Fully Funded PhD Scholarship in Psychology

University of Sheffield - Psychology

This is one of many projects in competition for the current funding opportunities available within the Department of Psychology

Project title: Attachment style and relation to health and coping in adults

Primary supervisor: Dr Jilly Martin

Co-supervisor/s: Dr A Millings

Project description:  Different attachment styles are known to be associated with differences in cognition, affect, and behaviour with regard to close relationships in adults. These individual differences are also known to affect how people deal with threatening situations. People with insecure attachment styles tend to have poorer coping abilities. In relation to health and illness, research has found links between attachment styles and the way in which people cope with illnesses such as HIV/AIDS (Gore-Felton, 2013), diabetes (Ciechanowski et al., 2001; 2004),  arthritis (Sirois & Gick, 2014), and irritable bowel disease (Gick & Sirois, 2010). Research has also found that attachment styles can affect adherence to treatment (Bennet, Fuertes, Keitel & Philips, 2011; Ciechanowski et al., 2004).

While attachment styles are relatively resistant to change in the longer term, experimental research has shown that positive short term effects can be achieved on various outcome measures by priming attachment security. For example, priming attachment security can increase positive relationship expectations (Rowe & Carnelley, 2003), increase pain tolerance (Rowe et al., 2012) reduce attachment anxiety (Carnelley & Rowe, 2007), and reduce anxious and depressed mood (Carnelley et al., 2015). In this project, we would like to explore whether priming attachment security could improve coping with a chronic illness.

Key references:

Carnelley, Ottway, Rowe (2015) The Effects of Attachment Priming on Depressed and Anxious Mood. Clinical Psychological Science, doi: 10.1177/2167702615594998

Ciechanowski PS, Katon WJ, Russo JE, Walker EA. (2001) The patient-provider relationship: attachment theory and adherence to treatment in diabetes. American Journal of Psychiatry, 158, 29-35

Start date: 1 October 2018

Requirements:  Applicants must have a minimum of a first class or high upper second-class undergraduate honours degree and a distinction or high merit at Masters level in psychology or a related discipline.

Funding: Tuition fees £4194 per year Living Expenses £14,500.00

Science Graduate School

As a PhD student in one of the science departments at the University of Sheffield, you'll be part of the Science Graduate School. You'll get access to training opportunities designed to support your career development by helping you gain professional skills that are essential in all areas of science. You'll be able to learn how to recognise good research and research behaviour, improve your communication abilities and experience the breadth of technologies that are used in academia, industry and many related careers. Visit www.sheffield.ac.uk/sgs to learn more.

Closing date for applications is 5pm Wednesday 24 January 2018

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Northern England