Office: PCD 4132
Ph.D. in Social Psychology, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1997
Ph.D. Areas: CNS (Social Psychology)
Social Psychology: Health consequences of experiencing ethnic discrimination. Cognitive appraisals.
Psychophysiology: Cardiovascular reactivity to stress, Heart rate variability/Respiratory sinus arrhythmia, Ambulatory monitoring.
Health Psychology: Biopsychosocial risk factors for cardiovascular disease
I examine cardiovascular responses to stress, the psychological and social factors that moderate these responses, and how these work together to contribute to risk for cardiovascular disease. Thus far, my work has been guided by three research questions. First, what specific cardiovascular responses are important to coping with stress and to risk for cardiovascular disease? To answer this question, I have provided evidence supporting the reactivity hypothesis. I also examine parasympathetic reactivity to stress as a marker of risk for cardiovascular disease and a marker of depression. My second research question addresses biological, psychological and social factors that influence stress responses and operate as risk factors for cardiovascular disease. I have focused on obesity, hostility, trait anger and pessimism, cognitive appraisals and the presence of an audience as predictors of cardiovascular reactivity during potentially stressful situations. My third question asks what aspects of the social environment contribute to increased rates of cardiovascular disease among African Americans? For example, I have examined perceptions of discrimination and their relationship to interpersonal stress and blood pressure in ethnic minorities. I have drawn on my multidisciplinary background of training in Psychophysiology, Health Psychology, and Social Psychology in pursuit of my research interests. My goal throughout this diverse training has been to fully understand and integrate all aspects of a biopsychosocial perspective on stress, cardiovascular reactivity and risk for cardiovascular disease.
CNS (Social Psychology)