Dr. Turan’s research examines the mechanisms underlying the relationship between social bonds and well-being across the life-span. One area of focus is understanding how people use (or do not use) supportive relationships effectively at times of stress and how this affects emotional and physical health. A second area of focus is the effects of negative social evaluation on psychological and physical well-being (particularly the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and cortisol reactivity). Current projects involve laboratory stress procedures to specify the mechanisms underlying the cortisol and testosterone response in older and younger adults. These studies generally use the Trier Social Stress Test in the laboratory and aim to understand the role of threats to social dominance on hormonal reactivity. Such reactivity is hypothesized to be an important determinant of chronic emotional (as well as physical) health problems.
Dr. Turan collaborates with researchers in Turkey on studies on the effects of psycho-social variables on diabetes-related outcomes.