Symposia Guide: Psychology and Physical Health

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There is a rich intersection between psychology and physical health. These symposia present some of the latest research on how things like positive affect, stress, and social relationships can impact physical health.

Symposium S-A11

The Next Frontier in Social Support and Health Research: Clarifying the Micro-Level Mechanisms
Friday, February 14, 2014, 9:45 AM – 11:00 AM, Room 6
Chair: Elizabeth Keneski, The University of Texas at Austin
Co-Chair: Timothy Loving, The University of Texas at Austin

Speakers explore the roles of self-regulation and stress buffering in the social support-health link and address relevant micro-level psychological and physiological mechanisms. The talks address how providing, receiving, and perceiving support affect physiological responses (e.g. diurnal cortisol slopes), neurological regulation (i.e., threat-related hypothalamic function), and health behaviors. View Abstracts

Symposium S-D5

New insights on the effects of traits on health: The important role of social processes
Friday, February 14, 2014, 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM, Room 9
Chair: Lauren Human, University of British Columbia
Co-Chair: Joshua Jackson, Washington University in St. Louis

Both personality and social processes play an important role in physical health, but rarely are these processes examined simultaneously. This symposium showcases diverse approaches to taking social processes into account when examining how traits affect health-relevant outcomes. Together, these talks provide new insights for understanding pathways to better health. View Abstracts

Symposium S-F8

Positive affect and health: Emerging evidence from cells to behavior
Saturday, February 15, 2014, 11:15 AM – 12:30 PM, Room 18 A/B
Chair: Nancy Sin, University of California, San Francisco
Co-Chair: Judith Moskowitz, University of California, San Francisco

Using observational, experimental, and intervention methodologies, we present cutting-edge research on the link between positive affect and physical health. Our findings demonstrate that positive affect protects against cellular aging, cardiometabolic risk, and pain, and interventions to cultivate positive affect are effective among individuals experiencing health-related stress. View Abstracts

Symposium S-G2

Regulating the Need to Belong: Biological Substrates of the Self-Esteem and Attachment Systems
Saturday, February 15, 2014, 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM, Room 19
Chair: Danu Stinson, University of Victoria

Forming and maintaining close relationships is a fundamental human need. To support this drive, psychobiological regulatory systems evolved to guide the initiation and maintenance of social bonds, and exert aversive consequences when social bonds are threatened. Two such regulatory systems, self-esteem and attachment, are the focus of the present symposium. View Abstracts

Symposium S-H8

Dissecting social relationships and biological consequences: Interdisciplinary dyadic approaches
Saturday, February 15, 2014, 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM, Room 18 A/B
Chair: Meanne Chan, Northwestern University
Co-Chair: Lauren Human, University of British Columbia

Social relationships are known to have important health implications. However, less is known about the specific dyadic processes that enable social relationships to get under the skin. We present data using interdisciplinary dyadic approaches across multiple relationship contexts to examine how social relationships impact biological correlates and disease development. View Abstracts