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Lia KraemerInterdisciplinary Relationship Science Program
University of California, Los Angeles
The main aim of my research is to assist the field of psychology to a greater understanding of emotion and stress in social interaction, particularly in close relationships, and how emotion and stress influence later physical well being. Specifically, I am interested in how emotion regulation strategies operate between spouses to influence the course of the interaction, the marital relationship, and their physical well being. I am also interested in the connection between emotion regulation and stress, with varying exposure to stressful life events hypothesized to influence the development of adaptive or maladaptive emotional expression when interacting with one's spouse.
One of my primary research goals is to better explain the relationship between health and marital satisfaction by examining the presumed causal factors that account for both the positive health benefits of nondistressed marital relationships and the negative health outcomes of distressed marital relationships. I hypothesize that positive marital relationships encourage healthy behavior on a daily basis, and that these behaviors contribute to long-term positive health outcomes. Specifically, I believe that certain types of daily marital interactions assist spouses in regulating their emotions and their partner's emotions. Couples differ in how successfully they utilize these emotion regulation strategies during conflict and social support discussions. These strategies influence each partner's daily level of emotional arousal. This arousal may affect health status in multiple ways, such as by influencing endocrine functioning which in turn alters immune response (Kiecolt-Glaser & Glaser, 1989). I intend to examine these emotion regulation strategies, the consistency in strategy use over time, the connection between these strategies and marital satisfaction, and the connection between these strategies and positive or negative health outcomes.
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