Stephen Gallagher

Stephen Gallagher
University of Limerick | UL · Centre for Social Issues Research

PhD

About

153
Publications
32,961
Reads
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3,024
Citations
Citations since 2017
86 Research Items
2353 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500
Additional affiliations
January 2014 - present
University of Limerick
Position
  • Lecturer in Psychology

Publications

Publications (153)
Article
Full-text available
This study aims to examine whether the association between life satisfaction and depressive symptoms in young carers was moderated by social participation. Cross-sectional data were extracted from the 7th wave of the European Social Survey. Our sample included 673 young carers and 1606 non-carers (aged 14–18 years) drawn from 21 participating count...
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The aim of this paper was generating a short form of the Positive Traits Inventory (PTI-5-SF) by means of three consecutive studies, using a cross-sectional design. The first study tested the psychometric properties of the shorter version of PTI-5. Results showed that a 25-item scale was appropriate to capture the five positive traits of the Positi...
Article
Blunted cardiovascular reactivity is associated with a distinct behavioural profile of greater exposure to early life adversity, coupled with higher levels of behavioural disengagement and symptoms of depression. The present study sought to extend on this work by investigating if behavioural clusters with distinct patterns of reactivity were relate...
Article
This study examined associations between receiving and giving support, and their imbalance on depression symptoms in adolescents. Our sample included 2,111 young adolescents drawn from 6th Wave European Social Survey who completed measures of social support and the Centre for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D). A hierarchical linear regressio...
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People with depression often struggle with Christmas. The festive period is often associated with parties, social engagement, putting up Christmas trees among other behaviours. Here, in a large UK population level dataset, we examine whether higher depressive symptomatology was associated with frequency of sending Christmas cards, and if this varie...
Article
Life event stress has been associated with blunted cardiovascular reactivity to acute psychological stress. However, recent studies have suggested that blunted reactivity to stress only arises when the laboratory tasks are not personally salient to the individual. We re‐analyzed data from 136 healthy young adults where we had previously reported a...
Article
Rationale The slow and insidious effects of income inequality on health means that their effects can be difficult to reveal, taking many years to become apparent. These effects can also be experienced differently according to subjective status and ethnicity making the relation between income inequality and health difficult to understand. Cardiovasc...
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Background Substantial evidence shows that meeting physical activity guidelines is important for disease prevention, promoting physical and mental health and quality of life. In Ireland, only 38% of older adults are sufficiently active to meet the guidelines. The primary aim of this research was to conduct a feasibility study of the Move for Life i...
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Autism evidence-based practices (EBPs) are those with demonstrated improved outcomes for students with autism across a range of skill areas, yet issues persist in adopting these in classroom settings- particularly in general education (GE) settings. This research aimed to identify teacher training, years of experience, access to allied professional...
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Background Physical activity (PA) is an important component in the management of people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (1). Interventions incorporating Behaviour Change (BC) theory are needed to target physically inactive people with RA. The study Physiotherapist-led Intervention to Promote Physical Activity in Rheumatoid Arthritis (PIPPRA) was des...
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Background Physical activity is an important component in the management of people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) [1]. A Physiotherapist-led Intervention to Promote Physical Activity in people with RA (PIPPRA) was undertaken using the Behaviour Change Wheel, with the aim of examining the feasibility of promoting physical activity in RA. This qualit...
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Background There is considerable evidence documenting associations between early life adversity, behavioral disengagement, and depression with blunted cardiovascular reactivity to acute psychological stress. However, while often examined as independent predictors, it is also likely that a combination of these factors uniquely relate to cardiovascul...
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Tobacco smoking has been associated with lower cardiovascular reactivity to psychological stress in middle-aged samples, but its impact on cardiovascular reactivity to stress in young adults remains unclear. The present study examined whether young healthy adults showed differing cardiovascular stress reaction profiles depending on their smoking st...
