Health, Illness, and Well-Being Across the Life Span

Life-span development is influenced by-- and influences-- health, illness and psychological well-being. Our faculty’s research addresses the dynamic interplay between biology, behavior, and context as it relates to health- and risk-compromising behaviors and relationships between caregivers and care recipients.

Celia Fisher’s federally-funded research includes prevention programs to reduce college drinking, and on understanding and enhancing the treatment- and research-consent capacities of pediatric cancer patients and their parents, and of adults with developmental disabilities. She is also involved in standards for research on children’s environmental health, and interdisciplinary research on factors influencing the nutritional health and food choices of African-American, HIV-positive, marginally-housed and homeless female substance abusers. (Her research on race, ethnicity, and culture is described below).

Karen Siedlecki’s research focuses on age-related differences in cognition (with a specific focus on memory), as well as differences in normal and pathological aging.  She also investigates determinants of subjective well-being across the adult life span, and the apparent “paradox of well-being” with regard to age and life satisfaction.

Affiliated faculty member Monica Rivera-Mindt’s (clinical graduate program) federally-funded research projects focus on a variety of neurological disorders, particularly neurodegenerative disorders such as HIV/AIDS.

Affiliated faculty member David Glenwick (clinical graduate program) conducts research on the relationship of stress to psychosocial outcomes in a variety of child and parent populations (e.g., families with a child with autism spectrum disorder), as well as moderators (i.e., protective factors) affecting these relationships, such as attachment, coping style, social support, and parenting self-competence.