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Conference Catch-ups

Division of Psychology, Psychology Health and Medicine Conference 2017

March was a busy month for SASH Lab members, with several of us presenting at the Division of Health Psychology, Psychology, Health and Medicine Conference hosted at RSCI on Friday 3rd March. Ann-Marie, Stephen, and Grace along with Dr. Samantha Dockray and Owen Jump from UCC’s BEATS lab convened a symposium titled “Social relationships and health- A bio-behavioural perspective”. Our symposium included research relating to volunteering, social support, social interactions, close family relationships, and social stress, and featured several different methodological approaches across the talks. The symposium was well-attended – sympathies to those standing at the back! The first paper from our symposium will be shortly be published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Besides this symposium, SASHLab was well-represented with Eoin Brown presenting his Irish Research Council PhD research on loneliness and stress reactivity in the afternoon oral session, where Brenda O’ Connell also spoke about psychosocial pathways underlying the links between gratitude and health.

Our final year project students Andrea Habenicht, Christopher Coughlan, and Adam O’ Riordan each presented posters on their thesis research. Andrea presented on social support for university students with Type 1 diabetes, Christopher’s research evaluated the influence morningness-eveningness on cardiovascular stress responses, and Adam’s research explored Type D personality and cardiovascular stress responses. Congratulations to our UL undergraduates on their first conference!

American Psychosomatic Society Annual Meeting 2017

Next, SASHLab was off to beautiful Sevilla, Spain, where the American Psychosomatic Society annual meeting was making its every-five-years trip to Europe (finally, a reason to use the word "quinquennial"). Given the infrequent flights to Sevilla it was no wonder that we met researchers from NUIG, MIC UL, RSCI, UCC, and UCD on the plane. Dr. Gallagher was particularly well-prepared for the flight, bringing a draft of a paper for his fellow captive passengers to review for him. APS is always an excellent meeting and particular highlights were panel discussions on “Conducting Research in the Post p<.05 Era”, and a fantastic keynote by Sir Michael Marmot about his extensive research programme on health inequalities. Another highlight was Prof. David Clark of Oxford’s talk on "Developing and Disseminating Effective Psychological Therapies for Common Mental Health Problems", showcasing methodologically rigorous research on mental health which is having a truly meaningful impact in the UK. It was a packed schedule between our own presentations, catching up with collaborators from Ireland, the UK, and the US, and the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Till next time, APS!

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