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@HEART; Healthy Experiences Across Relationships and Transitions lab (Ha)

Keywords: adolescence, romantic relationships, multidisciplinary research, developmental psychopathology, culture, health, stress physiology

Lab Research Area:

Welcome to the Healthy Experiences Across Relationships and Transitions lab (@HEART lab)!
Visit the main Website here!

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.

Join the lab!

We have a fantastic team of undergraduates who play an integral role in our research. We periodically accept new research assistants to assist in the lab for course credit or to volunteer. If you are interested in our research, please contact our lab manager Selena Quiroz for more information and qualification requirements. 

Thao Ha, PhD. Lab director and principal investigator. Dr. Ha is a member of the developmental faculty. Her multidisciplinary research focuses on the development of adolescent romantic relationships. Dr. Ha investigates how partner choices, relationship dynamics, and break-ups affect adolescents’ emotional and behavioral adjustment over time. The goal of this research is to better understand why some adolescents are highly vulnerable to their relationship experiences. A variety of methods are combined in this research, such as observations of adolescent couples’ interactions, high-density array EEG neurocognitive assessments, ecological momentary assessments, and physical and hormonal stress methodologies. Dr. Ha completed her education at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. She completed two masters’ degrees in Developmental Psychology and Developmental Psychopathology (cum laude), and obtained her PhD in Developmental Psychopathology in 2013. Dr. Ha completed a postdoctoral and assistant research position in the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics, the Institute for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research (IISBR), and Department of Psychology at Arizona State University. Curriculum Vitae.

Jasmine Sutton (lab manager), Jasmine received her BS in Psychological Sciences from Arizona State University in May 2016. As a former research assistant, Jasmine is excited to continue her work in the lab and contribute to the development of its research as laboratory manager. Jasmine is interested in how relationship dynamics within the workplace contribute to psychological functioning and wellbeing.

Current affiliated graduate students

Charlie Champion, clinical psychology (ASU)
Liv Ivie, clinical psychology (UO)

Past graduate students

Adam Rogers, PhD (currently an assistant profession at BYU)
Frank Poulsen, PhD (currently a researcher in a non profit organization)

Current undergraduate student assistants

Cameron Bond, Cameron is in her senior year and her research interests are primarily in physiology and social psychology.

Ducileia Ladwig, just completed a bachelor degree in Psychology. She is interested in studying biopsychosocial elements that shape the trajectory of individuals especially those living in underserved communities. Importantly, she is curious about what biological and social factors can contribute to resilience and allow a person to achieve full potential despite life’s adversities.

Other current undergraduate students

Durna Alakbarova
Adam Bennett
Lyndsay Campbell
William Conlin
Brian Dashner
Kendall Davis
Kelly Fitzsimmons
Marcus Harris
Yeyoung Jun
Lauren Marchal
Gerardo Moceri
Nicole Moe
Thato Seerane

Past undergraduate students

Angela Harrid (currently a graduate student in the public health program at George Mason University)
Alejandra Hernandez (currently a graduate student in the counseling psychology program at Arizona State University)
Ashley Ebbert (Currently a graduate student in clinical psychology at Arizona State University)
Yolanda Ascencio

Past international undergraduate students

Dora Habets (the Netherlands)
Astrid Bongers (the Netherlands)

Past high school students

Aditya Ashar

Research affiliations

Research and Education Advancing Children’s Health Institute (REACH), ASU
Institute for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research (IISBR), UCI, 

Dishion, T. J., Mun, C. J., Ha, T., & Tein, JY. (accepted). Observed family and friendship dynamics in adolescence: A latent profile approach to identifying “mesosystem” adaptations for intervention tailoring. Prevention Science. 

Kornienko, O., Dishion, T. J., & Ha, T. (accepted). Peer network dynamics and the amplification of antisocial to violent behavior among young adolescents in public middle school. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders.

Kuo, C., Ha, T., Ebbert, A., Tucker, D. M.  & Dishion, T. J. (2017). Dynamic responses in brain networks to social feedback: A dual EEG acquisition study in adolescent couples. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 11, 46.

Riis, J. L., Bryce, C. I., Ha, T., Hand, T., Stebbins J. L., Matin, M., Jaedicke, K. M., & Granger, D. A. (2017). Adiponectin: Serum-saliva associations and relations with oral and systemic markers of inflammation. Peptides, 58-64.

Ha, T., Yeung, E. W., Rogers, A. A., Poulsen, F., & Granger, D. A. (2016). Partner support predicts adrenocortical attunement in adolescent romantic couples. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 74, 189-196.