Article
Novel research demonstrates that lower or "blunted" cardiovascular reactions to stress are associated with a range of adverse outcomes. The aim of the current review was (1) to examine the prospective outcomes predicted by blunted cardiovascular reactivity and (2) to identify a range of blunted cardiovascular reaction levels that predict these outc...
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Background Recent research has suggested that psychosocial factors influence the antibody response to vaccine, including SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) vaccines. Here we investigated whether social cohesion and loneliness were predictive of antibody response to a single dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. We also tested if the association between social cohesion an...
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Loneliness has been linked to cardiovascular health outcomes in older adulthood. One proposed mechanism by which loneliness influences cardiovascular health is through atypical cardiovascular reactivity (CVR) to stress. This study is an examination of loneliness and CVR in older adults, comparing associations across two stressors and two commonly u...
Article
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Background: Understanding the experiences of people with MS taking part in physical activity interventions is critical to inform future interventions. Aim: The aim was to gain insight into the experiences of people with MS taking part in a behavior change group physical activity intervention with a novel social cognitive theory component. Metho...
Article
Objective This study examines if Type D personality is (1) associated with cardiovascular reactivity to acute stress in a healthy sample, and (2) has predictive utility for cardiovascular reactivity above its individual subcomponents (negative affect; NA, social inhibition; SI), as well as anxiety and depression. Design Undergraduate students (n =...
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Background Care is regularly provided on an informal basis by family and friends and it is well established that caregivers experience high rates of depression. The majority of research on caregivers tends to focus on older, full-time caregivers, with less attention paid to working caregivers (in paid employment). The aim of this study is to explor...
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Most adults do not meet physical activity guidelines with negative implications for health. The aim of this study was to profile adults using multiple physical activity behaviours and to investigate associations with chronic conditions, multi-morbidity and healthcare utilisation. The study used data generated from a sample of adults aged 45 years a...
Article
Abstract Objective: The pathways underlying the early life adversity and cardiovascular reactivity association remain unclear. The current study examined the role of current depressive symptoms on this relationship. Methods: Mediation analyses were conducted using data from 639 participants drawn from the Midlife Development in the United States (M...
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Objectives This study examined whether social network size and allostatic load (AL) mediated the association between multiple group membership (MGM) and future physical and psychological well-being. Methods A longitudinal design was used and data from 1026 healthy participants on the relevant variables was extracted from Wave 2(2010−12), Wave 3 (2...
Article
The psychological pathways linking depression to blunted cardiovascular reactivity (CVR) are still being elucidated. The purpose of the present study was to test whether the association between eveningness, a diurnal/sleep-wake preference and CVR would be mediated by depressive symptoms. One hundred and eighty-two healthy young adults completed mea...
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Background Caring for sick or disabled relatives is a key model for understanding the effects of chronic stress on immunity/inflammation; biomarkers which are part of an index of allostatic load. Here, we examine whether caring and allostatic load are predictive of future illness/disability and if the association between caring and illness/disabili...
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Background During the COVID-19 pandemic increased risk of poor mental health has been evident across different cultures and contexts. This study aims to examine whether allostatic load (AL) prior to the pandemic was predictive of poor mental health during the pandemic, and if any associations were moderated by neuroticism. Methods Data were extrac...
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Despite well-known benefits of physical activity, in Ireland only 38% of older adults are sufficiently active. Behavioural interventions are rarely developed systematically and, when reported, inadequate description often becomes a barrier for subsequent replication and scalability. In this article, we describe the development and characteristics o...
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A growing body of research suggests that inequality can be stressful for all within a society. We consider this assertion by exploring whether there is evidence of physiological stress responses to different income and inequality conditions in a hypothetical society. The combined effect of inequality for different income groups on cardiovascular re...
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Background The PIPPRA (Physiotherapist-led Intervention to Promote Physical Activity in Rheumatoid Arthritis) project is a feasibility project examining the impact of a physical activity behaviour change intervention in people who have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The PIPPRA study recruitment commenced in October 2019, with participant assessment and...
