Spring Speaker Series


Wednesday, March 21st, 2018, 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., 5057 Woodward, Rm 7909 (7th floor):


This talk will cover recent research on the effects of biological and self-reported indicators of daily stress on health. This research documents that minor yet frequent daily stressors are better predictors of important health outcomes than major life events, which have been the focus of research for decades. Findings are drawn from the National Study of Daily Experiences (NSDE), the largest longitudinal diary study of daily experiences and health in the U.S. Discussion will highlight the measurement of naturally occurring stressors and positive experiences to provide insights into how exposure and reactivity to these events in daily life can influence biomarkers, cognitive processing as well has global health and well-being.  


Tuesday, April 25th, 2018, 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., 5057 Woodward, Rm 7909 (7th floor):

  • Wendy M. Troxel, Ph.D., Senior behavioral and social scientist at the RAND Corporation and an adjunct professor of psychiatry and psychology, University of Pittsburgh (https://www.rand.org/about/people/t/troxel_wendy_m.html), "Sleep and the Social Environment: From Couples to Communities." 


Sleep is a critical health behavior and one that is typically shared between husbands and wives or romantic partners. Until recently, however, sleep research has largely neglected to consider the social context of adult sleep.  By the same token, researchers who have studied the impact of social relationships on health behaviors and outcomes, have largely neglected to consider the night, including how social factors influence nocturnal physiology and sleep.   This presentation will highlight Dr. Troxel's work that examines how social environments, from our most intimate social connections, to the neighborhoods in which we live, and even to public policy, influences how we sleep. This collection of work will demonstrate how sleep may play a critical role in explaining how social environments get under the skin to impact health and functioning.

Past speakers:

  • Reginald Tucker-Seeley, Ph.D., Assistant professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard University, (http://www.tuckerseeley.org/),  "Financial well-being and health: Results from the Money-Health Connection Study
  • Stephen T. Higgins, Ph.D., Director of Vermont Center on Behavior and Health, Professor of Psychiatry and Psychological Science, University of Vermont, (http://www.uvm.edu/~psych/?Page=faculty/Higgins.php)," Tobacco Control and Regulatory Science Research on Motivating Behavior Change in Vulnerable Populations " 
  • David A. Sbarra, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Arizona,            (http://sbarra.faculty.arizona.edu/), "Social Adversity and Health: The Case of Divorce"