Susan Holtzman PhD

Associate Professor


Faculty of Arts

University of British Columbia, Okanagan

Dr. Susan Holtzman is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Lead Investigator of the Health Psychology Lab at the University of British Columbia (Okanagan). She is a Registered Psychologist with the College of Psychologists of British Columbia.  Dr. Holtzman received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She completed a clinical internship at the University of Washington School of Medicine and a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University Health Network, University of Toronto. Dr. Holtzman takes an interdisciplinary approach to her research and has active collaborations with experts in the fields of nursing, psychiatry, social work, anesthesiology, surgery, and internal medicine. Her research has been supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, the Ontario Women’s Health Scholars Program, and the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Holtzman’s research investigates the ways in which psychosocial factors can influence emotional and physical adjustment to chronic health conditions, such as chronic pain.  She is particularly interested in how social relationships can help or hinder patients’ efforts to cope with their disease, and how chronic illness can impact the family. More recently, she has started to explore the ways in which digital communication (e.g., text messaging) influences the nature of social relationships. Dr. Holtzman uses experimental, longitudinal and daily process methods (which involve intensive daily monitoring of study variables) to better understand the connection between stress, mood, social relationships, and health over time.

Research Keywords: Health psychology; adjustment to chronic illness; stress and coping; close relationships; caregiving; depression; chronic pain; organ transplantation; daily process methodologies; pathways through which the social environment can influence physical and emotional well-being in healthy and chronically ill populations.

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