Healthy Aging Public Lecture: Dr. David Almeida

Title: “Finally, Some Good News about Stress! The Benefits of (Some) Daily Challenge”

Speaker: Dr. David Almeida, Professor of Human Development and Family Studies and a faculty member of the Center for Healthy Aging at Penn State University. Dr. Almeida earned his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Victoria. His research examines the effects of biological and self-reported indicators of stress on health. His primary interest has been the role of daily stress on healthy aging but has also examined stress processes in specific populations and contexts, such as the workplace and family interactions, parents of children with developmental disabilities, and family caregivers.  Dr. Almeida has held leadership roles in three National Institutes of Health Research Initiatives including:  the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) Study; the Work, Family & Health Research Network; and the Science of Behavior Change Network. He is also the Director of a National Institute of Aging T32 training program on Psychosocial and Biological Pathways to Healthy Aging.

Summary: Research documents the harmful effects of daily stressors on well-being, but often ignored in these studies are people reporting no stressors. This talk examines the benefits and costs of a “stressor-free life”, with a  focus on the potential benefits of small amounts of daily stress. To answer these questions, we used data from the National Studies of Daily Experiences (NSDE) to calculate the prevalence of adults who reported no daily stressors over the course of 8 consecutive days.  Data were comprised of 20,188 daily interviews from 2,804 adults ages 25-85.  Results indicated that 10% of adults reported no stressors over the 8 days.   Stressor-free adults were less likely to report positive events in their daily lives. The association between daily stress and health will be discussed.

This series is sponsored by the Edwin S.H. Leong Healthy Aging Program and the the UBC School of Kinesiology and supported by the Providence Health Care Dialogue on Aging Public Presentation Series.

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