As an undergraduate, I benefited from mentors who showed me how research was done, encouraged me to explore a research based career, and trained me in the skills needed to carry out research studies that could generate new knowledge. I try hard to give that back. In my work as a mentor at UCI, I want to give my undergraduate students the experiences and skills that research universities are uniquely poised to provide—the most current state of knowledge and the skills to seek, synthesize and generate new knowledge.
I study factors that promote high quality relationships, with a particular focus on understanding how sociocultural context shapes relationship experiences in ways that benefit health. To date, my students have worked on projects that examined how culture shapes our relationship experiences and health—how satisfied we are in our family and romantic relationships, how supported we feel by our family, friends and partners, how we respond and recover from stressors, including the stress of being a member of a devalued social group—as well as projects on positive emotions and the role that positive emotions play in our relationships and health.