Suzanne C. Segerstrom is an independent investigator (PhD, 1997) who has established a productive research program in personality, self-regulation, and physiology. The application proposes to protect a high level of research effort (80%) by releasing her from teaching, service, and administrative responsibilities. This support will facilitate an expansion of her research program in the interactions among self-regulation, physiology, well-being, and health in older adults. The application has three foci: (i) executive cognitive function and heart rate variability are predicted to covary with self-regulatory success, (ii) self-regulatory success across domains (e.g., control of repetitive thought, acquisition of social or status resources) is predicted to correlate with mental and physical health, and (iii) social resources will have disproportionate effects on health with increasing age, as predicted by socioemotional selectivity theory. Career development activities under the award will include didactic and experiential training in aging, longitudinal design and analysis, and the responsible conduct of research;collaborations with dedicated aging researchers in cognition, neuropsychology, immunology, neurology, and methodology;and spearheading special projects and meetings. Research activities will include analysis of the relationship between executive function and self- regulation in her existing R01-funded, longitudinal research with community-dwelling older adults (N = 150) and studies of self-regulation and health in the R01 sample, a cross-sectional study of younger and older women focusing on immunosenescence (N=76), a longitudinal follow-up in a study of middle-aged adults (N = 96) that began in 1994, and a longitudinal study of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients and caregivers (N = 266). Proposed studies illustrating future directions examine the role of goal selection and optimization in promoting psychological and physiological well-being in older women with pain and the role of self-regulation in socioemotional selectivity and the contributions of executive cognitive function and heart rate variability to this relationship in older adults. The University of Kentucky and the Department of Psychology provide a rich environment for the development of this work. It is expected that K02 support would allow Dr. Segerstrom to acquire additional expertise in cognition, physiology, and aging;produce and disseminate cutting-edge research in self-regulation, aging, and health;expand her grant portfolio to continue this line of research;and train PhD students in the conduct of this research.

Public Health Relevance

Older adults'ability to control thoughts, emotions, and behaviors - that is, to self-regulate - is important for acquiring and maintaining resources such as social relationships as well as meeting other demands such as compliance with medical regimens. Understanding the underlying resources for self-regulation, such as cognitive function, as well as the psychological, social, and physical consequences of self-regulatory ability and success, is important for optimizing older adults'health and well-being.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research (K02)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
National Institute on Aging Initial Review Group (NIA)
Program Officer
Nielsen, Lisbeth
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Kentucky
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
Zip Code
Garcia-Willingham, Natasha E; Roach, Abbey R; Kasarskis, Edward J et al. (2018) Self-Regulation and Executive Functioning as Related to Survival in Motor Neuron Disease: Preliminary Findings. Psychosom Med 80:665-672
Geiger, Paul J; Morey, Jennifer N; Segerstrom, Suzanne C (2017) Beliefs about savoring in older adulthood: Aging and perceived health affect temporal components of perceived savoring ability. Pers Individ Dif 105:164-169
Reed, Rebecca G; Greenberg, Richard N; Segerstrom, Suzanne C (2017) Cytomegalovirus serostatus, inflammation, and antibody response to influenza vaccination in older adults: The moderating effect of beta blockade. Brain Behav Immun 61:14-20
Boggero, Ian A; Hostinar, Camelia E; Haak, Eric A et al. (2017) Psychosocial functioning and the cortisol awakening response: Meta-analysis, P-curve analysis, and evaluation of the evidential value in existing studies. Biol Psychol 129:207-230
Segerstrom, Suzanne C; Sephton, Sandra E; Westgate, Philip M (2017) Intraindividual variability in cortisol: Approaches, illustrations, and recommendations. Psychoneuroendocrinology 78:114-124
Segerstrom, Suzanne C; Reed, Rebecca G; Scott, April B (2017) Intelligence and Interleukin-6 in Older Adults: The Role of Repetitive Thought. Psychosom Med 79:757-762
Arnberg, Filip K; Lekander, Mats; Morey, Jennifer N et al. (2016) Self-rated health and interleukin-6: Longitudinal relationships in older adults. Brain Behav Immun 54:226-232
Segerstrom, Suzanne C; Hardy, Jaime K; Evans, Daniel R et al. (2016) Briefly Assessing Repetitive Thought Dimensions: Valence, Purpose, and Total. Assessment 23:614-23
Segerstrom, Suzanne C; Jones, Alyssa C; Scott, April B et al. (2016) Daily Goals and Psychological Well-Being in Midlife and Older Women: Physical Pain Interacts with Goal Conflict. Res Hum Dev 13:328-341
Segerstrom, Suzanne C; Geiger, Paul J; Boggero, Ian A et al. (2016) Endogenous Cortisol Exposure and Declarative Verbal Memory: A Longitudinal Study of Healthy Older Adults. Psychosom Med 78:182-91

Showing the most recent 10 out of 25 publications