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Professional Research on

Stress & Coping 

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Areas of Expertise

Trauma, Stress, Health Psychology, COVID-19, Quantitative Methods, and Mindfulness 

No time in the modern era has been filled with more stress. The COVID-19 pandemic combined with economic strain, civil strife, political turmoil, and the individuals challenges we all face in life has created a compounding crisis that has taxed many people's ability to effectively cope. 

I have been researching the effect of stress and trauma on physical and mental health for over 13 years. I use both qualitative and quantitative approaches including focus groups, epidemiological studies, and field experiments. I have particular expertise in how large scale collective trauma (e.g., COVID-19, terrorist attacks, earthquakes, and hurricanes) and individual-level adversity (e.g., job loss, work stress, divorce, abuse) influence physical and mental health over time.

 

My work on community-based and stress-reduction interventions (e.g., mindfulness, yoga, nutrition) has helped identify evidence-based practices to help alleviate the harmful effects of exposure to stress and trauma on our physical and mental health. 

At the University of California, Irvine, I am the Principal Investigator of the REACH (Resilience, Epidemiology, and Community Health) Lab and an Assistant Professor at the Sue and Bill Gross School of Nursing at the University of California, Irvine. My research is funded by both the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Health (NIH). 

Current Projects:

NIH- funded grant titled “Mindfulness-based Intervention to Address PTSD in Trauma-exposed, Homeless Women.” This project takes a biopsychosocial approach to understanding the experience of trauma and approaches to alleviate adverse traumatic stress symptoms and associated physical and mental health problems.
 

National Science Foundation-funded project that explores the psychological implications of the COVID-19 pandemic in a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults (with Drs.  E. Alison Holman and Roxane Cohen Silver). 

 

NSF-funded study that examines examines how people respond to the threat of hurricanes in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic (with Gabrielle Wong-Parodi ).

I am co-Lead Investigator of the Silver Stress and Coping Lab with Drs.  E. Alison Holman and Roxane Cohen Silver.  See the  Silver Stress and Coping Lab Website for more information about these projects. Information about our COVID-19 projects can be found here.

You can read more about the work of the REACH lab, including a full list of my publications at: 

https://faculty.sites.uci.edu/garfinlab

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