Study of Health and Interactions in the Natural Environment (SHINE)

Supervising Faculty:
Tom Kamarck, Ph.D. and Anna Marsland, Ph.D.

Contact:
Dr. Kamarck

Area of Research:  Biological and Health Psychology


Description of Research:
This is a project funded by the National Institute of Aging that examines how differences in our patterns of daily social interactions may affect our affect, biological functioning, and behavior in a manner that may have implications for our physical well-being.  400 middle aged community adults are monitored over a representative week at work and at home using electronic diary assessments and measures of ambulatory physiology (blood pressure, physical activity, sleep, neurohormone functioning and circulating inflammatory markers) in order to examine some of the mechanisms by which social support and social stress may contribute to individual differences in health risk.

Duties of Students:
Students will be involved in a number of duties in the laboratory, including training participants in ambulatory monitoring methods, data collection and interviewing with research volunteers, data entry, data management, assisting with the preparation of research materials and delivery of biological samples, and conducting literature searches.  Students will have an opportunity to interact with research volunteers, to observe training with volunteers, and to observe some of the laboratory-based assay procedures examining inflammation and receptor functioning. Students will attend weekly research meetings where they will learn about the collection of ambulatory behavioral and biological data, and they will be exposed to ongoing research projects in the laboratory group. Each student will complete a paper or presentation by the end of the semester, with the possibility of participating in a poster presentation in the spring term.

Requirements:
Students must complete the following prerequisites before the start of PSY 1903:

  • Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • 12 credits of Psychology (including current term)
  • STAT 0200/1000/1100- Statistics
  • PSY 0035- Research Methods in Psychology

Terms offered:  Fall, Spring, and Summer terms