Erica L. O’Brien
Education and Training:
Postdoctoral Fellow, The Pennsylvania State University
Ph.D., Psychology, North Carolina State University, 2019
B.S., Sociology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), 2014
- Adult development and aging
- Health behavior and activity engagement
- Intensive longitudinal and ambulatory assessment
Dr. O’Brien’s research program examines the experiences, processes, and outcomes associated with healthy aging. Work in the lab aims to: (1) identify the social, cultural, and psychological factors that shape attitudes, beliefs, feelings, and experiences of aging (collectively referred to as “views of aging”); (2) elucidate the links between psychological factors (including views of aging) and cognition, well-being, and health-enhancing activity or behavior in adulthood; and (3) develop interventions that combat negative views of aging and/or promote health and well-being among individuals as they age. It also involves an interdisciplinary team of collaborators as well as uses a breadth of measurement designs, technologies, and statistical approaches to study associations in everyday life generally (via a focus on differences between different people) and within the context of individuals’ lives specifically (via a focus on variations within the person).
Dr. O’Brien may accept a graduate student for the 2024-2025 academic. Prospective students should contact Dr. O’Brien by email early in the Fall semester (prior to the December application deadline) with their curriculum vitae and a brief statement of their research experience and interests. The most qualified applicants will have some prior research experience, an interest in working with adults of all ages (particularly, older adults), and a clear fit with Dr. O’Brien’s program of research. Please refer to the Department of Psychology website for more application-related information. Importantly, the lab aims to foster a supportive and collaborative environment that also appreciates the unique contributions of each person – individuals from all backgrounds are welcome.