Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Understanding Human Behavior: A Guide for Health Care Professionals, 9th Edition

  • Alyson Honeycutt
  • Mary Elizabeth Milliken
  • ISBN-10: 1305959884
  • ISBN-13: 9781305959880
  • 480 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2012, 2004, 1998
  • COPYRIGHT: 2018 Published
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About the Product

Updated to reflect the latest developments in the field, UNDERSTANDING HUMAN BEHAVIOR, 9e, delivers reliable, practical information students need to gain a solid understanding of basic psychological concepts from a health care perspective. In addition to its signature need-to-know presentation and easy-to-read writing style, the ninth edition is more streamlined and now includes full-color illustrations. Its concise yet thorough coverage spans a broad range of important mental health topics and addresses them alongside their implications for health care professionals. Presenting both client and caregiver perspectives, this powerful book explores the behaviors, emotions, and coping mechanisms encountered in a variety of health care situations and settings. Real-world examples and activities that encourage students to examine their own behaviors round out the book's comprehensive approach, making this a must-have tool for health care programs.


  • Making it easy for students to build upon their knowledge, UNDERSTANDING HUMAN BEHAVIOR is organized to proceed from relatively simple information to more complex concepts, from the known to the unknown, and from personal application to application in a variety of interpersonal situations.

  • Hands-on end-of-chapter critical thinking activities reinforce key chapter objectives.

  • User-friendly cartoons help explain complex situations as well as prompt students to think about the reasons why a client or colleague behaves a certain way.

  • Section I provides an orientation to the role of a health care professional, the importance of accepting each patient as a worthwhile human being, the challenge of striving for self-understanding, and guidelines for personal and professional growth.

  • Section II discusses information about various influences on human behavior: the role of heredity, basic physical and psychological needs, developmental factors, role of the social environment, emotions and their power to influence behavior, and adjustment as a composite of all these factors.

  • Section III covers more complex concepts related to human behavior: stressful events that occur in the lives of most people, domestic violence and bullying, and the mental and emotional effects of traumatic experiences.

  • Section IV contains expanded content on the components of effective communication. Practice exercises are designed to help students become better communicators by improving their skills in sending, receiving, and observing verbal and nonverbal exchanges.

  • Section V presents an overview of changing practices in relation to death and dying, the effect of these changes, and legislation related to the rights of patients to participate in health care decisions -- especially those related to end-of-life care.

  • Section VI is designed to encourage students to accept the changes that inevitably will occur in the dynamic health care system.


“I did not know this text existed. It has excellent real world behavior that students will come across in the medical field. This text would certainly help prepare them for anything that would come up for them in their employment.”
— Pamela McNutt, MA, RMA (AMT), Allied Health Instructor, Wright Career College

About the Author

Alyson Honeycutt

Alyson Honeycutt, M.A., N.C.C., is a National Certified Counselor who holds a License in School Counseling from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction as well as advanced degrees from North Carolina State University at Raleigh and Appalachian State University. In addition to teaching parenting and literacy classes, she has taught students with emotional and behavioral disabilities. She also has served as an instructor in English at the college level and as a district-level behavior support coordinator in public schools.

Mary Elizabeth Milliken

Mary Elizabeth Milliken, B.S.N., M.S., Ed.D., practiced nursing in a variety of settings, served as instructor, then coordinator, of a practical nursing education program, was curriculum specialist for health occupations in the North Carolina Department of Community Colleges, and was a consultant on curriculum and effective teaching. From 1971 to 1987 she served as coordinator of Health Occupations Teacher Education at the University of Georgia in Athens. She graduated from Duke University School of Nursing, and her graduate study at North Carolina State University at Raleigh concentrated on both education and psychology. Since 1974 Dr. Milliken has followed the emerging holistic health movement, attending numerous workshops and conferences in which holistic concepts and complementary healing modalities were presented. In addition, she completed the curriculum sequence and certification requirements of Healing Touch International, Inc.

Table of Contents

1. Challenges and Responsibilities of Health Care Professionals.
2. The Philosophy of Individual Worth.
3. Self-Understanding.
4. Influences on Behavior.
5. Physical Needs.
6. Self-Esteem and Social Needs.
7. Emotions and Behavior.
8. Adjustment and Patterns of Behavior.
9. Common Threats to Adjustment.
10. Effects of Trauma.
11. Defense Mechanisms.
12. Frustration and Inner Conflict.
13. Effects of Illness on Behavior.
14. Human Relations and Coping with Patient Behavior.
15. Practicing Effective Communication.
16. Grief and Loss throughout Life.
17. Death: Attitudes and Practices.
18. Caring for the Dying Person.
19. Health Care through the Ages.
20. What Is Healing? Who Is the Healer?
21. Alternative, Complementary, and Integrative Medicine.
22. Managing Stress.

