Close Relationships Laboratory

Research Team






Laboratory Director

Richard Slatcher, Ph.D.
slatcher@wayne.edu




Richard B. Slatcher is the Gail M. Williamson Distinguished Professor in the Behavior and Brain Sciences area of the Department of Psychology at  University of Georgia. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Richmond and his Ph.D. in Social and Personality Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating from UT, he completed a two-year NIMH post-doctoral fellowship in health psychology at UCLA. Prior to coming to UGA, he was a Professor of Social Psychology at Wayne State University.

Understanding the effects of peoples' close relationships on their health  and well-being from a social psychological perspective is the central focus of Slatcher's research and teaching. His research has two main facets: basic research on close relationship processes--particularly intimacy processes of self-disclosure and partner responsiveness--and investigations of the links among close relationships, biological processes and physical health. An example of this research is the lab's current projects on the impact of people's smartphone use and social media engagement on their ability (or inability) to be responsive in their face-to-face relationships. 

Slatcher is the recipient of the Caryl Rusbult Close Relationships Early Career Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) and the award for Outstanding Contributions to Health Psychology by an Early Career Professional from the Society for Health Psychology (APA Division 38).

For an overview of current research projects in the lab, please visit the research page.

Outside of academic life, he is a husband and proud dad to two boys aged 15 and 13. He loves to ski, surf, hike and travel (see his wife's fantastic blog chronicling their travel adventures here). He occasionally tweets.






ALOFT Project Coordinator


Daniel Saleh
djsaleh@yahoo.com



Dan is the Project Coordinator for the Asthma in the Lives of Families Today (ALOFT) study. He received his BA in psychology from Wayne State.





Graduate Students at UGA


Michael Harvey
mharvey@udel.edu



Michael received his Honors Degree with Distinction in Psychology (BA) from the University of Delaware where he was a research assistant in Dr. Lisa Jaremka's Close Relationships and Health Lab and Dr. Chad Forbes’ Social Neuroscience Lab. He received his MA in Psychology from Wayne State University and is currently a doctoral student in social-personality psychology within the Behavior and Brain Sciences doctoral program at UGA.






Graduate Students at Wayne State


Jacqueline Rodriguez
jackie.rodriguez@wayne.edu




Jackie received her BS in psychology from Florida State University. Her research interests focus on stress and its association to biological and psychological processes and the resulting physical health outcomes. Additionally, she is interested in exploring how romantic relationships and socioeconomic status can mitigate or exacerbate the effects of psychosocial stress on health. She is a second year doctoral student in Social Psychology at Wayne State.





Sabrina Bierstetel
sabrina.b@wayne.edu



Sabrina received her Honors Degree in Psychology (BS) from Central Michigan University. Her research interests focus on the impact of close relationship processes on individual and family health and well-being. Specifically, she is interested in exploring conflict in close relationships and investigating relationship processes such as perceived partner responsiveness and conflict and their impacts on health and well-being. She is also interested in studying the positive and negative roles of technology and social media use in individuals’ lives and how they influence both individual and romantic relationship outcomes. She is a fourth year doctoral student in Social Psychology at Wayne State.






Data Manager


Russell Houpt
russell.houpt@gmail.com 



Russell is the data manager for the ALOFT project. He graduated from Hope College with a BA in math and psychology. He helps build, maintain, and organize databases for the lab and works with the research assistants as they code and enter the data. 






Lab Alumni

Ledina Imami received her Ph.D. in Social and Personality Psychology at Wayne State. She is now a post-doc in the lab of Dr. Christopher Agnew at Purdue University.


Dr. Julia Briskin received her Ph.D. in Social and Personality Psychology at Wayne State. She is now a post-doc at the University of Illinois.


Dr. Allison Farrell did her post-doc in the Close Relationships Lab and is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Miami University (Ohio).

Maria Alonso-Ferres is a doctoral student in Social Psychology at the University of Granada. She was a Visiting International Scholar in the Close Relationships Lab in fall 2018.

Dr. Sarah Stanton did her post-doc in the Close Relationships Lab and is now a Lecturer (tenured Assistant Professor) in the Department of Psychology at the University of Edinburgh.


Dr. Samuele Zilioli was a post-doc in the Close Relationships Lab and is now an Assistant Professor in the departments of Psychology and Family Medicine at Wayne State University.


Dr. Erin Tobin received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Wayne State  and is now a Senior Staff Psychologist at Henry Ford Health System.



Dr. Keith Welker received his Ph.D. at Wayne State and is now an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Boston.



Dr. Heidi Kane was a post-doc in the Close Relationships Lab and is now an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Dallas.



Dr. Peilian Chi was a post-doc in the Close Relationships Lab and is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Macau.


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