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Course & Subject Guides

PSY1059 Advanced Research Methods in Health Psychology

Guide content is curated to assist Pitt student researchers in identifying optimal databases, specialists, and materials. Included are search strategies and details on obtaining fulltext for a variety of document types.


PsycINFO is an optimal major research for psychology and indexes content from 1806 – last month, including articles, book chapters, dissertations, and technical reports.  A product of the American Psychological Association (APA), it provides depth of coverage for psychology, the behavioral sciences, and related disciplines. Scope extends to fields such as psychiatry, education, business, computer science, medicine and health sciences, law, linguistics, and social work.  Sources include scholarly and peer-reviewed journals, books and chapters of books, technical reports, and dissertations. Most records contain a summary and all are indexed according to the APA Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms.

Using Search Options to Limit Results

Use the Search Options on the Advanced Search page of PsycINFO to limit results to specific characteristics, including:

  • Record Type: Narrow results to books, book chapters and other publication types
  • Methodology: Limit results to a specific study method
  • Age group: Limit results to a study population age group
  • Population: Limit results to a specific study population

Search Results

Pay attention to the type of resource, book, article, chapter, etc. They will all have different levels of access (full-text or citation) and may need further searching in PittCat to locate the source.

  • For a book result, use PittCat to search our collections. Go to the PittCat guide for tips. (DO NOT use the check article availability link.)
  • For a journal result, click the Check Article Availability link. This will search for the full-text of the article. If it is not found easily, you can use the Journals Search link to search for the title of the journal.  Once you find the journal and date range you are looking for you will then select the year, issue, volume, and title of the article and save appropriately.
  • If you cannot find the journal or journal article you are looking for, you can request a copy of the journal article from another library through Interlibrary Loan.

Starting Your Search

Keyword Searching:

Start at the Advanced Search screen, and search the keywords and phrases you generated from your topic sentence.

  • Use quotation marks for searching phrases: Ex: “clinical depression”
  • Combine search terms using AND to reduce and refine your results: Ex: “clinical depression” AND adolescent AND treatment
  • Watch for disciplinary terms or language, and use them as search terms: Ex: teenager = adolescent

Too many results?

  • Combine terms using AND to reduce and refine your results

Too few results?

  • Expand your results by either removing a search term
  • Use the wildcard * to find all variations of a word:  For example, adolescen* will find adolescent, adolescents, adolescence