Allison Farrell

Allison Farrell

Assistant Professor


312 Psychology Building

Miami University

Oxford, OH 45056


Dr. Farrell leads the Mechanisms Affecting Relationships, Stress, & Health Lab


B.S., Psychology, Haverford College

Ph.D., Social Psychology, University of Minnesota

Postdoc, Psychology and Molecular Medicine & Genetics, Wayne State University

Teaching Interests

I teach undergraduate and graduate courses on close relationships, stress and coping, and health psychology. My courses are designed to emphasize strong writing skills, critical evaluation of past research, and applications of psychological concepts to different contexts.

Research Interests

In my lab, we study the mechanistic pathways explaining how close relationships, particularly parent-child and romantic relationships, affect stress and physical health. Out relationships with others can help buffer us from stress when they're going smoothly, but low-quality relationships can also create stress, and both sides have implications for physical health. Specifically, I am interested in how stress, and relationships affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and inflammatory processes. Through multi-method studies utilizing observational, self-report, and biological measures, I aim to uncover how close relationships get "under the skin" and stay with us throughout our lifespan in order to inform translational research. Please check out the MARSH Lab website for more information.

Professional Recognition

Rising Star Award, Association for Psychological Science, 2021

Guest co-editor, Special issue of Personal Relationships: "Mechanisms Linking Relationships and Physical Health," 2020

Young Investigator Colloquium Scholar, American Psychosomatic Society, 2017

Heritage Dissertation Award winner, Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology, 2015

Selected Works

Farrell, A.K., Stanton, S.C.E., & Sbarra, D.A. (In press). Good theories in need of better data: Combining clinical and social psychological approaches to study the mechanisms linking relationships and health. Perspectives in Psychological Science.

Farrell, A.K., & Stanton, S.C.E. (2019). Towards a mechanistic understanding of links between close relationships and health. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 28, 483-489.

Young, E.S., Farrell, A.K., Carlson, E.A., Englund, M.M., Miller, G.E., Gunnar, M.R., Roisman, G.I., & Simpson, J.A. (2019). The dual impact of early and concurrent life stress on adult diurnal cortisol patterns: A prospective study. Psychological Science, 30, 739-747.

Farrell, A.K., Waters, T.E.A., Young, E.S., Englund, M.M., Carlson, E.A., Roisman, G.I., & Simpson, J.A. (2019). Early maternal sensitivity, adult attachment security and cardiometabolic risk: A prospective longitudinal study. Attachment and Human Development, 21, 70-86.

Farrell, A.K., Slatcher, R.B., Imami, L., Tobin, E.T., Mair-Meijers, H., Wildman, D.E., Luca, F., & Zilioli, S. (2018). Socioeconomic status, family emotional climate, and anti-imflammatory gene expression among youth with asthma. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 91, 62-67.

Farrell, A.K., Simpson, J.A., Overall, N.C., & Shallcross, S.L. (2016). Buffering the reactions of avoidantly attached partners in strain test situations. Journal of Family Psychology, 30, 580-591 

Full list of publications available on the MARSH Lab Website