Primary Area: Clinical Psychology
Secondary Area: Health Psychology
Research and Teaching Interests:
The central theme of my research continues to be the role psychosocial stress and related factors (e.g. coping, social supports, personality characteristics, biological processes, etc.) play in physical and psychological health and well- being in African Americans and other ethnic minority populations. In my earlier research I focused primarily on ethnic differences in the role psychosocial factors play in disease. An important part of this work is the critical review of extant literature on major psychosocial variables implicated in health and disease and formulating theoretical models to explain how they might contribute to ethnic disparities in health. In recent years my work has evolved to include developing and testing behavioral interventions with high risk or impacted minority populations and investigating how these psychosocial factors moderate or mediate differences in response to these interventions. Specifically, my recent work includes collaborative studies in 3 areas: (1) investigating the biological and psychosocial effects of a stress reduction vs. life style interventions with African American adults and elderly with CVD, (2) research on lifestyle and other psychosocial factors in HIV/AIDS-related outcomes in multi-ethnic samples impacted by this disease, and (3) research on ethnic differences in the predictors of depression, in the expression of depressive symtoms, and differences in disease course and in pharmacotherapeutic response. (4) Research on mindfulness meditation and chronic diseases, especially HIV and CVD.