Psychology

Elizabeth Vella Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychology

Office

514 Science

Office Hours Fall 2014

MTWTh 4:15-5:15

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 780-4252

Health Psychologist

Sonoma State University, B.A., 1998

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, M.S., 2003; Ph.D., 2005

Teaching Fall 2014

EYE 116 Nature/Nurture

PSY 368 Health Psychology

Service

Psychology Club Faculty Advisor

Psychology Department Internship Coordinator

Psychology Department Peer Mentor Advisor

 

Elizabeth Vella, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Southern Maine. Dr. Vella received her Ph.D. in Psychological Sciences from Virginia Tech in 2005, and completed her postdoctoral fellowship in Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine from the University of Pittsburgh in 2007. Her research interests include the link between psychosocial factors and cardiovascular risk, and the physiological mechanisms that may explain these associations, as well as the implications for stress management interventions in improving quality of life and reducing physiological responses to stressors among at risk populations. Dr. Vella manages a laboratory dedicated to studying psychosocial predictors of cardiovascular responses to stress, and has recently served as primary investigator on two separate program evaluations aimed at improving quality of life and reducing the psychological and physiological concomitants of stress among clinical populations, one focusing on a retreat center intervention for breast cancer patients and another focusing on outdoor recreation therapy among combat veterans diagnosed with PTSD. She has authored or co-authored numerous articles published in peer reviewed scientific journals and presented her research at a variety of conferences. 

Research Interests

Cardiovascular Reactivity to and Recovery from Lab Induced Stress

Stress Reduction Interventions to Improve Quality of Life among Cancer Patients and Combat Veterans

Recent Publications

Vella, E.J., Milligan, B., & Bennett, J.L. (2013). Participation in outdoor recreation program predicts improved psychosocial well-being among veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder: A pilot study. Military Medicine, 178(3), 254-260.[reprint request]

Vella, E.J., Kamarck, T.W., Flory, J.D., & Manuck, S. (2012). Hostile mood and social strain during daily life: A test of the transactional model. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 44(3), 341-352. [pdf available here]

Vella, E.J. & Budd, M. (2011). Pilot study: Retreat intervention predicts improved quality of life and reduced psychological distress among breast cancer patients. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 17, 209-214. [pdf available here]

Vella, E.J., & Friedman, B.H. (2009). Hostility and anger-in: Cardiovascular reactivity and recovery to mental arithmetic stress. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 72, 253-259. [pdf available here]

Vella, E.J., Kamarck, T.W., & Shiffman, S. (2008). Hostility moderates the effects of social support and intimacy on blood pressure in daily social interactions. Health Psychology, 27(Suppl. 2), S155-S162. [pdf available here]

Vella, E.J., & Friedman, B.H. (2007). The autonomic characteristics of defensive hostility: Reactivity and recovery to active and passive stressors (invited paper). International Journal of Psychophysiology, 66, 95-101. [pdf available here]