George Slavich

George Slavich
University of California, Los Angeles | UCLA · Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioural Sciences

PhD

About

201
Publications
49,301
Reads
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9,337
Citations
Introduction
My research group leverages ideas and methods from psychology, public health, neuroscience, immunology, molecular biology, genetics, and genomics to advance the science of stress and health to help prevent disease and improve human health and wellbeing. By addressing these issues, we aim to enhance individuals’ resilience to stress, and reduce the enormous impact that stress and disease have on human health worldwide. Website & publications at: https://www.uclastresslab.org.

Publications

Publications (201)
Article
Objective: Adolescent girls who grow up with mothers who are depressed are themselves highly vulnerable to developing depression (i.e., "intergenerational transmission of depression"). Stressor exposure is a strong risk factor for depression, and the transmission of depression risk from mothers to daughters is partly due to mothers experiencing mo...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) is an acute heart failure syndrome characterized by transient left ventricular dysfunction, increased myocardial biomarkers, and electrocardiographic changes. Symptoms of TTS are similar to those of acute coronary syndromes, but there is often no significant coronary stenosis. Although emotional and physical st...
Article
Background Although research has found that life stress is associated with reward-related brain activity, few studies have examined how cumulative stressors occurring over the entire lifetime affect reward processing during adolescence. Method To address this issue, we investigated how lifetime stressor exposure related to reward processing, index...
Article
Objective: Although substantial research has separately investigated forgiveness, rumination, and depression in the United States, few studies have investigated all three constructs in the same sample and we know of no studies that have examined how forgiveness, rumination, and depression are interrelated across cultures. Method: To address this...
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Full-text available
Although blunted sensitivity to reward is thought to play a key role in promoting risk for depression, most research on this topic has utilized monetary reward paradigms and focused on currently depressed adults. To address this issue, we analyzed neural reward and β-endorphin data from the Psychobiology of Stress and Adolescent Depression (PSY SAD...
Article
Subjective stress severity appraisals have consistently emerged as better predictors of poor health than stressor exposure, but the reason for this is unclear. Subjective stress may better predict poor health for one of at least two reasons. First, because stressor exposure measures consider all stressors as equal, stress severity measures—which “w...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Although characterizing associations between inflammation and depression may prove critical for informing theory, research, and treatment decisions, extant research has been limited by ignoring the possibility that inflammation may be simultaneously associated with depression broadly and with a subset of symptoms. This lack of direct co...
Article
Our objective was to examine associations between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and diabetes mellitus, including related conditions and preventive care practices. We used data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) 2009–2012, a cross-sectional, population-based survey, to assess ACEs, diabetes, and healthcare access in 1...
Article
Background Maternal exposure to adversity during pregnancy has been found to affect infant brain development; however, the specific effect of prenatal crime exposure on neonatal brain connectivity remains unclear. Based on existing research, we hypothesized that living in a high-crime neighborhood during pregnancy would affect neonatal frontolimbic...
Article
Full-text available
Uncertainty is inherent in most decisions humans make. Economists distinguish between two types of decision-making under non-certain conditions: those involving risk (i.e., known outcome probabilities) and those that involve ambiguity (i.e., unknown outcome probabilities). Prior research has identified individual differences that explain risk prefe...
Article
Prior research has struggled to differentiate cortisol stress response patterns reflective of well-regulated versus dysregulated hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis function among adolescents. Here, we show how exploring profiles of joint HPA– inflammatory stress responsivity, and linking those profiles to pubertal development and peer stress...
Article
Psychiatry stands to benefit from brief non-pharmacological treatments that effectively reduce depressive symptoms. To address this need, we conducted a single-blind randomized clinical trial assessing how a 6-day immersive psychosocial training program, followed by 10-minute daily psychosocial exercises for 30 days, improves depressive symptoms. F...
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One of the most recent and potentially promising advancements in the health sciences has involved the attempted use of psychedelics for treating mental and behavioral health problems, such as anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and addiction. Despite surging scientific and public interest in this work, however, we presently have no...
Article
Objective: Exposure to stressors in daily life and dysregulated stress responses are associated with increased risk for a variety of chronic mental and physical health problems, including anxiety disorders, depression, asthma, heart disease, certain cancers, and autoimmune and neurodegenerative disorders. Despite this fact, stress exposure and res...
