Research

CURRENT STUDIES

Daily Experiences and Health Study

This is a new longitudinal study designed to examine daily positive well-being, stress, and coping among an adult lifespan sample. Details to come!

Principal Investigator: Dr. Nancy Sin (Co-Investigator: Dr. Anita DeLongis)
Funded by: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)

Well-Being in the Daily Lives of Adults Study

The purpose of this study is to examine how everyday events — such as stress and positive experiences — shape emotional well-being among adults of different age groups. We are recruiting participants between 18-30 years old and between 60-75 years old. Participants complete repeated smartphone-based surveys (ecological momentary assessments) as they go about their daily lives.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Nancy Sin
Funded by: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC); UBC Hampton New Investigator Award

For more information, contact wellbeing@psych.ubc.ca

Stress, Activity, and Sleep Study (SASS)

Our past research has shown that good sleep promotes next-day well-being, including more positive events, fewer stressful events, and greater emotional well-being. This study aims to understand the hypothesized bidirectional associations of day-to-day stress processes with sleep and physical activity. Participants will report their experiences and emotions several times per day via smartphone surveys. Sleep and physical activity will be assessed using wrist actigraphy and thigh-worn accelerometers, respectively.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Nancy Sin
Funded by: UBC Bridge Funding Program

For more information, contact sass@psych.ubc.ca

 


OVERARCHING RESEARCH INTERESTS

  • Biological and behavioural mechanisms linking daily experiences to long-term health and aging
  • Positive emotions & positive events in stress and coping processes
  • Day-to-day dynamics of psychosocial well-being and health behaviours
  • Biopsychosocial determinants of risk and outcomes for cardiovascular disease

EXAMPLES OF OUR RECENT FINDINGS 

  • People who experience more daily positive events tend to have lower inflammation and steeper diurnal cortisol slopes (Sin, Graham-Engeland, & Almeida, 2015; Sin, Ong, Stawski, & Almeida, 2018)
  • Loss of positive emotions (and in women, increases in negative emotions) when faced with daily stressors is associated with elevated inflammation (Sin, Graham-Engeland, Ong, & Almeida, 2016)
  • How people respond to daily stressors — including affective reactivity to stressors, perceived stressor severity, and daily negative emotions — is related to lower heart rate variability, whereas stressor exposure (i.e., frequency of daily stressors) was not (Sin, Sloan, McKinley, & Almeida, 2016)
  • In two samples of middle-aged employees in the IT and nursing care industries, better sleep quality (and, to a lesser degree, longer sleep duration) predicted emotional well-being and lower odds of encountering stressors on the following day. Daily positive experiences were associated with improved as well as disrupted subsequent sleep (Sin, Almeida, Crain, Kossek, Berkman, & Buxton, 2017).
  • Among patients with cardiovascular disease, positive emotions are associated with a range of healthier lifestyle behaviours, including physical activity, sleep, medication adherence, and non-smoking (Sin, Moskowitz, & Whooley, 2015)
  • Depressive symptoms predict worsening of health behaviours and declines in functional status across 5 years in patients with cardiovascular disease (Sin, Kumar, Gehi, & Whooley, 2017; Sin, Yaffe, & Whooley, 2015)