My research centers on the impact of psychological stress on markers of disease (e.g., reactivity of blood pressure and clotting factors), how stress is associated with cardiovascular disease, and associations of psychosocial factors with reactivity and chronic disease. Additional interests are in health disparities, the epidemiological impact of psychological factors on health, and general psychophysiological research methods.
I am currently seeking students to assist with a systematic review on racial differences in cardiovascular responses to stress. Specifically, I am seeking two students to complete the literature search in Summer 2019 and two students to complete data extraction in Fall 2019. Additionally, I have an original dataset from a study that examined the cardiovascular response to stress and many psychosocial variables, which students can analyze and prepare for potential presentations and publications. Students interested in developing new studies in other areas of health psychology are welcome to collaborate with me.
Stebénne, P., Bacon, S.L., Austin, A.W., Paine, N.J., Arsenault, A., Laurin, C., Meloche, B., Gordon, J., Dupuis, J., & Lavoie, K.L. (2017). Positive and negative affect as related to experiencing chest pain during exercise-induced myocardial ischemia. Psychosomatic Medicine, 79, 395-403 (pdf)
Austin, A.W., Pelletier, R., Pilote, L., & Rabi, D. for the GENESIS- PRAXY Investigators. (2017). Factors associated with study completion in patients with premature acute coronary syndrome. PLOS ONE. (pdf)
Austin, A.W., Kushnick, M.R., Knutson, M.J., McGlynn, M.L., & Patterson, S.M. (2015). Resting plasma lipids and cardiovascular reactivity to acute psychological stress. Journal of Psychophysiology, 29(3), 99-106. (pdf)
Austin, A.W., Gordon, J.L., Lavoie, K.L., Arsenault, A., Dasgupta, K., & Bacon, S.L. (2014). Differential association of insulin resistance with cognitive and somatic symptoms of depression. Diabetic Medicine, 31(8), 994-1000. (pdf)
Austin, A.W., Wissmann, T., & von Känel, R. (2013). Stress and hemostasis: an update. Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis, 39, 902-912. (pdf)
Austin, A.W., Wirtz, P., Patterson, S.M., Stutz, M., & von Känel, R. (2012). Stress-induced alterations in hemostasis: Assessment of a new hemoconcentration correction technique. Psychosomatic Medicine, 74, 288-295. (pdf)
Austin, A.W., Patterson, S.M., & von Känel, R. (2011). Hemoconcentration and hemostasis during acute stress: interacting and independent effects. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 42, 153-173. (pdf)
Pre-requisites are PSYC 2241, Statistical Methods and PSYC 3242, Experimental Psychology (or current enrollment). Though not required, preference will be given to students who have taken PSYC 2212, Health Psychology. Students must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.8 but must have earned at least a B or higher in PSYC 2241 and PSYC 3242.
Students will gain skills in systematically searching databases (e.g., PsycINFO and Pubmed), critically reviewing and synthesizing the literature, and using SPSS for data analysis.
Students working with me as a Research Assistant will be enrolled in Independent Studies, which counts as a 4-credit PSYC course. Students will be expected to devote 6-8 independent hours per week to research and keep detailed records of their progress. Additionally, students will meet with me weekly to discuss their progress.