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I am a Professor in the 
Department of Human Development and Family Science and a Research Methodologist at the Center for Gerontology at Virginia Tech.  My research is positioned at the nexus of gerontology, stress and coping, and health psychology. Specifically, I examine the bidirectional effects of social contexts on the health and well-being of family caregivers and care recipients, and identify factors that can protect caregivers and care recipients’ against poor health outcomes. I combine the strengths of survey designs by using a daily diary paradigm wherein individuals report on a number of everyday events, with biomarkers, to investigate how everyday life stress and daily hassles experienced by middle-aged and older adults gets “under the skin” to affect emotional and physical health. Because of my expertise in advanced statistical models, I bridge theoretical and conceptual gaps on interdisciplinary projects related to health behaviors and diseases processes. The topics of my collaborative projects range from studying the effects of involuntary nursing home relocation, validating biomarkers to assess added-sugar intake, and assessing the efficacy of treatments targeted at weight loss and glycemic control in older adults.

Curriculum Vitae


Contact Information

Center for Gerontology (0555)  
ISCE, Room 205 
230 Grove Lane  Blacksburg, VA 24061
Tel: 540-391-0231  Fax: 540-231-7157  Email: jsavla@vt.edu