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Cross-cultural Psychology of Health and Illness


Entry requirements



This course looks at influences of culture, on aspects of mental and physical health, illness, and health care from a psychological perspective.

Course objectives

After completion of the course, students are better prepared to address issues on mental and physical health, illness, and healthcare in a culturally diverse society and able to:

  • Identify cultural similarities and differences in psychological factors underlying health and illness, such as in emotions, cognitions, and behaviors;

  • Identify factors that affect research validity in cross-cultural settings, and the generalisability of health research outcomes;

  • Identify cultural influences on health , illness, and (access to) health care;

  • Develop awareness of cultural competencies that health care professionals require to treat patients from diverse cultural backgrounds;

  • Develop awareness of the impact of culture on health, illness, and healthcare at a societal level.


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable



Students must register themselves for all course components (lectures, tutorials and practicals) they wish to follow. You can register up to 5 days prior to the start of the course.


You must register for each exam in My Studymap at least 10 days before the exam date. Don’t forget! For more information, see the enrolment procedure.
You cannot take an exam without a valid registration in My Studymap.

Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

Students who take this course as part of a LDE minor or a premaster programme, exchange students and external guest students will be informed by the education administration about the current registration procedure.

Mode of instruction

This course consists of 7 2-hour lectures (attendance is not mandatory and weblectures are available, with the exception of clinical video material).

Assessment method

Written exam focusing on insight and application of the learned material.

The Institute of Psychology uses fixed rules for grade calculation. It also follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. All students are required to take and pass the Scientific Integrity Test with a score of 100% in order to learn about the practice of integrity in scientific writing. Students are given access to the quiz via a module on Brightspace. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of these two policies.

Reading list

  • Heine, S.J. (2020). Cultural psychology (Regular or International student edition), 4th edition. New York NY: Norton & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-393-42189-7 or 978-0-393-64469-2.

  • A set of book chapters and articles available via Brightspace.

Selected chapters from the book by Heine, the materials on Brightspace, the lecture slides, as well as the information from the lectures are all part of the exam material.

Contact information

Dr. Rebecca Schaefer

Dr. Kaya Peerdeman