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Full-text available
Objective: Although exposure to abuse in early life predicts earlier pubertal timing, especially for girls, it is unclear if this association generalizes to non-abuse stressors. Additionally, the impact of race on the stress-maturation association remains unknown. To address these issues, we examined whether race moderates the effects of early adv...
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Many of life’s most impactful experiences involve either social safety (e.g., acceptance, affiliation, belonging, inclusion) or social threat (e.g., conflict, isolation, rejection, exclusion). According to Social Safety Theory, these experiences greatly impact human health and behavior because a fundamental goal of the brain and immune system is to...
Article
Although Black American mothers and infants are at higher risk for morbidity and mortality than their White counterparts, the biological mechanisms underlying these phenomena remain largely unknown. To investigate the role that lifetime stressor exposure, perceived stressor severity, and systemic inflammatory markers might play, we studied how thes...
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Full-text available
There is increasing appreciation that certain biological processes may not be equally related to all psychiatric symptoms in a given diagnostic category. Research on the biological phenotyping of psychopathology has begun examining the etiological and treatment implications of identified biotypes; however, little attention has been paid to a critic...
Preprint
Importance: How maternal experiences of adversity/advantage during pregnancy impact the developing fetus remains unclear. Objective: Using prospective data about experiences of adversity/advantage and other factors known to impact fetal developmental, we explored how these risk and protective factors relate to each other and impact infant birth wei...
Article
Background Identifying mechanisms of major depressive disorder (MDD) that continue into remission is critical, as this may contribute subsequent depressive episodes. Biobehavioral markers related to depressogenic self-referential processing biases have been identified in depressed adults. Thus, we investigated whether these risk factors persisted d...
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Although many emerging adults feel lonely and struggle to gain status during the college transition, it remains unclear whether certain personality traits facilitate this transition. Using a longitudinal design, we investigated whether status‐related traits—namely, entitlement, intrasexual competitiveness, and dominance—related to the development o...
Article
Full-text available
There is increasing appreciation that certain biological processes may not be equally related to all psychiatric symptoms in a given diagnostic category. Research on the biological phenotyping of psychopathology has begun examining the etiological and treatment implications of identified biotypes; however, little attention has been paid to a critic...
Preprint
Uncertainty is inherent in most decisions humans make. Economists distinguish between twotypes of decision-making under non-certain conditions: those involving risk (i.e., knownoutcome probabilities) and those that involve ambiguity (i.e., unknown outcome probabilities).Prior work has identified individual differences that explain risk preferences,...
Article
Background: The global prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has increased markedly in recent decades. Given the scarcity of resources available to address global health challenges and respiratory medicine being relatively under-invested in, it is important to define research priorities for COPD globally. In this paper, we aim...
Article
Research has found that greater lifetime stressor exposure increases the risk for mental and physical health problems. Despite this, few studies have examined how stressors occurring over the entire lifespan affect sport performers’ health, well-being, and performance, partly due to the difficulty of assessing lifetime stressor exposure. To address...
Article
Full-text available
Hierarchies naturally emerge in social species, and judgments of status in these hierarchies have consequences for social relationships and health. Although judgments of social status are shaped by appearance, the physical cues that inform judgments of status remain unclear. The transition to college presents an opportunity to examine judgments of...
Article
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Background Although stress is a risk factor for mental and physical health problems, it can be difficult to assess, especially on a continual, non-invasive basis. Mobile sensing data, which are continuously collected from naturalistic smartphone use, may estimate exposure to acute and chronic stressors that have health-damaging effects. This initia...
Article
Objective The present study investigated the contribution of health risk factors (using the Charlson Comorbidity Index [CCI]) on cognitive outcomes in a sample of 380 HIV-positive (HIV+; n = 221) and HIV-seronegative (HIV−; n = 159) African American and European American adults aged 50+. Methods Participants were recruited from HIV clinics and com...
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Background The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to increases in anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, burnout, grief, and suicide, particularly for healthcare workers and vulnerable individuals. In some places, due to low vaccination rates and new variants of SARS-CoV-2 emerging, psychosocial strategies for remaini...
Article
Objectives:Although life stress has been associated with worse cognitive and psychiatric functioning, few studies on this topic have examined these associations in older adults and no studies to date have assessed lifetime stress exposure in this context. Method:To address this important issue, we investigated associations between lifetime stress e...
