Research in the Health and Well-Being (HWB) Laboratory uses both longitudinal and experimental methodologies to understand the association between positive psychological characteristics and health-related outcomes.

Past work by Dr. Boehm indicates that initially healthy people who are optimistic and satisfied have a reduced risk for heart attacks more than five years later, compared with individuals who are less optimistic and less satisfied.

Recent work in the HWB Laboratory examines how positive psychological characteristics are associated with the behavioral and biological processes that are relevant for cardiovascular health including physical activity, diet, blood pressure, and lipids.

For example, Dr. Boehm has found that more optimistic people tend to have healthier levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides. Additional work from the HWB Laboratory suggests that positive psychological characteristics are also associated with reduced risk of smoking and increased likelihood of exercising.

The ultimate goal of the laboratory’s research is to identify positive psychological characteristics that contribute to healthy trajectories across the lifespan, with a specific focus on underlying behavioral and biological pathways.

Interested in participating in research conducted by the Health and Well-Being Laboratory?
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