I am a life-span developmental psychologist with a primary focus on stress and coping during middle adulthood. My research examines the effects of biological and self-reported indicators of stress on health. My primary interest has been the role of daily stress on healthy aging but I have also examined stress processes in specific populations and contexts, such as the workplace and family interactions, parents of children with developmental disabilities, and family caregivers. My research has shown that minor yet frequent daily stressors are often better predictors of important health outcomes than major life events, which have been the focus of research for decades. . To further his research in this area, I developed an instrument, the Daily Inventory of Stressful Experiences that has been used in large scale epidemiologic and intervention studies on health and well-being. My research has received continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health since 1996, and has received funding from many other agencies, including the German Research Council, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the W.T Grant Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Much of my energy is currently directed at two Projects. I am the Principal Investigator of the National Study of Daily Experiences (NSDE) one of the in-depth studies that are part of the MacArthur Foundation National Survey of Midlife in the United States (MIDUS, http://www.midus.wisc.edu/). NSDE is the largest longitudinal diary study of daily experiences and health in the U.S.
I also direct the Workplace Practices and Daily Family Well-Being Project a component of the Work, Family, Health Study (http://projects.iq.harvard.edu/wfhn). Our project investigates the daily health effects of an employer-initiated workplace program designed to increase employee flexibility and control over how and when their work is done and to increase the support of supervisors for employees’ work-family issues. More specifically, we study a subsample of employees and their children in more depth to assess whether the outcomes of workplace program spill over to improve employees’ daily parenting and health and cross over to daily family processes and health in children.