My research in clinical health psychology focuses on emotion regulation and intimacy processes in couples facing physical and mental health problems with the long-term goal of developing interventions aimed at improving couples' individual and relationship health and well-being. I am particularly interested in emotional validation and empathic responses to self-disclosures as relationship processes that may contribute to better pain adjustment and mental health. To this end, I have conducted studies in pain clinic, community, and analogue samples using multiple methods (i.e., questionnaires, interviews, observation, experiments) to assess interpersonal, cognitive-behavioral, and affective dimensions of the pain experience. I am also collaborating with colleagues to study these processes in parents and their children with health problems (i.e., children with poor metabolic control, children with chronic pain). With a grant from NIH/NCCIH, I have built on my basic research findings by developing and testing a mindfulness and acceptance intervention aimed at emotion regulation processes in couples with chronic pain.
Fellow, American Psychological Association, Divisions 38 (Health Psychology) and 43 (Couple and Family Psychology)