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100 Great Psychology Research Paper Topics With Research Links

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Psychology Today: Easy to understand articles on mental health topics

Discover: Current research on the mind and brain.

Frontiers in Psychology: Top peer-reviewed journal articles.

American Psychological Association: Links to free articles on a variety of topics. Articles are curated by APA as the most current and important in the field.

Mental Illness

  1. How does obesity affect mental health?
  2. How do you know when someone you love has a mental illness?
  3. What causes some children to become self-destructive?
  4. Why do teenagers cut themselves?
  5. What causes anorexia?
  6. Which is worse for returning soldiers, their physical, or their mental injuries?
  7. How do doctors treat soldiers with post-traumatic stress syndrome?
  8. What are the mental illnesses most common among returning soldiers?
  9. Which gender has the most mental illness, men or women?
  10. Are there some people who have no conscience?
  11. What is ADHD? What causes it?
  12. What is an obsessive-compulsive disorder? How can you tell if someone has this?
  13. How can a person with OCD prevent their disorder from taking over their lives?
  14. Do media such as video games, movies, and music tend to help people release pent-up emotion so that they are more mentally healthy, or does it tend to cause people to become more violent, angry and afraid?
  15. How can you know if you are mentally ill or not?
  16. What are phobias? What are the most common things people are afraid of? What are the most unusual fears?
  17. What is the physical effect of stress and anxiety? How does mental stress hurt our physical
  18. How did survivors of the Holocaust keep from becoming mentally ill?
  19. What is the youngest age a person can be mentally ill?
  20. Is there a genetic basis for some people becoming violent?
  21. How does the divorce of a parent affect the mental health of college students?
  22. When is a person a danger to themselves or others?
  23. Is there ever a time when physical violence should be forgiven and forgotten?
  24. Are adopted children as mentally healthy as children who stay with their birth parents?
  25. How does the mental health of Americans compare to mental health in other countries?
  26. Which country in the world has the best mental health? Why?
  27. Why are so many homeless people mentally ill?
  28. Should genetic testing be done to criminals? Should evidence that the criminal had poor impulse control or other genetic, mental weakness be taken into consideration during a trial?
  29. Why are so many artists mentally unstable?
  30. How is color related to a mental state?
  31. What is the effect on children of their parent’s divorce?
  32. Do children who are under five when their parents’ divorce do better or worse than older children?
  33. What is Sensory Deficit disorder? How can you tell when someone has it?
  34. Is mental illness genetic? How much do genes affect a person’s ability to have mental health?

Women's Publications by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services about Mental health issues and how these affect women.

World Health Organization: gender issues about mental health in women and children around the world.

How do the different stages of a woman's life affect her mental health?

How do the different stages of a woman's life affect her mental health?

Women's Mental Health

  1. Do women suffer more mental health problems than men?
  2. What causes some women to have postpartum depression?
  3. What is the best way to prevent postpartum depression?
  4. What is postpartum depression, or the “Baby Blues?” Is it a mental illness?
  5. Why do some mothers become so mentally ill that they harm their children?
  6. Why do so many women in developed nations experience depression?
  7. How do mental illnesses affect women differently?
  8. How does Infertility affect mental health in women?
  9. What are the side effects of antidepressants for women?
  10. What is the effect of long-term antidepressant use for women?
  11. Why do women attempt suicide more often than men?
  12. How do women's symptoms of stress differ from the symptoms of men?
  13. Dr. Wanda K. Jones states that "Women's mental health is critical to their overall health and the health of our Nation." Agree or disagree with this statement.
  14. How do women's friendships contribute to good or poor mental health?
  15. How is child abuse related to mental health issues?
  16. How do relationship problems damage a teen girl's mental health?
  17. What are the signs of an eating disorder?
  18. How can you help someone who has an eating disorder?
  19. How can parents help their daughters have good mental health?
  20. How does the changing hormone levels of women affect their mental health?
How do face to face interactions help our mental health?

How do face to face interactions help our mental health?

Emotional Health

  1. How has Covid19 impacted mental health?
  2. Can virtual learning cause anxiety?
  3. What is normal mental functioning?
  4. What are the side effects of taking Prozac or other drugs for depression?
  5. How can you tell when you are ready to stop taking drugs for depression or anxiety?
  6. Are there effective natural alternatives to drugs used for mental health?
  7. Why are dreams hard to remember?
  8. What do reoccurring dreams mean?
  9. How do colors affect our moods?
  10. Who is Freud? What did he believe? How relevant is Freud for today’s psychiatry? Identify and define the different schools of thought most common in psychiatric practice today.
  11. What is the process of education to become a psychiatrist?
  12. How does lack of sleep affect our mental state?
  13. How does REM sleep affect our mental state?
  14. Do we need a certain amount of it? How to interpret dreams? Are specific images symbols for something else?
  15. Can exercise improve your mental health?
  16. What is the best way to keep your brain healthy as you age?
  17. What are the stages of brain development in infants from birth to two?
  18. Why do children need to play?
  19. How to friendships impact emotional health?
  20. How does marriage impact emotional health?