Article
Full-text available
Depression is a common, often recurrent disorder that causes substantial disease burden worldwide, and this is especially true for women following the pubertal transition. According to the Social Signal Transduction Theory of Depression, stressors involving social stress and rejection, which frequently precipitate major depressive episodes, induce...
Article
Objectives: Although the health consequences of life stress exposure in the general population are well known, how different stressors occurring over the lifetime cause morbidity and mortality in autism is unclear, as are the factors that moderate and mediate these associations. The few studies that have compared autistic and nonautistic individua...
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Full-text available
Introduction Although a considerable proportion of Asians in the USA experience depression, anxiety and poor sleep, these health issues have been underestimated due to the model minority myth about Asians, the stigma associated with mental illness, lower rates of treatment seeking and a shortage of culturally tailored mental health services. Indeed...
Article
This case report describes associations between childhood adversity, adult stress exposure, and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) to highlight the intersection between mental health and neurological illness in persons with MS (PwMS). We focus on a high-adversity, high-resource patient who self-referred to mental health services for depression and suicidal id...
Preprint
Full-text available
There is increasing appreciation that certain biological mechanisms may not be equally related to all psychiatric symptoms in a given diagnostic category. Research on the biological phenotyping of psychopathology has begun examining the etiological and treatment implications of identified biotypes; however, little attention has been paid to a criti...
Article
Full-text available
Stress is a significant risk factor for the development of major depressive disorder (MDD), yet the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Preclinically, adaptive and maladaptive stress-induced changes in glutamatergic function have been observed in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Here, we examine stress-induced changes in human mPFC glutamate...
Article
Life stress increases risk for multiple forms of psychopathology, in part by altering neural processes involved in performance monitoring. However, the ways in which these stress-cognition effects are influenced by the specific timing and types of life stressors experienced remains poorly understood. To address this gap, we examined how different s...
Article
Although stress strongly predicts life satisfaction, the psychosocial mechanisms underlying this association remain unclear. To investigate the possible mediating role of coping, we conducted a cross‐sectional study that assessed youths’ life stress levels; propensity to engage in active coping, internal coping, withdrawal; and life satisfaction in...
Article
Objective Ovarian cancer is characterized by poor prognosis, high levels of distress, disturbed sleep, and compromised quality of life (QOL). Although life stressors have been shown to significantly impact physical and psychological health in cancer populations, no studies have used a high‐resolution stress assessment to differentiate effects of ac...
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Full-text available
Objective: A sense of belonging-the subjective feeling of deep connection with social groups, physical places, and individual and collective experiences-is a fundamental human need that predicts numerous mental, physical, social, economic, and behavioural outcomes. However, varying perspectives on how belonging should be conceptualised, assessed,...
Article
Objective Although research has examined associations between socioeconomic status (SES), gender, and acute and chronic life stressors in depression, most studies have been conducted in Western, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic (WEIRD) populations. Method We addressed this issue by interviewing 65 adults (55 women, Mage = 37) living in M...
Article
Full-text available
Although stress is a strong risk factor for poor health, especially for women, it remains unclear how stress affects the key neurohormones cortisol and oxytocin, which influence stress-related risk and resilience. Whereas cortisol mediates energy mobilization during stress, oxytocin has anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, and analgesic effects that supp...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to widespread increases in mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. The development of these and other psychiatric disorders may be related to changes in immune, endocrine, autonomic, cognitive, and affective processes induced by a SARS-CoV-2 infection. Interestingly, many of these same changes can be...
Article
Research suggests that elite athletes are at increased risk of poor mental health, partly due to the intense demands associated with top-level sport. Despite growing interest in the topic, the factors that influence the mental health and well-being of elite athletes remain unclear. From a theoretical perspective, the accumulation of stress and adve...
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Losing a spouse is considered one of the most stressful life events a person can experience. Particularly in the immediate weeks and months after the loss, bereavement is associated with a significantly increased risk of morbidity and mortality. Despite an abundance of research aimed at identifying risk factors for adverse health outcomes following...
Article
Despite having an initial verbal memory advantage over men, women have greater rates of Alzheimer’s disease and more rapid cognitive decline once diagnosed. Moreover, although Alzheimer’s disease is influenced by inflammation, which itself has known sex differences, no study has investigated whether sex differences in memory are moderated by periph...
