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Department of Psychology 

Dr. Siobhán Howard

B.A., PgCert, PhD.

Room R104

Tel: 00353 (0)61 204533

Email: siobhan.howard@mic.ul.ie

Take part in our research:

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). Siobhán joined the Department of Psychology in Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick as Lecturer in Psychology in August 2011.

Siobhán has published her research widely, in outlets such as Biological Psychology and Psychosomatic Medicine, and regularly presents her research at international conferences. She 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 to support her research.

Currently, Siobhán is the holder of a Irish Research Council New Horizons Research Project Award entitled Emotion Regulation and Cardiovascular Reactivity to Stress: Experimentally Manipulating the “Type D” Behavioural Profile. Through this award, she established a Cardiovascular Psychophysiology laboratory at Mary Immaculate College. She is also the holder of an Irish Research Council Award (with Dr Brendan O’Keeffe) to co-ordinate the European Social Survey Round 8 in Ireland.

To take part in Siobhán’s research or to find out more about her ongoing research project, please click here:

 
Research Interests

Siobhán’s main research interests lie in the areas of health, biological, and behavioral psychology. Her Ph.D. 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 16/17  

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

PS4178: Health Psychology
PS4717/PS4718: UGD supervisor

Administration

3rd year psychology co-ordinator
Student Status Committee

College Committee for Health Promotion

Joint BA (with UL) working group

Publications  

Sesker, A., Ó Súilleabháin, P.,  Howard, S., & Hughes, B. M. (2016). Conscientiousness and mindfulness in midlife coping: An assessment based on MIDUS II. Personality and Mental Health, 10, 29-42.

Gallagher, S., Howard, S., & Herffernan, M. (2015). Differential hemodynamic effects during the provision of active and passive support in the laboratory. Psychology & Health, 30, 1088-1102.

Higgins, E., Fitzgerald, J. & Howard, S. (2015).  An experimental evaluation of a reading recovery programme on literacy skills and reading self-concept. Educational Psychology in Practice, 31, 247-264.

O'Leary, É. D., Howard, S., Hughes, B. M., & James, J. E. (2015). Salivary alpha-amylase reactivity to laboratory social stress with and without acute sleep restriction. Journal of Psychophysiology, 29, 55-63.

Creaven, A-M., Skowron, E. A., Hughes, B. M., Howard, S., & Loken, E. (2014). Dyadic concordance in mother and pre-schooler resting cardiovascular function varies by risk status. Developmental Psychobiology, 56, 142-152.

Kaniasty, K., Buchwald, P., Howard, S., & Moore, K. A. (2014). Edited book. Stress and Anxiety: Application to occupations and education. Berlin: Logos Verlag.

Howard, S., & Hughes, B. M.  (2013). Type D personality is associated with impeded cardiovascular adaptation to recurrent stress in men. Biological Psychology, 94, 450-455

O’Leary, É. D., Howard, S., Hughes, B. M., & James, J. E. (2013). An experimental test of blunting using sleep-restriction as an acute stressor in Type D and non-Type D women. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 90, 37-43.

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

Griffin, S. (Ongoing). Emotional regulation and social variables and cardiovascular reactivity to stress. 

Sesker, A. (Ongoing). Conscientiousness and Cardiovascular Reactivity to Recurrent Acute Stress. [Primary Supervisor: Dr Brian M. Hughes, NUI Galway].

Ó Súilleabháin, P. (2016). 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].

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].

External Research Funding  

2016-2018: Irish Research Council Award. Co-ordination of the European Social Survey Round 8 (Co-PI with Dr Brendan O’Keeffe).

2015-2017: Irish Research Council New Horizons Research Project Award. Emotion regulation and cardiovascular reactivity to stress: Experimentally manipulating the “Type D” behavioural profile. REPRO/2015/39

2016: Royal Irish Academy Charlemont Award. Psychophysiological stress reactions in military veterans: Examining the moderating role of stressor context and Type D personality.

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.

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

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. 

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. 

Internal Research Funding

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 Pedagogy and Early Childhood Studies, Ms Johanna Fitzgerald, Department of Special Education]

2014: Mary Immaculate College Seed Funding. An investigation of the effectiveness of biofeedback training in reducing stress during microteaching. Seed Funding Award. [Primary investigator: Dr Kathleen Horgan, Department of Reflective Pedagogy and Early Childhood Studies. Colloborator: Dr Fíodhna Gardiner-Hyland, Department of Reflective Pedagogy and Early Childhood Studies].

Professional Membership

 

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

Acknowledgments

 

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