Rizwana Roomaney

Department of Psychology

Stellenbosch University

Room 2027 Wilcocks, 52 Ryneveld Street Stellenbosch, 7600, South Africa

Tel: +2721 8083973


Info on HP in the country

Health psychology debuted in 1989 in South Africa (see Schlebusch, 1996). Health psychology is not a professional category. Psychologists are registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa as either clinical, counselling or research psychologists. While some clinical and counselling psychologists offer support to clients with health-related issues, research in health psychology is gaining prominence. Health psychology is an emerging field that continues to be shaped by history, politics and the expanding needs of the communities within the country (see Yen & Vaccarino (2018) for the accounts of psychologists in SA on the issues relating to health psychology in the country).

South Africa hosted the International Congress of Psychology in 2012 but to date has not hosted any EHPS conferences.

Scientific information

The South African journal of Psychology (SAJP) is a national journal for psychologists in South Africa. There are no South African journals that exclusively publish health psychology research but SAJP published two special issues on health psychology (Kagee, 2006; Yen & Vaccarino, 2018) and almost every issue of the journal features health psychology research. The Psychological Society of South Africa established a division of health psychology in 2004, which was dissolved in 2014. We recently obtained permission from PSYSSA to resurrect a Health Psychology special interest group. This promises to be a challenging and exciting endeavor and we hope to bring psychologists with an interest in health together.

HP education & professionalization

There are no professional degrees for health psychology available in SA. However, universities offer various undergraduate and postgraduate modules on the subject.

Annual Report – information about recent and upcoming activities within the country.

Establish Health Psychology SIG

Health psychology round table at PSYSSA conference 2020


Kagee, A. (2006). A milestone for South African psychology. South African Journal of Psychology, 36(4), 661–665.

Schlebusch, L. (1996). Health psychology in South Africa: An introduction. South African Journal of Psychology, 26(1), 1–3.

Yen, J., & Vaccarino, O. (2018). ‘Health psychology’ or ‘psychology for health’? A history of psychologists’ engagement with health in South Africa. Journal of Health Psychology, 23(3), 408–424.