatment Instead he/she finds the environment and services provided to the persona s de motivational (Aveyard, 2014). This will reduce his/her faith in the organisation and may drop the idea to take further treatment from the organisation. In order to avoid this situation the care provider will have to generate confidence and positivism in the service user. This will further inspire the patient to stay associated with the organisation.

As per the needs of service user, it is important for health and social care to constantly evaluate and develop to generate maximum care and treatment service to the users. Assessment of the needs of the service user are important part of psychological principle, as it leads to identifying the right treatment facility for the patient (Reeves, Lewin, Espin and Zwarenstein, 2011). Needs are important for the health and social care organisation, as they help the organisation in generating customer involvement with the company.

Psychological theories enhance understanding of relationships in health and social care

Psychological theories play a crucial role in understanding various relationships in health and social care sector. As it is clear that health and social care is a vast industry, and there are numerous of people working day and night to serve the needs and wants of the service users. Relationships in health and social care signify the healthy relations between the care practitioner and the patient (Sheldon, 2011). It is important for care practitioner to build a cordial relationship with the service user. There must be trust among patient and treatment provider. This is as distrust may hamper the understanding which will not be beneficial for service provider. The service user must be obedient to follow the rules and regulation created by the practitioner for him/her. This will generate a healthy relationship between the patient and the practitioner as well.

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Despite a cordial relationship between the health care provider and the service user, incidents prevail that the patient is not able to generate maximum outcome from the treatment. This is from the account of friends and family of the service user. It is important for the near and dear ones of the patient to generate positive relationship among them. For example, a person addicted to drugs constantly companied about his nagging wife (Cameron and, 2012). Although he was trying his best to get sober and to recover from the drug abuse but the nagging nature of his woe de-motivated him. The practitioner counselled and advice his wife to try and generate optimism and improve the environmental conditions at home. This is very important as the relationship with family and friends generate behaviour which may either help in improvement or it can further hamper the well being of the service user.


From the research it can be identified that each psychological theory plays a crucial role in health and social care sector. These psychological theories and concepts form the basis of study of psychological concepts. As humans undergoes through various stages of life, the social, environmental and biological factors affect the person's behaviour and mental well-being. Thus to identify the impact of these factors psychological theory provide evidence for study and treatment facility. The research also studies different components of human behaviour and impact of psychological principles on them. Thus it can be concluded that, to generate better health care services, physiological theories must be effectively studied and developed.


  • Cameron, A. and, 2012. Factors that promote and hinder joint and integrated working between health and social care services.
  • Giorgi, A., 2009. The descriptive phenomenological method in psychology: A modified Husserlian approach. Duquesne University Press.
  • Great Britain. Department of Health, 2012. Health and Social Care Act 2012: Chapter 7, Explanatory Notes. The Stationery Office.
  • Hanson, G., 2014. Ideas and Identities: The Life and Work of Erik Erikson. American Journal of Psychiatry.
  • Heider, F., 2013. The psychology of interpersonal relations. Psychology Press.
  • Howell, D., 2012. Statistical methods for psychology. Cengage Learning.
  • Maslow, A.H., 2013. Toward a psychology of being. Start Publishing LLC.
  • Mooney, C.G., 2013. Theories of Childhood: An Introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget & Vygotsky. Redleaf Press.
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