Phone: (657) 278-3890
Ph.D., 2003, University of Arizona, Department of Human Development and Family Studies with a specialization in Adult Health Education via the School of Public Health.
M.S., 1999, University of Arizona, Department of Human Development and Family Studies.
B.A., 1994, UCLA, Department of Psychology.
I was trained to be a life span developmental researcher with a focus on stress, health and coping across adulthood. My educational background also includes intensive emphasis on family systems theory, social ecology and biopsychosocial models of human development. Broadly, my research interests center on the general question of how daily stressful experiences influence wellbeing. My current research efforts are two-fold: First, I am working with data from the National Study of Daily Experiences (NSDE), an in-depth study part of the MacArthur Foundation National Survey of Midlife in the United States (MIDUS). The purpose of the NSDE is to examine the day-to-day lives, in particular the daily stressful experiences, including arguments and non-argument tensions, work, and home stressors, of a subsample of 1484 MIDUS respondents who completed short telephone interviews on each of eight consecutive nights. Using this data, I currently am exploring the relationship between disrupted parent-child attachments during childhood and daily reactivity (stressor response, mood and physical health symptoms) during middle adulthood. I am also examining the link between stressors and daily health behaviors (exercise, drinking, sleeping, etc) across adulthood. Previously, I directed my efforts at examination of how daily stressors mediate the relationship between age, health and menopausal experiences. Using the NSDE data, I am able to contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms contributing to individual differences on health outcomes; Secondly, I am beginning to explore the theme of daily stress and health in other projects. I am working with Dr. Susan Charles at UC Irvine to assess daily stressors and health outcomes in a sample of patients with chronic health problems, specifically adults with Spinal Cord Injuries. This research will allow us to better understand the developmental trajectory of emotional experience among people with chronic physical health conditions, and the influence of physical health conditions on age differences in affective wellbeing and strategies used to maintain wellbeing.
My teaching philosophy is to facilitate life-long learning skills, foster critical thinking, prepare students to function effectively in their fields, and continually improve both course planning (e.g., engaged learning) and classroom techniques and strategies (e.g., collaborative, team-based, and problem-based learning). My ultimate goal, for each and every lecture, is to get students to become passionate about learning and to appreciate knowledge. I believe this can be obtained in both applied, content courses, as well as basic prerequisites.
Though teaching and research have become part of my daily personal interests, I also enjoy doing yoga, bike riding and reading. When time permits, I hope to renew training for mini-triathlons. Also, having had the great fortune to travel across Europe, Israel and parts of Mexico, as well as live in Japan for a year, I enjoy learning about other cultures and sharing time with people of unique backgrounds and experiences. Among my greatest interests though are spending time with my husband and son. As a family, we enjoy playing at the beach, exploring new cities, listening to music, and volunteering for local non-profits. In the future, I hope to start my own non-profit supporting women and families struggling with post-partum depression.