Our goal is to better understand how close relationships affect, and are affected by, chronic illness in adulthood. This work focuses on couples because most adults who suffer from a chronic illness are married or in an intimate relationship and there is strong evidence for the effects of the marital relationship on health. We use a range of methods including in-person interviews, experiments in the lab, and experience sampling as couples go about their daily lives. We often apply Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory in order to better understand mechanisms (e.g., self-efficacy) linking social interactions, health, and health behaviors. Findings from our studies are used to inform the development of couple-oriented (i.e., dyadic) behavioral interventions for chronic illness.
What our lab has been up to:
- 2/10/17: A paper led by Stephanie Wilson that will be published in Psychological Science focuses on a novel pattern in everyday interactions--daily spouse responsiveness. Using multilevel latent-variable growth models, we find that knee OA patients whose spouses are more empathically responsive to their daily pain expression have better physical function over 18 months (Wilson, Martire, and Sliwinski).
- 1/8/17: Welcome to Lisa Rosario, a senior in General Biology, who has joined the lab as a research assistant!
- 12/17/16: Congratulations to Ruixue Zhaoyang on her forthcoming publication in Health Psychology. In this paper we show that knee OA patients' morning report of their self-efficacy for being physically active in the day ahead is associated with more steps and moderate-intensity activity that day (Zhaoyang, Martire, and Sliwinski).
- 11/19/16: Ashley Stanford presented her work testing an actor-partner model in pain communication during a paper session at the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, in New Orleans.
- 10/7/16: Enrollment for the Transitions study has concluded, with a total of 131 participants recruited and interviewed since April of 2016. This local longitudinal study of older adults features annual interviews and online surveys every 6 months.
- 10/1/16: Congratulations to two former postdocs, Judith Gere and Rachel Hemphill, on recent publications. Judith's paper, "The effects of lack of joint goal planning on divorce over 10 Years" (Gere, Almeida, and Martire) was recently accepted for publication in PLoS One. Rachel's paper, "Spouse confidence and physical function among adults with osteoarthritis: The mediating role of spouse responses to pain" (Hemphill, Martire, Polenick, and Stephens) was published in the October issue of Health Psychology.
- 9/15/16: Lynn Martire and Vicki Helgeson (Carnegie Mellon University) have a paper in press for a special issue on close relationships and health to be published in American Psychologist, entitled "Close relationships and the management of chronic illness: Associations and interventions."
- 8/22/16: Welcome to Cal Williams, a Senior in HDFS who has joined the lab as a research assistant!
- 1/19/16: Our findings regarding genetic influences on daily knee pain variability and activity induced pain received national media attention: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-01/ps-gik011916.php
- 1/4/16: Welcome to Dr. Ruixue Zhaoyang, who has joined the Center for Healthy Aging as a Postdoctoral Fellow!
- 12/18/15: Congratulations to Stephanie Wilson, who successfully defended her dissertation entitled "Associations between Daily Pain Communication and Physical Health for Chronic Pain Patients and their Spouses." Stephanie is taking a Postdoctoral Fellowship with Dr. Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, Director of Ohio State University's Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research.
- 11/18/15: The lab attended the Gerontological Society of America conference in Orlando, Florida where Stephanie presented a poster, Rachel presented a paper, and Lynn was the Discussant for a symposium.
- 08/01/15: Rachel Hemphill has taken a position as Program Officer at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Congratulations, Rachel!
- 05/09/15: Emily and Megan graduated! Emily earned her BS with honors in HDFS, and Megan earned her BS with honors in Biobehavioral Health.
- 05/08/15: Lynn Martire has been promoted to Full Professor of Human Development and Family Studies. Congratulations, Lynn!
- 04/29/15: Stephanie Wilson successfully completed her dissertation proposal defense!
- 04/14/15: Megan Cass completed her honors thesis project, a review paper entitled" Couple Functioning and Cardiovascular Health: Current Approaches and Findings"!
- 04/14/15: Emily Lowry completed her honors thesis project, a review paper entitled "The Effect of Depression on Cancer Progression and Mortality Among Adults"!
- 02/28/15: Lynn Martire presented some of her work in a symposium at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference in Long Beach, CA.
- 01/28/15: Congratulations, Stephanie, on receiving the Penn State Alumni Association Dissertation Award!
- 11/09/14: The lab attended the Gerontological Society of America conference in Washington, D.C., where Stephanie chaired a symposium, Stephanie and Rachel presented their research, and Lynn served as an invited discussant.
- 09/24/14: Rachel Hemphill gave a poster presentation at Penn State's Annual Postdoctoral Research Exhibition.
- 08/07/14: Stephanie Wilson was awarded the Joseph and Jean Britton Graduate Fellowship! Congratulations, Stephanie!