The below sampling of articles provides an initial body of analysis on the potential for personal health strengths to provide a buffer against physical and mental illness and path to better overall health. Additional research and resources are available on the Positive Health project website.
- Life Satisfaction and Frequency of Doctor Visits (Psychosomatic Medicine, 2013). Whether healthy or ill, people with higher life satisfaction (sometimes called happiness) visit the doctor less than those unhappy. Pursuing the link between positive psychological factors and health care use may reveal innovative ways to contain health care costs.
- Perceived Neighborhood Social Cohesion and Stroke (Social Science & Medicine, 2013). Perceived neighborhood social cohesion and physical health may play an important role in protecting against stroke.
- Social Relations, Health Behaviors, and Health Outcomes (Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 2013). This paper summarizes current evidence on social relations and health, specifically how social integration and social support are related to health behaviors and health outcomes, using results from published reviews.
- Purpose in Life and Reduced Stroke in Older Adults (Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 2013). A higher rating of purpose in life was associated with a reduced likelihood of stroke during this study’s four-year follow-up.
- A Prospective Study of Positive Early Life Psychosocial Factors and Favorable Cardiovascular Risk in Adulthood (Circulation, 2013). Protecting and enhancing early life psychosocial assets lay the foundation for adult cardiovascular health.
- Psychological Well-Being, Cardiorespiratory Fitness, and Long-Term Survival (American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2010). While low levels of negative emotion or high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness are predictors of long-term survival in men and women, being both fit and not unhappy provides a strong combined effect.
- A Prospective Study of Positive Psychological Well-Being and Coronary Heart Disease (Health Psychology, 2013). Positive psychological well-being, desirable in itself, may have far-reaching consequences for cardiovascular health.
- The Promise of Well-Being Interventions for Improving Health Risk Behaviors (Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports, 2012). People who have positive psychological well-being may be more likely to exercise, eat a healthy diet, and avoid smoking, all behaviors that also reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.