Fact Sheets on Disorders

National Institute of Mental Health: direct link to full-text online fact sheets about mental illness and information about many different mental disorders listed alphabetically. Information is available in English or Spanish. The NIH is a government resource of information about studies and publications about many mental health issues.

World Federation of Mental Health: Links to publications in Tamil, Spanish, Hindi, and English that give facts on mental health worldwide.

Which affects your mood most: genetics or environment?

Which affects your mood most: genetics or environment?

Mental Health Treatment

  1. Can ADHD be cured? What is the best process of treatment?
  2. What is Music Therapy? How can music help people with mental disorders?
  3. How can drugs help memory loss?
  4. What is bulimia? How can it be treated?
  5. What is the relationship between religion and mental health? Can religious counseling, prayer, or other spiritual practices improve or treat mental illness?
  6. How does Art Therapy help mentally ill patients?
  7. Do St. John’s Wort and other supplements help with depression?
  8. What happens when someone is admitted to a mental hospital? What is the goal for treatment at such a facility? How does treatment in a mental hospital work? How is it different or better than being treated as an out-patient?
  9. What is neurofeedback therapy? How does it work, and how does it help?
  10. Can ADHD be cured? What is the best process of treatment?
  11. Do animals help our mental state? How can animals help us or be used in therapy with psychiatric patients?
  12. What is the most effective way to help mentally ill homeless people?
  13. In places where marijuana has become legal for recreational use, does mental health seem to have improved?
  14. What causes a person to develop Multiple Personality Disorder? What is the best treatment for that disease?
  15. Does marital counseling work?
  16. Why do people seek to counsel for life issues?
  17. What is the difference between a counselor, a psychologist, and a psychiatrist?
  18. Which sort of mental illnesses are best served by a psychiatrist (or psychologist or counselor)?
  19. How can you help a person with OCD? (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
  20. Is it possible for a sickness to be “all in your head?” Do people “think” themselves into real physical illnesses? Can you “think” yourself out of it?
  21. What causes people to have phobias? How can fears be overcome?
  22. Are vitamins and minerals related to mental health? Can some mental illness be treated effectively with vitamins, minerals, or other supplements?

Mental Health Interest Poll

Questions & Answers

Question: What are some current topics in mental illness that you could recommend? What are the hot topics currently in psychology?

Answer: Here are some great topics that should make your paper interesting:

Do anti-depressant drugs really work? Should they be so widely prescribed?

Can brain activity in infants predict later mental health issues?

Why is anxiety overtaking depression as a major mental health problem, especially among teens?

Can psychologists accurately predict someone who might become violent?

Is marijuana a better choice for some mental health issues than prescription drugs?

What are the best non-medical ways to treat mental illness?

Are mass shooters mentally ill?

How can exercise and diet affect mental health?

Question: What could be a good psychology research topic about social interaction?

Answer: 1. How can parents help their children learn to have age-appropriate social interactions that don't involve media?

2. Does social media produce better social interaction among adults?

3. Do people who date over social media or dating platforms first have a better chance of really knowing each other well?

4. How important is social interaction?

Question: What could be an appropriate topic for a research proposal based on anxiety and depression?

Answer: Here are some ideas of questions in your topic area of anxiety and depression :

1. What causes teenage depression?

2. Why are more young people experiencing problems with anxiety and depression?

3. What is the difference between normal anxiety and mental illness?

4. What is the best way to treat anxiety?

5. How can post-partum depression be alleviated?

6. What are the most common signs of depression?

Question: What do you think of the research paper topic "How do dreams affect moods?"

Answer: Doing a paper on dreams would be interesting. I assume your question is how a person's waking moods are affected by what they dream that night. Most of the time, people reverse this question and consider how what is going on during the day influences dream life. Here are some other "dream" topics to consider:

1. Are real-life experiences always reflected in dreams?

2. What can be done to change our dreams?

3. How does dreaming influence our ability to think and make decisions?

4. Does remembering dreams help us to better cope with mental stress?

5. How important is it to journal our dreams?

6. Can we improve our sleep by paying attention to our dreams?

7. Can wearing fitness trackers that monitor our sleep help us to develop better sleep patterns?

Question: What would be a good research topic for a cause or effect paper regarding mental health?

Answer: Here are some mental health topics:

What causes depression?

What is causing anxiety to become the most common mental illness in young adults?

What effect does having a family member experiencing depression (or choose another mental illness) have on a family?

What effect does having a co-worker with a mental illness (choose a particular one) have in a workplace?

