Since 1999, the research focus of clinical psychology and psychotherapy at the University of Zurich has been psychosocial stress and its biological links to health in various phases of life (prenatal, childhood, adolescence, and among adults up until old age). We examine stress in real-life situations and under laboratory conditions. Participants in our studies are healthy test subjects and patients with diverse psychiatric disorders and/or psychsomatic conditions.
In our research projects concerning the health of women over the age of 40, with a focus on middle age, we study the diverse ways in which women experience aging.
We take saliva samples and do blood tests in a biochemical laboratory to determine the genetic and hormonal markers of the various participants in the study. We use this information to figure out the individual physical specificities of each participant. These genetic and hormonal traits are then set in relation with the psychological characteristics and living conditions of each participant. This results in an entirely personal link between psyche, living conditions, and biology.
Serena Fiacco, Tim Lacker, and Laura Mernone are doctoral students at the Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at the University of Zurich, which is headed by Dr. Ulrike Ehlert. More