Ha, T., Kim, H., Christopher, C., Caruthers, A., & Dishion, T. J. (2016). Predicting sexual coercion in early adulthood: The transaction among maltreatment, gang affiliation, and adolescent socialization of coercive relationship norms. Development and Psychopathology, 29,707-720.

Ha, T., & Granger, D. A. (2016). Family relations, stress, and vulnerability: Biobehavioral implications for prevention and practice. Family Relations, 65, 9-23.

Van Roekel, E., Ha, T., Scholte, R. H., Engels, R. C. M. E., & Verhagen, M. (2016). Loneliness in the Daily Lives of Young Adults: Testing a Socio-Cognitive Model. European Journal of Personality, 30, 19-30.

Delay, D., Ha, T., Winter, C., & Dishion, T. J. (2016). The malleability of friendship selection and the effects on problem behavior: A social network analysis of a randomized intervention study within public middle schools. Prevention Science, 17, 285-294.

Rogers, A.A., Ha, T., Stormshak, E. A., Dishion, T.J. (2015). Quality of parent-adolescent conversations about sex and adolescent sexual behavior: An observational study. Journal of Adolescent Health, 57, 174-178.

Van Roekel, E., Ha, T., Verhagen, M., Kuntsche, E., Scholte, R. H., & Engels, R. C. M. E. (2015). Social stress in early adolescents' daily lives: Associations with affect and loneliness. Journal of Adolescence, 45, 274-283.

Cillessen, A. H., Mayeux, L., Ha, T., de Bruyn, E. H., & LaFontana, K. M. (2014). Aggressive effects of prioritizing popularity in early adolescence. Aggressive Behavior, 40, 204-213.

Ha, T., Dishion, T. J., Overbeek, G., Burk, W. J., & Engels, R. C. (2014). The blues of adolescent romance: Observed affective interactions in adolescent romantic relationships associated with depressive symptoms. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 42, 551-562.

Ha, T., Overbeek, G., Lichtwarck-Aschoff, A., Engels, R. C. M. E. (2013). Do conflict resolution and recovery predict the survival of adolescents' romantic relationships? PLoS One, 8, e61871.

Larsen, J. K., Vermulst, A., Geenen, R., Van Middendorp, H., English, T., Gross, J. J., Ha, T.,  Evers, C. & Engels, R. C. M. E. (2013). Emotion regulation in adolescence: A prospective study of expressive suppression and depressive symptoms. Journal of Early Adolescence, 184-200.

Ha, T., Van den Berg, J. E. M., Engels, R. C. M. E., & Lichtwarck-Aschoff, A. (2012). Effects of attractiveness and status in dating desire in homosexual and heterosexual men and women. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41, 673-682.

Dishion, T. J., Ha, T., & Véronneau, M. H. (2012). An ecological analysis of the effects of deviant peer clustering on sexual promiscuity, problem behavior, and childbearing from early adolescence to adulthood: An enhancement of the life history framework. Developmental Psychology, 703-717.

Ha, T., Overbeek, G., Cillessen, A. H. N., & Engels, R. C. M. E. (2012). A longitudinal study of the associations among adolescent conflict resolution styles, depressive symptoms, and romantic relationship longevity. Journal of Adolescence, 35, 1247-1254.

Nikkelen, S. W. C., Anschutz, D. J., Ha, T., Engels, R. C. M. E. (2012). Influence of visual attention on male body dissatisfaction after idealized media exposure. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 13, 308-323.

Ha, T., Overbeek, G., & Engels, R. C. M. E. (2010). Effects of attractiveness and social status on dating desire in heterosexual adolescents: an experimental study. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 39, 1063-1071.

Ha, T., Overbeek, G., Greef, M., Scholte, R., & Engels, R. C. M. E. (2010). The importance of relationships with parents and best friends for adolescents’ romantic relationship quality: Differences between indigenous and ethnic Dutch adolescents. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 34, 121-127.

Ha, T., Overbeek, G., Vermulst, A. A., & Engels, R. C. M. E. (2009). Marital quality, parenting, and adolescent emotional maladjustment: A three-wave longitudinal study. Journal of Family Psychology, 263-267.

Overbeek, G., Ha, T., Scholte, R. H. J., De Kemp, R., & Engels, R. C. M. E. (2007). Brief Report: Intimacy, passion, and commitment in romantic relationships: Validation of a ‘triangular love scale’ for adolescents. Journal of Adolescence, 30, 523-528.

Overbeek, G., Stattin, H., Vermulst, A., Ha, T., & Engels, R. C. M. E. (2007). Early parent-child interactions, partner relationships, and emotional adjustment: A birth-to-maturity longitudinal study. Developmental Psychology, 43, 429-437.

*graduate and undergraduate students (co) authors during manuscript preparation are underlined