Tara Gruenewald is an Associate Professor and Chair of Psychology who joined the Chapman faculty in the Fall of 2017. She is a social and health psychologist with additional specialization in lifespan development, aging, and public health. Her research explores social risk (e.g., social stressors, social adversity, low socioeconomic status) and resilience (e.g., social support, social engagement, social connection) factors that shape mental well-being, cognitive and physical functioning and health, physiological health, and morbidity and mortality. Of particular interest are the cognitive, affective, and biological pathways through which these social risk and resilience factors are linked to health and well-being outcomes. Her work utilizes multiple methods in advancing our theoretical and empirical understanding of these associations including longitudinal cohort studies, daily experience sampling techniques, naturalistic and lab-based experiments, surveys, and randomized controlled trials.
In addition to her science, she is passionate about opportunities for leadership and service which promote health psychology, psychosomatic medicine, and biopsychosocial approaches to health, as well as the fields of psychology and aging. She has served as an officer and a member of the leadership boards of the American Psychosomatic Society and the California Council on Gerontology and Geriatrics, as well as serving as a member of committees, working groups, and advisory boards for other professional societies (e.g., the Gerontological Society of America, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Harvard University Lee Kum Seung Center for Health and Happiness). She is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and the American Psychosomatic Society and a member of the American Psychological Association Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology.