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Chris Dunkel Schetter

Chris Dunkel Schetter

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Chris Dunkel Schetter received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Northwestern University in 1982. Her doctoral research, on social support and cancer, was based on a theoretical analysis of the interpersonal dynamics of cancer published with Camille Wortman.

Dr. Dunkel Schetter was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow under the sponsorship of Richard Lazarus at the University of California at Berkeley. There she worked on a McArthur Foundation project on stress and coping in middle-aged adults, and published research on the determinants of social support and on coping with Folkman and Lazarus. In the past ten years, she has also studied social support processes in diabetics, persons with AIDS, victims of sexual assault, medical students, and undergraduates. In 1983, she joined the faculty at UCLA. At UCLA, she is the Director of the Health Psychology training program for pre and postdoctoral research fellows. The program focuses on biological and behavioral issues in physical and mental health and has been funded by NIMH for over 20 years.

At UCLA, Dr. Dunkel-Schetter has conducted several large, collaborative extramurally-funded projects on the effects of maternal stress and social support on birth outcomes, and has published a coauthored book on psychological adjustment to infertility. Her prospective studies of prenatal stress and birth examine various risk factors for adverse birth outcomes and several mechanisms by which risk factors lead to the etiology of low birth weight and preterm delivery including behavioral and neuroendocrine mechanisms.

Dr. Dunkel-Schetter is a Fellow of APA, APS, and the Society of Behavioral Medicine and is a member of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology. She was an Associate Editor of Health Psychology from 1991 to 1994 and has served on the editorial boards of several journals including Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Basic and Applied Social Psychology, Anxiety, Stress and Coping: An International Journal.

Primary Interests:

  • Close Relationships
  • Culture and Ethnicity
  • Health Psychology
  • Interpersonal Processes

Journal Articles:

  • Feldman, P. J., Dunkel-Schetter, C., Sandman, C. A., & Wadhwa, P. D. (2000). Maternal social support predicts birth weight and fetal growth in human pregnancy. Psychosomatic Medicine, 62(5), 715-725.
  • Wadhwa, P. D., Dunkel-Schetter, C., Chicz-DeMet, A., Porto, M., & Sandman, C. A. (1996). Prenatal psychosocial factors and the neuroendocrine axis in human pregnancy. Psychosomatic Medicine, 58(5), 432-446.
  • Rini, C. K., Dunkel-Schetter, C., Sandman, C. A., & Wadhwa, P. D. (1999). Psychological adaptation and birth outcomes: The role of personal resources, stress, and sociocultural context in pregnancy. Health Psychology, 18(4), 333-345.
  • Tatsugawa, Z., Fox, M. A., Fang, C., Novak, J., Cantor, R., Bass, H., Dunkel-Schetter, C., Crandall, B. F., & Grody, W. W. (1994). Education and testing strategy for large-scale cystic fibrosis carrier screening. Journal of Genetic Counseling, 3(4), 279-289.
  • Schwarzer, R., Dunkel-Schetter, C., & Kemeny, M. (1994). The multi-dimensional nature of received social support in gay men at risk of HIV infection and AIDS. American Journal of Community Psychology, 22(3), 319-339.
  • Lydon, J., & Dunkel-Schetter, C. (1994). Seeing is committing: A longitudinal study of bolstering commitment in amniocentesis patients. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 20(2), 218-227.
  • Collins, N. L., Dunkel-Schetter, C., Lobel, M., & Scrimshaw, S. C. (1993). Social support in pregnancy: Psychosocial predictors of birth outcomes and postpartum depression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 1243-1258.
  • Cohan, C. L., Dunkel-Schetter, C., & Lydon, J. (1993). Pregnancy decision-making: Early predictors of stress and adjustment. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 17, 223-239.
  • Lydon, J., Dunkel-Schetter, C., Cohan, C. L., & Pierce, T. (1996). Pregnancy decision making as a significant life event: A commitment approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71(1), 141-151.

Other Publications:

  • Dunkel-Schetter, C., Sagrestano, L., Feldman, P., & Killingsworth, C. (1996). Social support and pregnancy: A comprehensive review focusing on ethnicity and culture. In G. Pierce, B. Sarason, & I. Sarason (Eds.), Handbook of Social support and the family (pp. 375-412). New York: Plenum.
  • Dunkel-Schetter, C., Gurung, R. A. R., Lobel, M., & Wadhwa, P. D. (2000). Psychological, biological and social processes in pregnancy: Using a stress framework to study birth outcomes. In A. Baum, T. Revenson, & J. Singer (Eds.), Handbook of Health Psychology. Hillsdale New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Dunkel-Schetter, C., & Lobel, M. (1998). Pregnancy and childbirth. In E. Blechman & K. Brownell (Eds.), Behavioral medicine and women: A comprehensive handbook (475-482). New York: Guilford Publications.

Chris Dunkel Schetter
Department of Psychology
1282A Franz Hall, UCLA
405 Hilgard Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563
United States

  • Phone: (310) 206-8116
  • Fax: (310) 825-5198

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