Affiliated Lab Members

STEFAN AGRIGOROAEI
Ph.D., University of Savoie
stefana@brandeis.edu

Stefan

Stefan Agrigoroaei received his doctorate in 2007 at University of Savoie, Chambéry, France, under the mentorship of Professor Olivier Desrichard.

His research program is in the area of health and adult development and aging, from a lifespan perspective. Stefan is primarily interested in the contribution of modifiable psychosocial and behavioral factors to different facets of health - physical, cognitive, and psychological. His projects involve a wide range of cognitive and physical health assessments, including biomedical indicators, in both surveys and laboratory settings. The results have direct implications for developing intervention and prevention programs for applied settings.

Selected Publications

            Lachman, M.E., & Agrigoroaei, S. (2012). Low Perceived Control as a Risk Factor for Episodic Memory: The Mediational Role of Anxiety and Task Interference. Memory & Cognition, 40, 287-296, DOI: 10.3758/s13421-011-0140-x.
            Agrigoroaei, S., & Lachman, M.E. (2011). Cognitive Functioning in Midlife and Old Age: Combined Effects of Psychosocial and Behavioral Factors. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 66B(S1), i130–i140, DOI: 10.1093/geronb/gbr017.
            Lachman, M.E., Neupert, S.D., & Agrigoroaei, S. (2011).The Relevance of Control Beliefs for Health and Aging. In K. W. Schaie & S. L. Willis (Eds.), Handbook of the psychology of aging (7th edition).
            Agrigoroaei, S., & Lachman, M. E. (2010). Personal Control and Aging: How Beliefs and Expectations Matter. In J. C. Cavanaugh & C. K. Cavanaugh (Eds.), Aging in America: Psychological aspects (Vol. 1, pp. 177-201). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Perspectives.
            Lachman, M.E., Agrigoroaei, S., Murphy, C., & Tun, P. (2010). Frequent Cognitive Activity Compensates for Education Differences in Episodic Memory. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 18, 4-10, DOI: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181ab8b62.
            Lachman, M.E., & Agrigoroaei, S. (2010). Promoting Functional Health in Midlife and Old Age: Long-term Protective Effects of Control Beliefs, Social Support, and Physical Exercise. PlosOne 5(10): e13297. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0013297.

 

ELIZABETH A. HAHN
Ph.D., University of South Florida
ehahn@brandeis.edu

Photo of Elizabeth Hahn by Lori DeSantis Photography

(Image Credit: Lori DeSantis Photography)

Elizabeth Hahn is a postdoctoral research fellow who completed a doctoral degree in the interdisciplinary Aging Studies program in the summer of 2012 in the School of Aging Studies at the University of South Florida (USF).   While at USF, she completed a doctoral dissertation titled, “Daily Experiences of Stress, Memory, and Emotion in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment” under the advisement of clinical psychologist William E. Haley, Ph.D.  She also worked on various longitudinal research projects examining risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia with Swedish population-based data under the advisement of dissertation committee member Ross Andel, Ph.D.

Elizabeth approaches her research with an applied, interdisciplinary and lifespan perspective.  Her general areas of research focus on examining aging processes as they occur in everyday life, specifically relationships between stress, memory, and emotion.  Her doctoral dissertation used a daily diary study design to assess daily stressors and daily memory complaints in relation to psycho

logical distress among older adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment and a comparison group of cognitively health controls.  Her current and future work includes both the examination of short-term fluctuations and long-term intraindividual change, as well as the study of protective factors (e.g., control beliefs) and adaptive strategies (e.g., elective optimization with compensation) that may buffer normal age-related change, early stages of pathological cognitive decline, and their potentially negative effects in everyday life.

 

Kelly Cotter

Kelly Cotter

Assistant Professor, Sacramento State University

Ph.D., Brandeis University

Dr. Cotter is interested in health psychology, including the adoption and maintenance of exercise behavior. Kelly is also interested in how social relationships, self-efficacy, age and chronic illness affect exercise. She is currently researching and comparing theoretical health behavior change models in preparation for her dissertation on the maintenance of exercise behavior.

 

Chandra MurphyChandra Murphy
M.A. Psychology, Brandeis University

Chandra Murphy is a graduate of Boston University where she studied mathematics with a specialization in statistics and psychology, and a recent graduate of Brandeis University with an MA in psychology.

 

Chris Rosnick

Chris Rosnick
Assistant Professor, Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville
Ph.D., University of South Florida

Dr. Christopher B. Rosnick graduated in 2005 with a Ph.D. in aging studies from the School of Aging Studies at the University of South Florida. Broadly conceived, Dr. Rosnick is interested in how contextual factors influence cognitive functioning with a special interest in possible biological markers of cognitive impairment. Dr. Rosnick’s dissertation focused on stress and its association with cognitive performance under the supervision of Dr. Brent Small. His dissertation examined stress in three different, but overlapping, ways. First, he assessed how experiencing stressful life events affected cognitive functioning in the Charlotte County Healthy Aging Study. Second, he examined the effects of bereavement on cognitive performance utilizing the Changing Lives of Older Couples dataset (CLOC). Lastly, he examined how possible physiological correlates of stress impacted cognitive performance in individuals from the CLOC dataset. More specifically, he examined the differential effects of allostatic load and its component parts on cognitive functioning. His future research plans involve assessing the relationship between the perception of stress, the occurrence of life events, the physiological response to stressors (primarily allostatic load) and the relative importance of each to cognitive performance in the elderly.