New to this edition

  • Thoroughly revised, UNDERSTANDING HUMAN BEHAVIOR: A GUIDE FOR HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS, 9e, reflects the latest developments in the field. Chapters are streamlined and condensed for conciseness. Up-to-date illustrations mirror contemporary health care settings. And the text's all-new design features full-color art and cartoons.
  • The new edition is more practical than ever. Rewritten Learning Objectives are now application based, while new "For Discussion and Reflection" features help students make personal connections to chapter concepts and apply them to real-world scenarios.
  • In Section I: Becoming a Health Care Professional, Chapter 1 describes effective study skills that have been validated by research, Chapter 2 introduces the concepts of cultural bias and cultural competence, and Chapter 3 discusses the concept of fixed mindset versus growth mindset.
  • In Section III: Behavior and Problems in Living, Chapter 9's new information about developmental disorders includes autism spectrum disorder, Chapter 10 introduces the concept of trauma-informed care, and Chapter 11 provides updated information about the prevalence of drug use in the U.S.
  • In Section IV: Effective Human Relations and Communication, Chapter 14 discusses strategies for setting limits with patients who display inappropriate behavior, while Chapter 15 emphasizes the interrelated role of nonverbal and verbal communication as well as introduces the concept of paraverbal communication.
  • In Section V: Death and Loss, Chapter 18 now examines the benefits and the limitations of Kubler-Ross's stages of dying.
  • In Section VI: Trends in Health Care, Chapter 20 introduces the concept that all treatment takes place in a psychosocial content as well as discusses the nocebo effect. Chapter 21 includes updated coverage of alternative, complementary, and integrative medicine. In addition, Chapter 22 provides new information on the causes of stress and a variety of stress-management techniques, including relaxation, exercise, mindfulness, and meditation.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Instructor Companion Website  (ISBN-10: 1305959892 | ISBN-13: 9781305959897)

Everything you need for your course in one place! This collection of product-specific lecture and class tools is available online via the instructor resource center at You'll be able to access and download materials such as PowerPoint presentations and instructor's manual.

Cengage Testing, powered by Cognero® Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305959957 | ISBN-13: 9781305959958)

Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to import, edit, and manipulate content from the text's test bank or elsewhere, including your own favorite test questions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want.

MindTap Basic Health Sciences, 2 terms (12 months) Instant Access for Honeycutt/Milliken's Understanding Human Behavior: A Guide for Health Care Professionals  (ISBN-10: 1305959922 | ISBN-13: 9781305959927)

MindTap for Basic Health Sciences, 2 terms (12 months) Honeycutt/Milliken's UNDERSTANDING HUMAN BEHAVIOR: A GUIDE FOR HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS, 9th edition is the digital learning solution that helps instructors engage and transform today's students into critical thinkers. Through paths of dynamic assignments and applications that you can personalize, real-time course analytics, and an accessible reader, MindTap helps you turn cookie cutter into cutting edge, apathy into engagement, and memorizers into higher-level thinkers.

Student Supplements

MindTap Basic Health Sciences, 2 terms (12 months) Instant Access for Honeycutt/Milliken's Understanding Human Behavior: A Guide for Health Care Professionals  (ISBN-10: 1305959922 | ISBN-13: 9781305959927)

It’s 1 AM, there are 20 tabs open on your computer, you lost your flashcards for the test, and you’re so tired you can’t even read. It’d be nice if someone came up with a more efficient way of studying. Luckily, someone did. With a single login for MindTap Basic Health Sciences for Honeycutt/Milliken's Understanding Human Behavior: A Guide for Health Care Professionals, 9th you can connect with your instructor, organize coursework, and have access to a range of study tools, including e-book and apps all in one place! Manage your time and workload without the hassle of heavy books! The MindTap Reader keeps all your notes together, lets you print the material, and will even read text out loud. Need extra practice? Find pre-populated flashcards and the entire eBook in the MindTap Mobile App, as well as quizzes and important course alerts. Want to know where you stand? Use the Progress app to track your performance in relation to other students.