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Department of Psychology 

Dr. Siobhán Howard

Dr. Siobhán Howard 

B.A., PgCert, PhD.

Room R104

Tel: 00353 (0)61 204533

Email: siobhan.howard@mic.ul.ie

 

Background

Siobhán Howard completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the School of Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway. Following completion of her Ph.D. in 2008, Siobhán began working as a postdoctoral researcher within the Centre for Research on Occupational and Life Stress (CROLS) and the School of Psychology, NUI Galway on a large-scale research project funded by the Health Research Board (HRB). This project, entitled “Experimental and cross-sectional analyses of sleep duration and negative mood on blood pressure reactivity and hemodynamic profile in young, working, and older adults” examined how sleep duration influenced psychological and physiological reactivity to stress in healthy adults.

Siobhán has published her research widely, in outlets such as Biological Psychology and Psychosomatic Medicine, and regularly presents her research at international conferences. She is the assistant editor of the Journal of Caffeine Research and sits on the board as secretary of the International Society for Stress and Anxiety Research (STAR). She has received funding from the HRB and the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences to support her research.
 
Siobhán joined the Department of Psychology in Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick as Lecturer in Psychology in August 2011.

Research Interests

Siobhán’s main research interests lie in the areas of health, biological, and behavioral psychology. Her Ph.D. entitled “Utility of the Type D personality in psychosomatic cardiovascular etiology: Effects on well-being and patterns of hemodynamic response to stress” examined the impact of psychosocial variables on cardiovascular reactivity in young adults. Since then, Siobhán has worked on a number of different research projects examining how stress affects our body’s physiological processes, looking at both cardiovascular and hormonal responses. Siobhán is particularly interested in how environmental factors, such as social context, and personality factors, such as neuroticism and extraversion, may influence a person’s physiological response to stressful situations.

Siobhán is interested in supervising research students to Masters or Doctoral level in these areas.  

Teaching 13/14  

PS4003: Research, Design, and Methodology I
PS4005: Research, Design, and Methodology II
PS4711: Introduction to Research Methods and Statistics I
PS4712: Introduction to Research Methods and Statistics II
PS4024: Information Technology and Psychology  

Administration

3rd year co-ordinator
Co-ordinator of the undergraduate dissertation in psychology (PS4717 and PS4718)
Student Status Committee
Chair of Department of Psychology Research Ethics Committee
Chair of Masters of Arts in Educational Psychology Ethics Committee  

Publications  

Howard, S., & Hughes, B. M.  (in press). Type D personality is associated with impeded cardiovascular adaptation to recurrent stress in men. Biological Psychology. 

O’Leary, É. D., Howard, S., Hughes, B. M., & James, J. E. (in press). An experimental test of blunting using sleep-restriction as an acute stressor in Type D and non-Type D women. International Journal of Psychophysiology.  

Creaven, A-M., Skowron, E. A., Hughes, B. M., Howard, S., & Loken, E. (in press). Dyadic concordance in mother and pre-schooler resting cardiovascular function varies by risk status. Developmental Psychobiology.

Creaven, A-M., Howard, S., & Hughes, B. M. (2013). Social support and trait personality are independently associated with resting cardiovascular function in women. British Journal of Health Psychology, 18, 556-573.

Kola, S., Walsh, J. C., Hughes, B. M., & Howard, S. (2013). Matching intra-procedural information with coping style reduces psychophysiological arousal in women undergoing colposcopy. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 36, 401-412.

O’Leary, E. D., Howard, S., & James, J. E. (2012). Sleep duration and health: Examining psychosomatic stress-related pathways. In K. A. Moore, K. Kaniasty, & Buckwald, P. (Eds.). Stress and Anxiety: Applications to economic hardship, occupational demands, and developmental challenges. Berlin: Logos Verlag.

James, J. E., Douglas Gregg, M. E., Matyas, T. A., Hughes, B. M., & Howard, S. (2012). Stress reactivity and the hemodynamic profile-compensation deficit (HP-CD) model of blood pressure regulation. Biological Psychology, 90, 161-170.

Hogan, M. J., James, J. E., Kilmartin, L., McCabe, T. R., & Howard, S. (2012). Cardiovascular reactivity of younger and older adults to positive-, negative-, and mixed-emotion cognitive challenge. Biological Psychology, 89, 553-561.

Howard, S., & Hughes, B. M. (2012). Benefit of social support for resilience-building is contingent on social context: Examining cardiovascular adaptation to recurrent stress in women.  Anxiety, Stress and Coping, 25, 411-423.

Kola, S., Walsh, J. C., Hughes, B. M., & Howard, S. (2012). Attention focus, trait anxiety, and pain perception in patients undergoing colposcopy. European Journal of Pain, 16, 890-900.

