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Health Psychol. 2010 Sep;29(5):555-62. doi: 10.1037/a0020750.

Assessing the scholarly impact of health psychology: a citation analysis of articles published from 1993 to 2003.

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Department of Health Services Research, Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute, 795 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94301, USA.



We conducted a citation analysis to explore the impact of articles published in Health Psychology and determine whether the journal is fulfilling its stated mission.


Six years of articles (N = 408) representing three editorial tenures from 1993-2003 were selected for analysis.


Articles were coded for several dimensions enabling examination of the relationship of article features to subsequent citations rates. Journals citing articles published in Health Psychology were classified into four categories: (1) psychology, (2) medicine, (3) public health and health policy, and (4) other journals.


The majority of citations of Health Psychology articles were in psychology journals, followed closely by medical journals. Studies reporting data collected from college students, and discussing the theoretical implications of findings, were more likely to be cited in psychology journals, whereas studies reporting data from clinical populations, and discussing the practice implications of findings, were more likely to be cited in medical journals. Time since publication and page length were both associated with increased citation counts, and review articles were cited more frequently than observational studies.


Articles published in Health Psychology have a wide reach, informing psychology, medicine, public health and health policy. Certain characteristics of articles affect their subsequent pattern of citation.

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