Skip to main content
Faculty/Staff Resources
Search search
Mobile Search:
Jennifer E. Graham-Engeland
Professor of Biobehavioral Health
Associate Director, Center for Healthy Aging
Summary Statement

Jenn Graham-Engeland, Director of the MESH Lab, investigates the the associations between psychological stress and stress responses with physical health and well-being.

  • Biobehavioral Health - BBH
  • Research and Labs
+ See All - See Less
  • PhD - Social/Health Psychology from Stony Brook University
  • Postdoctoral work in Psychoneuroimmunology from The Ohio State University
+ See All - See Less
Currently Accepting Graduate Students
Office Address
231 Biobehavioral Health Building
University Park, PA 16802
Research Interests

Jennifer Graham-Engeland’s research program is aimed at better understanding the associations between psychological stress and stress responses with physical health and well-being. She examines a wide variety of potential mechanisms related to stress (e.g., psychological, behavioral, physiological) on different health-related outcomes).

  • Populations: emphasis on midlife and older adult health
  • Perspectives: social psychology; psychoneuroimmunology; stress and health theory
  • Outcomes: cardiovascular disease and related biomarkers (e.g., inflammation); cognitive performance; physical pain; mental health (e.g., depression); well-being (e.g., self-reported health; loneliness)
  • Key mechanisms and moderators:
    • emotion & affective/cognitive responses to stress (e.g., anger, rumination, meaning-making)

    • physiological changes related to stress and disease (e.g., inflammation)

    • sociocultural and environmental factors (e.g., relationship dynamics, discrimination)

    • individual differences (e.g., related to age, personality, and gender)

Grants and Research Projects
  • Depression, inflammation, biological age, and cognitive function
    • Project 2 of the Einstein Aging Study (EAS) Program project (P01 AG003949-38); 2022-2027
    • Project leaders Engeland and Graham-Engeland 
    • This project will provide new information about the unique, cumulative, and interactive impact of depression, inflammation, and age-related biological factors on risk for cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD). This project will also help determine reasons underlying disparities in ADRD risk that appear to exist by race and gender (including the role of discrimination and SES).
  • Effects of pandemic-related stressors on change in CVD risk: The Role of Universal Prevention. 
    • NIH R01 HL167642; 2023-2027
    • PIs: Graham-Engeland and Feinberg
    • This project extends the Family Foundations study to include a second and third wave of in-home data collection to determine which family-related and psychosocial stressors associated with the COVID-19 pandemic are most strongly linked to increases in biological CVD risk indicators among parents and children.
  • The role of loneliness in cognitive decline and risk for dementia
    • R03 AG081719 (2023-2025)
    • PI: Graham-Engeland
    • This project extends the Einstein Aging Program Project to examine how loneliness (reported via ecological momentary assessment as well as retrospectively) relates to cognitive function and decline in older adults.
  • Inflammatory Mediators of Stress and Cognitive Aging 
    • R01AG042595; 2012-2019
    • PIs: Graham-Engeland and Engeland
    • This project (data analyses ongoing) extended the longitudinal Effects of Stress on Cognitive Aging, Physiology, and Emotion (ESCAPE) study to include inflammation, and provided new information about how stress, affect, and rumination related to inflammatory profiles, HPA-axis indicators, and cognitive decline. 
  • Integrative Biobehavioral and Psychosocial Risk for Cognitive Decline in the Elderly
    • RF1AG056487; 2018-2023
    • PIs: Engeland and Graham-Engeland
    • This project (data analyses ongoing) built on the Einstein Aging Study (EAS) program project to investigate the role of negative and positive affect, inflammation, and lipid profiles on cognitive aging outcomes, and the impact of cumulative lifetime stress on associations between affect and inflammation with cognition.
  • For more ongoing projects, see website and/or CV