Volume 17, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0921-5077
  • E-ISSN: 1875-7235


Occupational Health Psychology: past, present and future

Occupational Health Psychology: past, present and future

Wilmar Schaufeli, Gedrag & Organisatie, Volume 17, October 2004, nr. 5, pp. 327-341

Occupational Health Psychology (OHP) concerns studying and improving employees' health and well-being. Although some psychologists pioneered the field a long time ago, OHP emerged relatively recent in the 1990s. The Netherlands have played an important role in its development, since OHP found a fertile soil in the country's legal, political, social, psychological, and institutional climate. In view of both external (i.e. societal) and internal (i.e. scientific) developments the future of OHP research is described. In particular, some important results and future challenges of five different types of research are discussed: explanatory, descriptive, tool development, intervention and organizational change research, respectively. The article concludes with the observation that the current 'negative' approach of OHP that focuses on unhealthiness, unwell-being and malfunctioning is evolving towards a more 'positive' approach that focuses on health, well-being and optimal functioning.


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