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SASHLab on tour - European Health Psychology Society Conference

The European Health Psychology Society Conference is hosted by NUI Galway this year and we are looking forward to participating!

Lab members will present across oral, poster, and symposium sessions. Here is an overview of the line-up:

Wednesday – 11:00 – 12:30. - Paper Session: Stress: Cardiovascular Physiology – Larmor Theatre

Grace McMahon is at the end of the second year of her PhD working under under the supervision of Prof. Stephen Gallagher and Dr. Ann-Marie Creaven. Grace will present her research which examines the role of social support and specific attachment bonds (i.e., mother, father, partner, best friend) on cardiovascular responses to stress, among a sample of young adults. This presentation will take place on Wednesday morning at 11 a.m., as part of a session titled 'Stress: Cardiovascular physiology', alongside fellow SASHLab member, Siobhán Griffin.

Siobhán Griffin is entering the fourth year of her PhD research with supervisor Dr. Siobhán Howard. Siobhán will present her research examining the influence of trait emotion regulation on stress responses to active and passive stress tasks at 12 p.m.

Wednesday – 15:30 – 17:00 – Interactive Poster Session: Stress & Physiology

The impact of loneliness and social isolation on health is receiving increasing attention, with recent calls for focused research in an Irish context. Irish Research Council PhD candidate Eoin Brown presents his work in progress examining the psychophysiological processes by which loneliness influences cardiovascular health in older adults. Eoin will discuss the background to his research and the methods used for this study, for which participant recruitment is ongoing.

Thursday - 9:00 - 10:30 - Symposium: Social relationships and health across the illness trajectory: Challenges of harnessing social support for health: Anderson Theatre

This symposium is co-chaired by Dr. Ann-Marie Creaven and includes presentations from Ann-Marie as well as from Prof. Stephen Gallagher. Ann-Marie will present her research evaluating group membership influences on physical activity using national ParkRun data, in collaboration with Siobhán Howard, Dr. Aisling O’Donnell, and Grace McMahon. Stephen will discuss findings from his programme of research on caregiver health, exploring the role of social support for caregiver well-being.

The other presenters in this symposium include Prof. Neil Coulson (University of Nottingham, U.K.) presenting his work on online support communities, Ellen Stephenson (University of British Columbia, Canada), investigating social support from care providers for people with spinal cord injury, and Dr. Christine Rini (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, U.S.), discussing support for engaging in pain coping skills training. This symposium will be co-chaired by discussant Prof. Tracey Revenson (Hunter College & the Graduate School, City University of New York), renowned health psychologist and expert in social support.

Thursday – 15:30 p.m.: Interactive Poster Session: Stress and Physiology

Year 1 PhD candidate Adam O’ Riordan will present his research evaluating social relationships as a mediator of the relationship between Type D personality and perceived life stress on Thursday between 15:30 - 17:00 as part of an interactive poster session titled Stress & Physiology.

Adam will also present a work in progress poster at this session featuring his ongoing systematic review which aims to identify the threshold of blunted cardiovascular reactivity to acute psychological stress predictive of adverse health outcomes.

Also in this session is Aisling Costello, who is entering the second year of her PhD investigating the influence of emotion regulation strategies on cardiovascular recovery from stress. Aisling will present her research on dysfunctional emotion regulation as a mediator of the relationship between trait emotional intelligence and stress recovery.

Friday – 9:00 – 10:30 – Paper Session: Predictors of Occupational Stress Consequences – Anderson Theatre

PhD candidate Katie Andrews’ research advances our understanding of how firefighters deal with the challenge of emergency situations, to better understand how emergency demands influence firefighter performance and health. Katie will present her research evaluating the effects of simulated firefighting activities on psychological and physiological variables including mood, state anxiety, heart rate and salivary cortisol at 10:15 a.m.

Looking forward to enjoying an excellent programme of research in health psychology!

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