Howard, S., & Hughes, B. M. (2012). Construct, concurrent, and discriminant validity of Type D personality in the general population: Associations with anxiety, depression, stress, and cardiac output. Psychology and Health, 27, 242-258

Howard, S., Hughes, B. M., & James, J. E. (2011). Type D personality and hemodynamic reactivity to laboratory stress in women. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 80, 96-102.

Hughes, B. M., Howard, S., James, J. E., & Higgins, N. M. (2011). Individual differences in adaptation of cardiovascular response to stress. Biological Psychology, 86, 129-136.

Howard, S., & Hughes, B. M. (2010). Does the Type D personality affect health through stress-related psychosomatic pathways? In P. Buchwald & K. Moore (Eds), Stress and anxiety: Application to adolescence, job stress, and health.  Berlin: Logos Verlag.

Ferguson, E., Williams, L., O’Connor, R. C., Howard, S., Hughes, B. M. Johnston, D. W., et al. (2009). A taxometric analysis of Type-D personality. Psychosomatic Medicine, 71, 981-986.

Hughes, B. M., & Howard, S. (2009). Social support reduces resting cardiovascular function in women. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, 22, 537-548.

Howard, S., & Hughes, B. M. (2008). Expectancies, not aroma, explain impact of lavender aromatherapy on psychophysiological indices of relaxation in young healthy women. British Journal of Health Psychology, 13, 603-617.

Williams, L., O’Connor, R. C., Howard, S., Hughes, B. M., Johnston, D. W., Hay, J. L., et al. (2008). Type-D personality mechanisms of effect:  The role of health-related behavior and social support. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 64, 63-69. 

Doctoral Supervision

Ó Súilleabháin, P. (Ongoing). Openness to experience and cardiovascular reactivity to stress in the laboratory: An examination of different types of stressors. [Primary Supervisor: Dr Brian M. Hughes, NUI Galway].

Sesker, A. (ongoing). Conscientiousness and physiological reactivity to stress.

Doctoral Supervision Committees 

Creaven, A-M. (2012). Social support relationships with acquaintances or romantic partners: Do they differ in their impact on cardiovascular stress? School of Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway, PhD.  Funded by an IRCHSS Government of Ireland scholarship. [Supervisor: Dr Brian M. Hughes, NUI Galway].

Higgins, N. M. (2013). The causal role of interpretive bias in cardiovascular reactivity to stress: Influence of personality and psychosocial factors. School of Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway, PhD. Funded by a Centre for Research on Occupational and Life Stress PRTLI Scholarship, 2008–2012. [Supervisor: Dr Brian M. Hughes, NUI Galway].

Kola, S. (2010). Anxiety and pain perception during colposcopy: Prediction and intervention. School of Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway, PhD. Funded by a NUI Galway College of Arts Fellowship, 2004-2007. [Supervisor: Dr Jane C. Walsh, NUI Galway].

Lee, E. M. (2013). Change and stress: Social support and mental and physical well-being. School of Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway, PhD. Funded by a Centre for Research on Occupational and Life Stress PRTLI Scholarship, 2008–2012. [Supervisor: Dr Brian M. Hughes, NUI Galway].

O’Leary, É. D.(2013). Stressors in varying social contexts: Influence of sleep deprivation and negative affect on physiological responses. School of Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway, PhD. Funded by a Centre for Research on Occupational and Life Stress PRTLI Scholarship, 2008–2012. [Primary Supervisor: Prof Jack E. James, Reykjavík University, Iceland: Co-supervisor: Dr Brian M. Hughes, NUI Galway].

Grants 

2003: National University of Ireland, Galway. Utility of the Type D personality in psychosomatic cardiovascular etiology: Effects on well-being and patterns of hemodynamic response to stress. Postgraduate Research Fellowship. 

2005: Government of Ireland Scholarship from the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS). Utility of the Type D personality in psychosomatic cardiovascular etiology: Effects on well-being and patterns of hemodynamic response to stress. Postgraduate Research Fellowship. 

2009: Health Research Board, Summer Student Scholarships (2), with B. M. Hughes. 

2011: Government of Ireland, Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS). Utility of novel hybrid personality typologies in explaining adjustment to stress: The case of the “Type D” personality. Mentor: Dr Brian Hughes.

2012: Mary Immaculate College Seed Funding. Type D personality and Health: Gender Differences in Psychophsyiological Responses to Stress.

2013: Mary Immaculate College Seed Funding. Stress in college students on work-placements: A comparison of stress levels experienced by students of teaching, medicine, and engineering. Seed Funding Award [Collaborators: Dr Emer Ring, Dr Fíodna Gardiner-Hyland, Department of Reflective Pedogogy and Early Childhood Studies, Ms Johanna Fitzgerald, Department of Special Education]

 

Professional Membership

 

American Psychosomatic Society (APS)
Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI)
Stress and Anxiety Research Society (STAR)

 

QUICK LINKS
GATEWAYS
Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Tel: +35361 204300