Nezu Stress and Coping Research Lab

Major Research Interests

A major theme that underlies the majority of our research and program development efforts involves developing and evaluating interventions to attenuate the negative effects of life stress on people’s health and mental health.

A primary focus is on the role that social problem solving (SPS) plays as a mediator and moderator of this stress-distress relationship. SPS is the process by which individuals attempt to identify or discover adaptive means of coping with the wide variety and range of stressful problems, both acute and chronic, encountered during the course of everyday living. Moreover, it represents the process whereby people direct their coping efforts at altering the problematic nature of a given situation, their emotional reactions to such problems, or both.

Based on research that continues to identify ineffective SPS to serve as both a vulnerability and maintaining factor regarding a wide range of psychological disorders and health-related problems, Problem-Solving Therapy (PST) has been developed as a means of enhancing one’s overall problem-solving coping in order to reduce extant distress symptoms and psychological difficulties. Drs. Art and Chris Maguth Nezu, directors of this research lab, are co-developers of contemporary PST. PST is a system of psychotherapy that has wide applicability and has been identified as an evidenced-based treatment for decreasing psychopathology, especially clinical depression, by multiple professional organizations, including the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Defense. It has also been applied as a means to enhance relapse prevention, to foster treatment adherence to other forms of medical and psychosocial interventions, and to prevent future psychopathology from occurring for those who may be vulnerable (e.g., recently deployed Veterans) by enhancing their resilience to stress.

Art and ChrisClick the following link for a listing of our current research and program development activities.

Click the following link for additional information about Problem-Solving Therapy.

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