You might also want to look at my article describing how to write this kind of essay effectively:

Question: What do you think about the research topic: "a parent's work-family imbalance has an effect on children's mental health." Can you recommend some research topics on parents and children?

Answer: Here are some possible research questions (the answer to the question would be your thesis):

How does a parent's over-commitment to work affect their children's mental health?

Can parents improve their children's mental health by spending more time with them?

Do both parents need to consider work-family life balance when concerns arise about a child's mental health or are one dedicated parent enough?

Question: What do you think of the research paper topic "How do you pull yourself out of a panic attack?"

Answer: You have a very good idea to research "panic attacks" because there is a lot of focus on this in the popular media and many people are talking about this issue. The question you have written is good for a personal essay question, but most research questions want to be more general. Here are a couple of other possibilities:

What is the best way to treat a panic attack?

What is the most effective intervention to treat a panic attack?

What the best ways to prevent or reduce panic attacks?

What causes panic attacks?

Question: What are some research paper topics in mental illness that are related to individuals with intellectual disabilities?

Answer: 1. Does having an intellectual disability cause a person to be more prone to being depressed?

2. Do techniques to help mental illness have to be modified for people with intellectual disabilities?

Question: What are some good topics for an argument paper about mental illness?

Answer: If you don't find any you like in my 100 Great Psychology Research Paper Topics article, you can look at the issues about The mind, body image, food and eating, and health in this article:

Question: What do you think of the topic, "What is the relationship between mental illness and Geriatrics?" as a psychology research paper?

Answer: Having taken care of two elderly loved ones who had both mental illnesses and Alzheimer's, your question strikes a personal chord with me. Here are some other ways to word that question:

1. What is the difference between Alzheimer's and mental illness?

2. How can mental illness change as a person ages?

3. Does mental illness cause dementia?

4. What is the best treatment for older people with mental illness and dementia?

5. Can you distinguish between symptoms of dementia and other mental illnesses?

6. Does having mental illness cause a person to have a more severe form of Alzheimer's or dementia?

Question: What could be good psychology research topic about learning and memory?

Answer: 1. How can a person improve their memory?

2. Are there techniques for improving memory that help people learn better and faster?

Question: What are some topics to do with criminal psychology that you would recommend writing a research paper on?

Answer: What does a criminal psychologist do?

How do you become a criminal psychologist?

Is being a criminal psychologist an exciting job?

How do criminal psychologists determine whether someone is likely to become a re-offender?

What do criminal psychologists do in court cases?

Question: What are some current topics about food effects in mental illness for a research paper?

Answer: Does going gluten-free actually help someone's mood?

Do food allergies cause mental illness?

How does food affect the way we feel?

Are there some foods everyone should avoid in order to have good mental health?

Question: What could be a good psychology topic for autism based on a psychological approach to find tools and strategies?

Answer: Can autism be cured in some patients by using psychological techniques like behavioral therapy?

Should autism be considered a communication disorder or a psychological disorder?

What are the best psychological tools and strategies for helping children with autism spectrum disorder?

Question: What are some current topics in child psychology that you would recommend as research topics?

Answer: How does adult content in media impact children?

Why are more children having problems with anxiety and depression?

Can you teach children ethics?

How is using cell phones at young ages impacting child development?

Question: What do you think of the question, "Could a child's ADHD diagnosis be only a behavioral problem instead?" for a psychology paper?

Answer: I think the idea of your question is a good one and probably a bit controversial, which always makes for an interesting essay. However, I think it could be worded a bit better. Here are some possible alternatives:

What is the difference between a child who has behavior problems that need to be addressed by a more efficient discipline regimen, and a child who has ADHD?

How is ADHD different from behavior management problems?

Should parents and teachers try different behavior management strategies first before assuming a child has ADHD?

What causes a child to be diagnosed with ADHD?

What is the difference in treating a child with ADHD versus treating a child for behavior problems?

Question: What are the current topics in psychology related to business?

Answer: 1. How do mental health problems in employees affect business productivity?

2. Does giving employees good mental health insurance coverage help a business?

3. How can co-workers help someone who is depressed?


Futhi on March 06, 2019:

You know i just want to apply for my Masters in Clinical Psychology and run out of ideas about topic for proposal.But reafing the above topics3 and ideas helped me a lot. Thank you

Danielle Popovits from Traverse City, MI on February 24, 2019:

These are some great, thought provoking ideas. I can tell you put a lot of time into compiling the lists. Any essay based on one of these topics would be worth the effort to write.

Ada Marie on January 15, 2018:

Autism.. i want to know about autism spectrum disorder

Lakshmi on December 12, 2017:

Interesting and helpful for my research.

Sarah Dreher on January 10, 2017:

These are such interesting topics to explore and research!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 30, 2014:

Very interesting and thought provoking