Article
This study examined how lifetime stress exposure and race are associated with first-birth intendedness, and whether these associations differ based on stress exposure timing. Greater lifetime stress exposure was related to increased first-birth intendedness for black women but was unrelated or even associated with decreased first-birth intendedness...
Book
Full-text available
Livro digital legalmente registrado, com ISBN, ficha catalográfica, revisão por pares e conselho editorial
Book
Full-text available
Livro digital voltado ao cultivo da compaixão nos cuidados intensivos de saúde em tempos de pandemia (legalmente registrado, com ISBN, ficha catalográfica, revisão por pares e conselho editorial).
Book
Full-text available
Livro digital voltado ao cultivo da compaixão nos cuidados intensivos de saúde em tempos de pandemia (legalmente registrado, com ISBN, ficha catalográfica, revisão por pares e conselho editorial).
Book
Full-text available
Livro digital voltado ao cultivo da compaixão nos cuidados intensivos de saúde em tempos de pandemia (legalmente registrado, com ISBN, ficha catalográfica, revisão por pares e conselho editorial).
Article
COVID-19 presents significant social, economic, and medical challenges. Because COVID-19 has already begun to precipitate huge increases in mental health problems, clinical psychological science must assert a leadership role in guiding a national response to this secondary crisis. In this article, COVID-19 is conceptualized as a unique, compounding...
Article
Significant childhood adversity and chronic life stress are highly prevalent in patients with severe obesity. Such stress has been found to increase risk of adulthood obesity by up to 50%, and it can also substantially degrade the effectiveness of evidence‐based treatments for this chronic disease condition. Despite general appreciation of these fa...
Article
Full-text available
The study investigated whether lifetime stress exposure is associated with greater impulsivity and addictive behavior. We also examined whether stress and impulsivity interactively predicted food addiction and alcohol-related behavior. Greater lifetime stress exposure was related to more impulsivity and food addictive behaviors, but not alcohol-rel...
Article
Background: Social isolation has shown robust associations with clinical outcomes in the general population and in patients with cancer. In patients with ovarian cancer, social isolation has been found to be related to decreased survival and multiple biomarkers supporting tumor progression. However, to the authors' knowledge, little is known regar...
Research
Full-text available
Material revisado, ampliado y diagramado en formato de folleto, incorporado por el Grupo de trabajo PsiCOVIDa, que se centra en la producción de contenido que puede ayudar en tiempos de pandemia.
Research
Full-text available
Material revisado, ampliado e diagramado em formato de cartilha, incorporado pela Força-Tarefa Nacional PsiCOVIDa, a qual se volta para a produção de conteúdos que possam auxiliar em tempos de pandemia.
Research
Full-text available
Revised, expanded, and diagrammed material in booklet format, incorporated by the PsiCOVIDa Task Force, which focuses on the production of content that can help in times of pandemic.
Preprint
Full-text available
Stress is a major risk factor for the development of mental illness, including major depressive disorder (MDD), yet the underlying biological mechanisms remain unclear. Particular challenges lie in disentangling adaptive versus maladaptive responses to repeated stress exposure. Preclinically, stress-induced changes in glutamatergic function have be...
Article
IMPORTANCE Recent estimates suggest that more than 50% of all deaths worldwide are currently attributable to inflammation-related diseases. Psychosocial interventions may represent a potentially useful strategy for addressing this global public health problem, but which types of interventions reliably improve immune system function, under what cond...
Research
Full-text available
Booklet produced in the context of the PsiCOVIDa Brazilian task force aimed at psychology professionals. This material aiming to offer some essential information, such as about the psychological first aid that can be offered by psychology in times of crisis. / How to cite: Ruff, L. P., Cazassa, M. J., Slavich, G. M., Oliveira, M. S. (2020). How psy...
Research
Full-text available
Booklet containing information for the community in general about some forms of psychology's contribution in times of crisis. / How to cite: Ruff, L. P., Cazassa, M. J. Slavich, G. M., Oliveira, M. S. (2020). How Psychology can help in moments of crisis: Information for Patients. Rio Grande do Sul: PsiCOVIDa, PUCRS. 1 p. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.29383....