My current role is split 50/50 between the Department of Psychology where I am Professor of Psychology and the Faculty of Education and Health Sciences where I am Assistant Dean of Research.
My main research interests focus on the impact of stress on health and well-being. I am particularly interested in the impact of psychosocial factors on health via interactions between the neuroendocrine and immune systems. My current research is looking at the psychological and social factors that are associated with caregiver health as well as those experiencing unemployment, both of who are under chronic stress. We are also involved with designing and delivery of number interventions (e.g. stress management, positive psychology, and physical activity) to improve health and well-being for carers, the general population as well those with chronic illnesses. I am also using laboratory-based research to examine the buffering role of social support on cardiovascular reactivity and immunity. I am a member of the Centre for Social Issues Research and the Health Research Institute and Director of the Study of Anxiety, Stress & Health Laboratory here in UL, www.sashlab.com.
Gallagher, S, Pilch, M, & Hannigan, A. (2018). Prior depression and child problem behaviours predict stability of depression in parents of children with developmental disabilities: The Growing Up in Ireland cohort study. Research in Developmental Disabilities 80:170-179. DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2018.07.001. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2018.07.001
Gallagher, S., O’Riordan A., McMahon, G., & Creaven, A-M. (2018). Evaluating personality as a moderator of the association between life events stress and cardiovascular reactivity to acute stress. International Journal of Psychophysiology 126:52-59. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2018.02.009. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2018.02.009
O’Connell, B., O’Shea, D., & Gallagher, S. (2017). Feeling thanks and saying thanks: A randomized controlled trial examining if and how socially-orientated gratitude journals work. Journal of Clinical Psychology 73(10), 1280–1300. DOI: 10.1002/jclp.22469. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.22469
Gallagher, S., Sumner, R., Muldoon. O.T., Creaven, A-M., & Hannigan, A. (2016). Unemployment is associated with lower cortisol awakening and blunted dehydroepiandrosterone responses. Psychoneuroendocrinology 69, 41–49. DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2016.03.011. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2016.03.011
O’Connell, B., O’Shea, D., & Gallagher, S. (2016).Enhancing social relationships through positive psychology activities: A Randomised Controlled Trial. Journal of Positive Psychology11, (2) 149-162. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2015.1037860