Personal relationships are essential for well-being, productivity, and happiness. Humans thrive in relationships; we also suffer without them-- pining for lost love, grieving a partner's death, or longing for deeper connections with friends and family.
Research conducted within the Laboratory for Social Connectedness and Health (ConnectedHealth Lab) fits within the larger enterprise of studying relationships and health. Work of this nature rests at the intersection of several different areas of psychological science.
As an overarching framework, we are concerned with investigating the mechanisms linking social connectedness with both mental and physical health outcomes. For instance, how and why is lost love (e.g., breakups, divorce, bereavement) or social isolation associated with poor outcomes? Who fares well or poorly following social disruptions? What processes operating within love relationships confer physical health benefits? These mechanistic questions and their offshoots form the foundation of our collective research program.
Here are a few recent papers that will help orient you to the larger goals of the science conducted in our laboratory:
Sbarra, D.A., & Hazan, C. (2008). Co-regulation, dysregulation, self-regulation: An integrative analysis and empirical agenda for understanding adult attachment, separation, loss, and recovery. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 12, 141-167.