Research in the @Heart lab focuses on understanding the reciprocal processes that link romantic relationship experiences to emotional and behavioral adjustment. We are particularly interested in relationships formed during adolescence and early adulthood. These early relationships can be one of the most rewarding experiences and offer opportunities to learn what relationships are all about. For some adolescents, negative relationship experiences can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety, as well as problem behaviors such as sexual risk taking, substance use, and truancy. We investigate all phases of romantic relationships, from partner selection and break ups, to the development of new romantic relationships among heterosexual and sexual minority youth. Furthermore, we investigate these early romantic relationships in the context of relationships with parents and friends. From a larger societal context, we are interested in the impact of culture, ethnicity, and SES on relationship development and adjustment outcomes. Understanding risk and resilience among youth within their romantic relationships will help inform prevention and intervention strategies to promote healthy relationships and transitions.
The @Heart lab is a multidisciplinary lab using a multilevel perspective to study the development of romantic relationships and adjustment. We combine longitudinal dyadic assessments with several direct observation methods, experimental methodologies, ecological momentary assessments, salivary biomarkers, heart rate variability and high-density array EEG neurocognitive assessments.