For a full list of the lab’s publications, see here.

Social Connection and Health

Loneliness increases the risks of many negative health outcomes, including cardiovascular disease and early death. But how does loneliness—a subjective feeling—get under the skin to impact our physical health? Our lab’s research highlights the close interconnections between social connection, cardiovascular function, and overall health. Read more about our lab’s work on how loneliness impacts our heart rate variability, how moving to a new city and rebuilding our social networks affects our blood pressure, and the long-term health implications of university students’ friendship formation.

Hormones, Health, and Development

Teenagers experience huge hormonal changes during adolescence. The same hormones that contribute to teenagers’ physical development also shape emotions, social behaviour, and mental health. Our lab is investigating whether exposure to the hormones contained in medications such as oral contraceptive pills affects teenagers’ social and emotional development. Read more about our lab’s work on the relationship between oral contraceptive use and long-term mental health outcomes here and here.

Promoting Prosociality

Prosociality—which can include behaviours ranging from volunteering to everyday acts of kindness—describes the actions that we undertake to benefit other people. Engaging in prosocial behaviour has numerous health and well-being benefits. But with so many competing demands on our time, the strong pull of our smartphones and social media, and our culture’s emphasis on self-care, how do we manage to prioritize prosociality? Read more about our research suggesting that engaging in acts of kindness can decrease our stress, and about our ongoing efforts to help people create sustainable daily habits of prosociality.