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January 1, 1973

The Psychosocial Environment and Psychosomatic Disease

Author Affiliations

Dartmouth Medical School Hanover, NH

JAMA. 1973;223(1):85. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220010071042

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Unfortunately, terms like "psychosocial environment" and "psychosomatic diseases" are ambiguous and do not reflect the actual contents of the book. Some contributors discuss the effects on man's psychophysiological functioning of various aspects of his social environment, such as specific work conditions. Others present reports on experimental research with animals in whom pathological changes were induced by manipulation of the environment. Others still deal with the man-made physical aspects of the environment, like air pollution, whose effects on health need not involve any intervening psychological variables. Thus the broad focus of the symposium is on human ecology and man's adaptation to his social and physical environment.

The majority of the papers deal with the ways whereby social interaction and situations affect persons psychologically and physiologically. The physiological changes set off by the individual's psychological response to events and situations in his social environment may influence susceptibility to organic disease. In other