Past and current social relationships play a vital role in maintaining both our emotional and physical well-being. My research program examines the links between close relationships, emotional regulation, and health in both children and adults, as well as the ways in which we can harness relationship experiences to enhance health outcomes. Grounded in a lifespan developmental psychopathology perspective, I investigate both normative and pathological developmental processes. A central question of interest for me is how individual variation in the receipt of care in early childhood influences how people come to experience and express their own emotional and physical needs, as well as how this impacts their ability to respond to these needs in others. My work is premised on the notion that reactivity to stress is one prominent risk factor for the development of psychopathology, as well as the argument that the quality of one’s experiences in close relationships has concurrent and prospective impacts on stress reactivity, and thus, on psychopathology. Attachment theory provides a compelling lens for understanding the links between relationship experiences, stress reactivity, and psychopathology, and is the main theoretical framework I employ in examining these constructs.
The THRIVE Lab
The Health, Relationships, and Intervention Laboratory at UCI, directed by Jessie Borelli, is a vibrant, bustling, exciting place to learn and to work. We currently have a number of ongoing studies broadly examining topics linked with health, relationships, and interventions. Click here if you are interested in getting involved by becoming a research assistant or participating in a study.