Jonathan Raffes, PhD

Disclosures

Medscape General Medicine. 2001;3(4) 

In This Article

Introduction

Healthy Lives in Context was the major theme at 109th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (APA). Transcending the familiar directive to improve diet and lifestyle, plenary speakers borrowed a central tenet of preventive medicine, holism, as it informs both science and practice. Neurobehavioral researchers detailed cutting-edge work at the mind's inner frontier while social scientists and clinicians emphasized the societal fabric into which individual behavior is knit. But an important thread running through the 1500 diverse presentations was a need to balance the exploration of discrete influences on behavior with consideration of systemic and contextual factors -- family, community and ethnicity. "Culture counts," said US Surgeon General David Satcher in his convention address; and so do cross-disciplinary strategies, speakers suggested, for integrating an aerial view with the microscopic one from which methodological advances have recently emerged.

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