Increasingly stressful lifestyles mean there is growing worldwide demand for health psychologists.
Professor Dennis Jowaisas, the chair of a psychology department at a US university, told Asia One that a recent trip to Singapore showed him that stress is an increasing problem worldwide.
He added that stress can affect the immune system, which can lead to physical health problems that have a negative impact on wider society.
Health psychologists, however, can help to tackle the problem by using behavioral analysis to change people’s habits and reduce their stress.
In the future, health psychologists will be needed to actively intervene and design programs to help fix social problems. Psychology does not merely encompass passive counseling, he said.
Over the next 10 to 15 years, global demand for qualified psychologists working in health-related fields is expected to undergo “tremendous growth”, the site said.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 166,000 psychologists working in the US in 2006. Around 34% of these professionals were self-employed, compared to a national average of 8% for all workers.