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Background : Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has had a significant impact on clinical research. This paper aims to provide an insight into how the COVID-19 pandemic, associated public health restrictions and international guidance on the conduct of clinical research impacted two clinical rheumatology research trials - the Physiotherapist-led In...
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The pathways linking gratitude to cardiovascular reactivity (CVR) to acute stress are not fully understood. We examine whether this association is mediated by social support. Healthy adults (N = 178) completed measures of trait gratitude and perceived social support and participated in a standardised mental arithmetic and speech stress testing prot...
Preprint
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This study examined general education (GE) teachers use of EBPs, and the impact that teacher training, knowledge of EBPs, attitudes towards EBPs and barriers to EBPs have on teacher's use of EBPs.
Preprint
This study examined general education (GE) teachers use of EBPs, and the impact that teacher training, knowledge of EBPs, attitudes towards EBPs and barriers to EBPs have on teacher's use of EBPs.
Article
Full-text available
The pathways linking giving and receiving emotional and instrumental social support, and cardiovascular reactivity (CVR) are not yet fully understood. Eight-two healthy young adults completed psychometric measures of giving and receiving emotional and instrumental social support and participated in a standardised laboratory stress task. Cardiovascu...
Article
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While the benefits of social support for physiological health are well established, the underlying pathways by which support can influence cardiovascular reactivity (CVR) are still being elucidated. In the present study, we adapted an attachment framework to further explore the support-CVR link. Specifically, we experimentally tested the effect of...
Preprint
This research was conducted with mainstream school teachers in the Republic of Ireland to examine their use and knowledge of EBPs for students with autism.
Preprint
This research was conducted with mainstream school teachers in the Republic of Ireland to examine their use and knowledge of EBPs for students with autism.
Article
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Personality is associated consistently with mortality hazards, but the physiological pathways are not yet clear. Immune system dysregulation may be one such pathway due to its role in age-related morbidity and mortality. In this preregistered study, we tested whether interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP) mediated the associations betwee...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract Personality is associated consistently with mortality hazards, but the physiological pathways are not yet clear. Immune system dysregulation may be one such pathway due to its role in age-related morbidity and mortality. In this preregistered study, we tested whether interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP) mediated the associatio...
Article
Purpose Feelings of loneliness are likely to exacerbate risk of depression in people living with cancer during COVID-19. Design and Methods Five hundred and eighteen people with cancer with data extracted from two waves (2017–19 and April 2020) of the Understanding Society UK dataset participated. Findings An increased risk of depression was obse...
Article
Positive affect is associated with more adaptive responses to psychological stress. However, few studies have examined the association between gratitude, a specific type of positive affect, with physiological responses to acute psychological stress. The current study aimed to replicate and extend on previous work examining the associations between...
Article
Recent theoretical developments in cardiovascular reactivity research suggest the association between depression and blunted reactions to stress is linked to motivational factors. Thus, the present study aimed to test whether the association between depressive symptoms and cardiovascular reactivity to acute stress was mediated by motivation; be it...
Article
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Background Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is likely to exacerbate the symptoms of poor mental health in family caregivers. Aims To investigate whether rates of depressive symptomatology increased in caregivers during COVID-19 and whether the unintended consequences of health protective measures, i.e., social isolation, exacerbated this risk....
Article
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Introduction: Physical inactivity among adults aged 50 years and over is a worldwide health concern. The objectives of the study were to investigate the perspectives of those involved with existing physical activity programmes on optimising recruitment, sustainability and scalability of physical activity programmes for adults aged 50 years and ove...
Article
Type D personality has been consistently associated with adverse cardiovascular health with atypical cardiovascular reactions to psychological stress one potential underlying mechanism. As Type D individuals have been noted to report lower social support and greater perceptions of negativity in social interactions, this study examined if the associ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: COVID-19 is likely to exacerbate the symptoms of poor mental health family caregivers. To investigate whether rates of depression increased in caregivers during COVID-19 and whether the unintended consequences of health protective measures, i.e., social isolation, exacerbated this risk. Another aim was to see if caregivers accessed any...
Article
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This study tested two hypotheses of associations between dimensions of social connectedness and cardiovascular reactivity to acute stress: (1) high social support predicts diminished cardiovascular responses to stress (i.e., the stress-buffering model of social support), and (2) diminished cardiovascular responses predict lower social participation...
Article
Recent research suggests that gratitude is associated with better cardiovascular health. Here, we investigated whether trait and/or state gratitude was associated with cardiovascular responses to acute stress. Eighty-six young adults completed measures of gratitude and had their cardiovascular responses monitored throughout a standardised stress te...
Article
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Background and Objective: Type D personality has been associated with increased perceptions of stress. As Type D individuals have been noted to report lower social support and greater perceptions of negativity in social interactions, this study examined if the association between Type D personality and life events stress was mediated by these socia...
Article
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The Building Resources in Caregivers (BRiC) is a pilot feasibility trial that compared the effects of a 2‐week benefit finding writing expressive intervention to a control intervention, who wrote about the weather. Caregivers completed primary (benefit finding) and secondary (quality of life, depression and anxiety) outcome measures at pre (t1), im...
Article
While hospital admissions for cardiac causes on a population level appear to rise when the national team is playing in a sporting fixture, little research has examined cardiovascular reactions in spectators watching a sporting event. In a sample of 41 male supporters of a rugby team, all of whom had played the sport themselves, cardiovascular level...
Article
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It is well established that stressful life events (e.g., family bereavements or moving to a new country) are damaging to psychological health and well‐being. Indeed, social relationships are often noted as an important factor that can influence well‐being and buffer the negative effects of stress. However, the quality and source of these relationsh...
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Type D personality has been consistently associated with adverse cardiovascular health with atypical cardiovascular reactions to psychological stress one plausible underlying mechanism. However, whether this varies by sex and social context has received little attention. This study examined the interaction between Type D personality, sex and social...
Article
Recent research has suggested that diminished, as well as elevated reactivity to acute psychological stress is maladaptive. These differences in stress reactions have been hypothesised to relate to the Big Five personality traits, which are said to be biologically-based and stable across adulthood; however, findings have been inconclusive. This stu...
Article
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To understand the influence of social relationships on cardiovascular responses to stress, the present study investigated perceived affectionate support as a mediating variable explaining the association between specific attachment bonds (i.e., mother, father, partner, best friend) and cardiovascular reactivity (CVR). Utilizing a standardized stres...
Article
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Unemployment has been associated with poorer health, but few studies have examined the biological mechanisms that confer these health decrements. Further, no studies to date have examined differences across employment groups to consider whether employment (in whatever means) is preferential in terms of health. The present study utilised secondary d...
Article
Older caregivers of dementia patients have been studied as a model of chronic stress influencing psychological and physical well-being and the function of the immune system. These immune decrements can relate to altered stress hormone levels, and caregivers show elevated or reduced cortisol compared to age-matched controls as well as dysregulation...
Article
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Background: There is overwhelming evidence to support the promotion of physical activity in adults in terms of benefits to well-being, physical and mental health. Physical activity guidelines suggest that adults should accumulate at least 150 min of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week. In Ireland, the majority of adults do not achieve...
Article
Full-text available
OBJECTIVE: To examine the predictive value of social and emotional loneliness for all-cause mortality in the oldest-old who do, and do not live alone and to test whether these varied by functional status and personality. METHODS: Participants were 413 older adults from the Berlin Aging Study (M ± SD = 84.53 ± 8.61 years of age) who either lived alo...
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Objective The present review synthesized the available empirical evidence to provide support of the effectiveness and feasibility of exercise interventions for improving health and fitness of firefighters. Methods Nine randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published before May 2018 were located using Google Scholar, MEDLINE, PsychINFO, PubMed, and W...
Article
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Objective: To examine the predictive value of social and emotional loneliness for all-cause mortality in the oldest-old who do, and do not live alone and to test whether these varied by functional status and personality. Methods: Participants were 413 older adults from the Berlin Aging Study (M ± SD = 84.53 ± 8.61 years of age) who either lived al...
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Full-text available
Link to full text online: http://rdcu.be/w4yl Background: Despite their unprecedented popularity, the psychological mechanisms through which gratitude journals operate are poorly understood. Also the use of gratitude journaling to enhance social relationships has been neglected in past research, despite the importance of healthy relationships for...
Article
University poses unique challenges surrounding disclosure for students living with type 1 diabetes, with implications for social support and self-management. Semi-structured interviews with students and peer interviewers living with type 1 diabetes explored university experiences of disclosure and social support. Thematic analysis identified three...
Article
Predictors of depression over time were examined in parental carers of children with developmental disabilities (DD) and parents of typically developing children (controls) who participated in the Growing up in Ireland Study. Parents completed measures of depression, the Centre for Epidemiological Depression Scale (CES-D) and child problem behaviou...
Article
Loneliness is connected to poorer health outcomes with stress reactivity proposed as an underlying mechanism. The present study explored whether the relationship between loneliness and cardiovascular reactivity (CVR) varies across acute psychological stress tasks. Eighty-eight healthy younger adults completed a psychometric measure of loneliness an...
Article
The present study investigated the possible interaction between life events stress and personality in predicting cardiovascular stress responses. Participants (N = 184) completed psychometric measures of life event stress and personality styles and had cardiovascular responses monitored during a standardised stress testing protocol. In adjusted mod...
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Objective: To investigate the bivariate correlations between objective physical activity (PA), self-efficacy, and a range of multiple sclerosis (MS) symptom measures. Also, to determine whether any MS symptom measures moderate the relationship between self-efficacy and PA. Method: Baseline analysis from a randomized control trial exercise plus a...
Article
Objective: To systematically review the literature on behavioural interventions for people with Multiple Sclerosis (pwMS) that aim to change physical activity (PA) behaviour. To explore if these interventions are clinically-effective in improving PA, theory-based and employ established behaviour change techniques (BCTs). Data sources: A systemat...
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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, inflammatory condition which may cause pain, stiffness and fatigue. People who have RA have reduced levels of physical activity due to these symptoms. Interventions targeting physical activity behaviour in this population have had limited efficacy. This paper describes a protocol for a pilot randomised contro...
Article
Physiological reactivity to acute stress has been proposed as a potential biological mechanism by which loneliness may lead to negative health outcomes such as cardiovascular disease. This review was conducted to investigate the association between loneliness and physiological responses to acute stress. A series of electronic databases were systema...
Article
Objective: This study examined the effect of a reflective interpersonal gratitude journal, a reflective-behavioral interpersonal gratitude journal and an active control journal, on primary qualities of well-being and depression. Method: Participants (n = 192; 67.2% female) completed this 3-month longitudinal randomized controlled design. Result...
Article
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Objective To investigate feasibility of multiple sclerosis (MS) exercise guidelines for inactive people with MS (PwMS) and to examine preliminary efficacy for walking. To investigate effect of augmenting that intervention with education based on social cognitive theory (SCT). Design Pilot multicentre, double-blind, randomised, parallel, controlled...
Article
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Purpose: Evidence supports that physical activity (PA) improves symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Although application of principles from Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) may facilitate positive changes in PA behaviour among people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS), the constructs often explain limited variance in PA. This study investigated the exte...
Article
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Background Recent exercise guidelines for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) recommend a minimum of 30 min moderate intensity aerobic exercise and resistance exercise twice per week. This trial compared the secondary outcomes of a combined 10-week guideline based intervention and a Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) education programme with the same ex...
Article
Background: Researchers have consistently documented the relationship between optimism and benefit finding; however, there is a dearth of research on the psychological mechanisms mediating their association. Aim: This cross-sectional study sought to elucidate the mediating role of positive reappraisal and social support in the optimism-benefit f...