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Mission statement

In the Life-Span Development and Adaptation Laboratory we examine how individuals across the life span together with close relationship partners adapt to challenges posed by chronic illnesses such as type 1 and type 2 diabetes and cancer through joint cognitive, interpersonal, and emotional processes.

We have found that individuals cope with daily problems frequently together, and that collaborative coping can facilitate cognitive performance, mood, and adherence to health regimens. We use a variety of methodological techniques including:

  • surveys
  • interviews
  • daily diaries
  • coding of interpersonal processes 
  • physiological measurements via both cross-sectional and longitudinal designs

We take a life-span approach examining how early life experiences with parents set the foundation for close friend and romantic relationships that can facilitate health across one’s life span (Berg et al., 2017).  We are currently devising interventions that can help emerging adults engage their social networks at a high risk time for type 1 diabetes management. 

In addition, we are exploring ways to facilitate changes in the healthcare system that can make adult care more friendly to the involvement of the family.  Our lab takes a teamscience approach where we collaborate extensively across many fields including:

  • developmental psychology
  • health psychology
  • clinical psychology
  • quantitative psychology
  • nursing
  • medicine
  • endocrinology
  • oncology

We engage with scholars in the C-FAHR network, a rich network of over 100 faculty from all across the University of Utah campus and 50 graduate students and postdocs.

Last Updated: 3/16/23