I Feel Cared for Therefore I am Well: The Role of Close Relationships in Health and Happiness
(MIDDLE EAST TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY)
APRIL 5, 2019 11:40-12:30
Abstract: It has long been demonstrated that social relationships, especially those of attachment and mating variety, affect health and well-being. But a key question remains: How? Recent work in our lab aims to address this question using multiple methods including experimental, longitudinal, and daily experience approaches and focusing on processes at multiple levels of analysis ranging from subjective perceptions to physiology. The present talk will showcase studies from this research program documenting how perceived partner responsiveness—the extent to which individuals believe that their partner cares for, understands, and appreciates them—is linked to mechanisms leading to health and well-being in the long run. I will discuss evidence that perceived partner responsiveness buffers against stress reactivity, moderates the extent to which individuals benefit from social support, promotes health behaviors, and (possibly) alters long-term functioning of stress regulation systems, all of which influence later psychological well-being and physical health.