Current Research Projects

Lifespan Development & Close Relationships


The bulk of the projects conducted in the CRL lab focus on how relationships–and the individuals within them–change over time and across the lifespan. People do not develop in a vacuum. They are affected by the social contexts in which they are embedded. Many of these projects examine how individuals and close relationships change over long intervals. Other projects examine how an individual’s local environment (i.e., where they live) affects how they approach relationships. Our most recent projects focus on how individuals experience and change across specific transitions and how that leads to changes in their personalities and lives.

Close Relationships & Health and Well-being


Recently our lab has shifted its focus to the outcomes of the changes and conditions that affect our close relationships. How do the ways in which we change over time affect how happy and healthy we are? Can technology bridge and facilitate connections between people to enhance well-being? What are the ways in which our friends, family, children, and spouses affect our health over time? How and why do our close relationships affect our health and longevity? Are you likely to live longer if you’re married to someone with a certain personality? In a study funded by NIH, our lab is examining the mechanisms that link the personality of couples to how healthy they are over time.

Late Life Issues


A recent focus of the lab has been on characterizing the experiences of older adults. Individuals necessarily get older the longer they live (surprise!). As a result, the ways that you interact with the world change–you approach situations differently than you did when you were younger and people approach you differently. In a series of large studies, we examine how attitudes toward aging change as individuals become older themselves. Currently, we are piloting a series of interventions examining the ways in which bias toward older adults can be alleviated in younger populations.