Charles F. Emery

Professor of Psychology

 

Education & Training

1980 - A.B. (Psychology) Columbia University

1984 - A.M. (Clinical Psychology) University of Southern California

1985 - Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology) University of Southern California

1985-86 - Internship (Clinical Psychology) University of Colorado Health Sciences Center

1986-88 - Post-doctoral Fellowship (Aging and Adult Development) Duke University Medical Center

 

Research Areas

My program of research addresses behavioral influences on age-related and disease-related changes in cardiopulmonary endurance, cognitive functioning, and psychological well-being. In my laboratory, we've focused on older adults with chronic illness to examine illness-related exacerbations of age-related changes. In my primary line of research, studies have evaluated psychological and cognitive factors associated with exercise among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the fourth most common cause of death in the United States. In a secondary line of research, we've examined sex differences in adaptation to chronic illness. Broadly, my program of research addresses psychological and behavioral adaptations to chronic illness. Thus, more recent research has evaluated outcomes in two additional patient groups: coronary artery disease (CAD) and breast cancer. In addition, recent studies have examined mechanisms by which behavioral change (e.g., exercise and diet) may influence both cardiovascular reactivity among healthy middle-aged adults and medical outcomes among healthy older adults.

The conceptual model driving this program of research evolved from studies in the gerontological literature documenting age-related declines in physiological function and cognitive function, increases in psychological distress, diminished opportunities for social engagement, and reduced availability of recreational resources. Aging per se is associated with increased risk of chronic illness as well as with impairments in physiological function and cognitive function in the absence of chronic illness. Thus, exercise activity plays a pivotal role in the conceptual model as a behavior that may influence a wide range of functions among middle-aged and older adults, with significant influence on cardiopulmonary endurance, psychological well-being, and brain function. The model includes both direct and indirect influences of exercise and age on cognitive function.

 

Current Editorial Board Service

Annals of Behavioral Medicine: 2010 - present

Heart and Lung: 2011 - present

Journal of Behavioral Medicine: 2009 - present

Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention: 1999 - present