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Together with health communication scientist Dr. Allison Lazard of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media, Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, a faculty member in the Social Psychology Doctoral Program and Director of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory (PEP Lab), was recently awarded a research grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Through their Pioneering Ideas funding priority to build a culture of health, RWJF will support the collaborative work of Drs. Fredrickson and Lazard as they aim to optimize and test health communication messages with and for young adults with low socioeconomic privilege. The overarching objective of this work is to optimize health messages, suitable for video-based social media, that encourage high-quality, in-person social interaction and test their real-world efficacy for reducing social isolation and loneliness in this at-risk population. They will share their results with scholars and stakeholders to improve health equity and address the current epidemic of loneliness.

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