Psychological well-being and physical health in the context of our aging society

Date(s) - Thursday, October 21st, 2021
11:30 am - 12:30 pm

The Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center Seminar Series:

Eric S. Kim, PhD
Assistant Professor and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar
University of British Columbia

About the seminar: As our society ages rapidly, citizens, researchers, and policy-maker’s alike are seeking ways to help our population age well. Most biomedical, psychological, and public health efforts have focused on reducing harmful risk factors, and this approach has contributed greatly to prevention and treatment programs. However, expanding the focus to include upstream dimensions of psychological well-being (e.g., sense of purpose in life) may help inform the comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and multi-level response efforts needed to maximize healthy aging. Mounting evidence links different dimensions of psychological well-being with reduced risk of chronic diseases, yet, the underlying biobehavioral mechanisms are unclear. Without this understanding, a promising avenue of intervention cannot progress because we are unable to establish a causal role, or understand how intervening on psychological well-being might alter mechanistic pathways and physical health outcomes. In this talk, Eric Kim will describe a theoretical model for how psychological well-being may influence our physical health. He will discuss results from a series of studies evaluating associations between psychological well-being and chronic conditions, and mechanistic biobehavioral processes underlying these associations. Ultimately, Dr. Kim’s work aims to move the field forward by providing new directions for building a science of resilience and providing new targets for multi-level preventive and therapeutic interventions.

For more information, please contact Caitlin Hawke at [email protected].