Selected Publications

Small, B.J., Rosnick, C.B., Fratiglioni, L. & Bäckman, L. (2004). Apolipoprotein E and Cognitive Performance: A Meta-Analysis. Psychology and Aging, 19 (4), 592-600.

Rosnick, C.B., Small, B.J., Borenstein Graves, A, & Mortimer, J.A. (2004). The Association Between Health and Cognitive Performance in a Population-Based Study of Older Adults: The Charlotte County Healthy Aging Study (CCHAS). Aging, Neuropsychology,and Cognition, 11 (1), 89-99.

Rosnick, C. B. & Reynolds, S. L. (2003). Thinking ahead: Factors associated with executing Advance Directives. Journal of Aging and Health, 15 (2), 409-429.

 

Christina RöckeChristina Röcke
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Zürich, Switzerland
Ph.D., Freie Universität Berlin/Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin

Dr. Christina Röcke received her predoctoral training at the Center for Lifespan Psychology of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany, under the mentorship of Profs. Jacqui Smith, Paul B. Baltes and Ulman Lindenberger. She was a Fellow of the International Max Planck Research School "The Life Course: Evolutionary and Ontogenetic Dynamics" (LIFE) and received her Ph.D. in 2006. In the broadest sense, Dr. Röcke's main research interests concern the lifespan development of well-being, personality and cognition. Specifically, she is interested in the relationship between age and emotional functioning, intraindividual variability (short-term fluctuations) as a tool to study lifespan development, and theoretical distinctions between the young-old (i.e. Third Age) and the oldest-old (i.e., Fourth Age). In her dissertation, Dr. Röcke examined age-related and individual differences in intraindividual variability of positive and negative affects across 45 days, trait-like and state-like correlates of variability in these two well-being factors, as well as the within-person coupling of affective states with daily cognitive performance. Current and future work focuses on (a) methodological issues regarding the meaning and measurement of momentary versus trait-like well-being, (b) the functional meaning of high-versus low-levels of variability in well-being for overall psychological adaptation, (c) different conceptions of control and their relationship to well-being as well as (d) a person-centered approach to subjective change trajectories of life satisfaction.

Selected Publications

Gerstorf, D., Lövdén, M., Röcke, C., Smith, J. & Lindenberger, U. (2007). Well-Being Affects Changes in Perceptual Speed in Advanced Old Age: Longitudinal Evidence for a Dynamic Link. Developmental Psychology, 43, 705-718.

Gerstorf, D., Ram, N., Röcke, C., Lindenberger, U., & Smith, J. (2008). Decline in life satisfaction in old age: Longitudinal evidence for links to distance-to-death. Psychology and Aging, 23, 154-168.

Lachman, M. E., Röcke, C., Rosnick, C. B., & Ryff, C. D. (2008). Realism and illusion in Americans` views of their life satisfaction: Age differences in perceiving the past and anticipating the future. Psychological Science, 19, 889-897.

Li, S.-C., Schmiedek, F., Huxhold, O., Röcke, C., Smith, J., & Lindenberger, U. (in press). Working memory plasticity in old age: Practice gain, transfer, and maintenance. Psychology and Aging.

Röcke, C., & Lachman, M. E. (in press). Perceived trajectories of life satisfaction across past, present, and future: Profiles and correlates of subjective change in young, middle-aged, and older adults. Psychology and Aging.

Röcke, C. (2006). Intraindividual Variability in Positive and Negative Affect: Age-Related and Individual Differences in Magnitude and Coupling with Cognitive Performance. Doctoral dissertation. Free University Berlin. http://www.diss.fu-berlin.de/2006/669/indexe.html

 

Shevaun NeupertShevaun Neupert
Assistant Professor, North Carolina State - Raleigh
Ph.D., University of Arizona

Dr. Shevaun Neupert's research interests lie in the area of adult development, in particular the role that daily experiences (e.g., stressors) play in various aspects of health including cognitive, physical and emotional well-being. Her program of research focuses on three main themes: (a) adult development and aging; (b) the impact of stressors on health and (c) analytic techniques for examining interindividual differences in intraindividual variability in daily experiences. She recently conducted an online daily diary research project funded by the Kellogg Foundation to look at the daily experiences of college students, and these data will be combined with data from older adults to examine age differences across the lifespan in the relationship between daily experiences and well-being.

Selected Publications


Grzywacz, J.G., Almeida, D.M., Neupert, S.D., & Ettner, S. (2004). Socioeconomic status and health: A micro-level analysis of exposure and vulnerability to daily stressors. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 45, 1-16.

Mallers, M.H., Almeida, D.M., & Neupert, S.D. (in press). Women's daily physical health symptoms and stressful experiences across adulthood. Psychology and Health.

Neupert, S.D, & McDonald-Miszczak, L. (in press). Medication instruction recall in younger and older adults: Cognitive and metacognitive predictors. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition.

Selected Presentations

Neupert, S.D., Spiro, A., Almeida, D.M., & Mroczek, D.K. (2003, November). The effects of the Columbia shuttle disaster on the daily lives of older adults: Findings from the Normative Aging Study. Poster to be presented at the meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, San Diego, CA.

Wilhelm, M., Howerter, A., Serido, J., & Neupert, S.D. (2003, November). A daily diary approach to understanding health and well-being. Paper to be presented at the meeting of the National Council on Family Relations, Vancouver, B.C.

Neupert, S.D. (2002, November). Cognitive reactivity to daily stressors: Preliminary results from the Normative Aging Study. Poster presented at the meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Boston, MA.

Neupert, S.D., Almeida, D.M., & Horn, M.C. (2001, November). Age differences in reactivity to daily stressors. Poster presented at the meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Chicago, IL.

 

Ann Pearman Ann Pearman
Assistant Professor, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis

Dr. Ann Pearman is currently a postdoctoral fellow with the Brandeis “Cognitive Aging in a Social Context” training grant sponsored by the NIA. Ann’s training has enabled her to integrate her interests in cognitive aging and clinical geropsychology. Her current work focuses on understanding the role of personality and control beliefs on both objective and subjective memory in adulthood with the eventual goal of developing a treatment module for older adults with memory complaints. Ann’s other interests include health outcome and treatment compliance, diabetes and cognition, and predictors of subjective health and mortality in older adults.

Selected Publications

McKitrick, L.A., Friedman, L.F., Pearman, A., and Yesavage, J.A. (1997). Ecologically-valid stimuli in memory training and assessment. Clinical Gerontologist, 17 (3), 58-62.

McKitrick, L.A., Friedman, L., Brooks, J.O.III., Pearman, A., Kraemer, H.C. & Yesavage, J.A. (1999). Predicting response to mnemonic training: Who will benefit? International Psychogeriatrics, 11 (3), 289-300.

Pearman, A., Friedman, L., Brooks, J.O.III., & Yesavage, J.A. (2000). Hearing impairment and serial word recall in older adults. Experimental Aging Research, 26, 383-391.

Pearman, A., & Storandt, M. (in press). Predictors of subjective memory in older adults. Journal of Gerontology: Social and Psychological Sciences.

Selected Presentations

Pearman, A. (2001). Correlates of memory complaints in older adults. Poster presentation at American Psychological Association Annual Conference, San Francisco, California.

Pearman, A., Friedman, L., & Yesavage, J.A. (2002). Predictors of subjective health in older adults. Poster presentation at American Psychological Association Annual Conference, Chicago Illinois.

Pearman, A. & Storandt, M. (2003). Predictors of memory complaints across the lifespan. Poster presentation at the American Psychological Association Annual Conference, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

 

Stacey WhitbourneStacey Whitbourne
Post-doctoral Fellow at the VA Boston and Boston University
Ph.D., Brandeis University

Stacey's research interests focus on exercise across the lifespan, as well as the relationship with cognitive functioning in old age. Her past work investigated ways to motivate sedentary adults to exercise, with the findings suggesting that adults have different exercise goals. For instance, while younger adults are more likely to exercise for a benefit to their appearance, older adults are more likely to do so for their health. Her other work used these exercise goals and incorporated message framing as a technique to encourage exercise among adults. Specifically, she found that younger adults were most influenced by positive appearance messages, whereas older adults were most influenced by positive health messages. In addition, middle-aged adults were equally influenced by both appearance and health messages. Her dissertation work has turned to the role of physical and mental activities in relation to memory failures among adults, in attempt to examine whether or not individuals with higher levels of activities display fewer memory failures.

Papers

Whitbourne, S. B., & Lachman, M. E. (2003). Appearance and Health: Age-Related Differences in Exercise Goals. In preparation to submit.

Whitbourne, S. B. & Lachman, M. E. (2003). Promoting Exercise in Older Adults: Effects of Positive and Negative Message Frames. In preparation to submit.

Selected Presentations

Whitbourne, S. B., & Feldman, R. Nonverbal cues to detecting deception. Presented at the 107th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington.

Whitbourne, S. B., & Lachman, M. E. Appearance and Health: Age- Related Differences in Adults’ Motivation To Exercise. Presented at the 54th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Chicago.

Whitbourne, S. B. & Lachman, M. E. Promoting exercise in adults: Effects of positive and negative message frames. Presented at the 111th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Toronto.

 

Eileen Kranz-Graham

Eileen Kranz-Graham