Work and Health Psychology


Course Objective

After successfully having completed this course, students should be able
to do the following:
(1) Be able to describe how the most important theoretical models within
the field of occupational health psychology explain (un)healthy
functioning at the workplace.
(2) Be able to explain how health influences work force participation
among workers on the basis of empirical research.
(3) Be able to describe how and which biological processes change when
exposed to work stress.
(4) Be able to develop an intervention to improve health at the
workplace that integrates theory from the field of occupational health
psychology and empirical findings from previous research.

Course Content

This course will introduce students into the field of occupational
health psychology. The lectures of the course will give students a
theoretical background in work related health and stress. In group
assignments, students will practice the theoretical concepts that have
been shown to increase or decrease healthy functioning in the workplace
by identifying a stressor in a real work place and design an associated
The course has a multidisciplinary approach, as students will focus on
the cognitive and affective processes that relate to good health and
they will learn about the biological changes that are related to
unhealthy functioning, and the potential negative effects of these
biological changes on employee health. Subsequently, we will discuss
different types of interventions on a primary (attacking the stressor at
the source), secondary (increase coping mechanisms to better deal with
the stressors), and tertiary level (programs and interventions that are
in place after damage has been done, to promote reintegration to the
work floor).
During the course we will provide some insights into questions such as
"is stress bad for your health?", "what predicts burnout and what are
the consequences of burnout?", "can stress also have a positive effect
on performance?", "what biological changes occur in your body when
experiencing stress?", "are some people more prone to be affected by
work stress than others?", and "how can health at the work place be

Teaching Methods

Lectures and and group assignments.

Method of Assessment

Group assignments and a written exam comprised of both multiple-choice
and open questions.


(1) Leka S., & Houdmont J. (2010). Occupational health psychology. West
Sussex, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
(2) Selection of scientific articles that are updated each year. Please
see the course manual for the papers assigned for this year's class.

General Information

Course Code P_MWORHEA
Credits 6 EC
Period P2+3
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Fac. of Behavioural and Movement Science
Course Coordinator dr. J. Buczny
Examiner dr. J. Buczny
Teaching Staff dr. J. Buczny
dr. M. Kandrik

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture