InCHIP Lecture Series: Tamara Afifi 3/1/18

Please join us for our next event in the Spring 2018 InCHIP Lecture Series!

 “The Theory of Resilience and Relational Load: Implications for Families and Health”

Tamara Afifi, PhD
University of California, Santa Barbara
Thursday March 1, 2018
12:30 – 1:30pm

To attend this lecture, please RSVP


Resilience is one of the most profound constructs across disciplines. Yet, the largely atheoretical nature of the research on resilience continues to make it elusive. This talk discusses a new theory of stress and resilience in close relationships—the Theory of Resilience and Relational Load (TRRL)–that fills this void in the literature. The theory bridges communicative, perceptual, and physiological aspects of stress within the context of social relationships to explain personal/relational risk, resilience and thriving. The TRRL examines how relational partners’ and family members’ communal orientation and maintenance of their relationships on a daily basis influence their communication during stressful moments, as well as their appraisals of the stress. The theory also details how these communication patterns and appraisals influence personal and relational health and adaptation. Finally, the concept of relational load is set forth, which is the wear and tear that chronic stress and depletion of one’s emotional, psychological and relational resources through repeated, stress-related conversations can have on relationships. Ultimately, people need to continually invest in their relationships to prevent relational load and foster resilience and possible thriving. The origination of the theory, which surfaced largely from Dr. Afifi’s work with families experiencing the Great Recession, will be also discussed. Finally, she will talk about the first test of the theory in the context of families with a child with type I diabetes.

Co-Sponsored By:

  • UConn Allied Health Sciences
  • UConn Center for the Study of Culture, Health and Human Development
  • UConn Center for Environmental Health and Health Promotion
  • UConn College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • UConn Department of Communication
  • UConn Department of Human Development and Family Studies
  • UConn School of Business
  • UConn School of Medicine
  • UConn School of Social Work

For directions and maps, see directions to InCHIP.  Accessibility: elevator available in the building lobby on the ground floor.

Livestream Access
View the live stream of the lecture via the InCHIP website, or view it later in our archives.


About the InCHIP Lecture Series
The InCHIP Lecture Series provides an invaluable forum for researchers – at InCHIP, throughout the UConn community and beyond – to learn about new work in development by leading figures in health behavior change. The InCHIP Lecture Series also provides a venue for researchers to share late-breaking findings and identify emerging trends in health behavior research. For the current semester schedule, visit InCHIP 2017 – 2018 Lecture Series.