I am interested in how individuals cope with stressful life experiences, such as loss of a spouse or child, divorce, childhood sexual abuse, physical disability, war, natural disaster, and immigration to a new country. In my work, I seek to examine cognitive, emotional, social, and physical responses to stressful life events, and to identify factors that facilitate successful adjustment to them. I also explore the long-term effects of traumatic life experiences, and consider how beliefs and expectations of the social network impact the coping process. Finally, my research examines predictors of individual and community resilience, as well as collective responses to disaster.
I was principal investigator of a 3-year national longitudinal study of psychological responses to the September 11th terrorist attacks. My recent interdisciplinary research examined the political impact of the ongoing psychological response to the threat of terrorism and responses to turbulence in our society (e.g., the economic meltdown). I currently oversee two research projects, in collaboration with current and former students and national and international colleagues: a study on resilience and vulnerability following repeated natural disasters in Java, Indonesia (in collaboration with Psychology Beyond Borders, an international nonprofit organization for which I serve on the Board of Directors) and a study of a nationally representative sample of over 2000 adults following the massive 8.8 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in February, 2010 in Chile (with colleagues at the Universidad Andrés Bello in Santiago). I recently oversaw a multidisciplinary project to develop a quantitative index of the psychosocial impacts of natural and human-caused disasters (including health, social functioning, and political attitudes) through the use of vital statistics, archival and administrative information, and other secondary sources of data (in collaboration with colleagues at Dartmouth Medical School).
Psychology Beyond Borders:
- Close Relationships
- Emotion, Mood, Affect
- Health Psychology
- Interpersonal Processes
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- Andersen, J., Prause, J., & Silver, R. C. (2011). A step-by-step guide to using secondary data for psychological research. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 5(1), 56-75.
- Eisenberg, N., & Silver, R. C. (2011). Growing up in the shadow of terrorism: Youth in America after 9/11. American Psychologist, 66(6), 468-481.
- Gil-Rivas, V., Silver, R. C., Holman, E. A., McIntosh, D. N., & Poulin, M. (2007). Parental response and adolescent adjustment to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 20, 1063-1068.
- Holman, E. A., & Silver, R. C. (2011). Health status and health care utilization following collective trauma: A 3-year national study of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States. Social Science and Medicine.
- Holman, E. A., Silver, R. C., Poulin, M., Andersen, J., Gil-Rivas, V., & McIntosh, D. N. (2008). Terrorism, acute stress, and cardiovascular health: A 3-year national study following the September 11th attacks. Archives of General Psychiatry, 65, 73-80.
- McIntosh, D. N., Poulin, M. J., Silver, R. C., & Holman, E. A. (2011). The distinct roles of spirituality and religiosity in physical and mental health after collective trauma: A national longitudinal study of responses to the 9/11 attacks. Journal of Behavioral Medicine.
- Poulin, M. J., Silver, R. C., Gil-Rivas, V., Holman, A. E., & McIntosh, D. (2009). Finding social benefits after a collective trauma: Perceiving societal changes and well-being following 9/11. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 22, 81-90.
- Poulin, M., & Silver, R. C. (2008). World benevolence beliefs and well-being across the lifespan. Psychology and Aging, 23, 13-23.
- Seery, M. D., Holman, E. A., & Silver, R. C. (2010). Whatever does not kill us: Cumulative lifetime adversity, vulnerability, and resilience. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 1025-1041.
- Seery, M. D., Leo, R. J., Holman, E. A., & Silver, R. C. (2010). Lifetime exposure to adversity predicts functional impairment and healthcare utilization among individuals with chronic back pain. Pain, 150, 507-515.
- Seery, M. D., Silver, R. C., Holman, E. A., Ence, W. A., & Chu, T. Q. (2008). Expressing thoughts and feelings following a collective trauma: Immediate responses to 9/11 predict negative outcomes in a national sample. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76, 657-667.
- Shambaugh, G., Matthew, R., Silver, R. C., McDonald, B., Poulin, M., & Blum, S. (2010). Public perceptions of traumatic events and policy preferences during the George W. Bush administration: A portrait of America in turbulent times. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 33, 55-91.
- Silver, R. C. (2011). An introduction to 9/11: Ten years later. American Psychologist.
- Silver, R. C., & Fischhoff, B. (2011). What should we expect after the next attack? American Psychologist, 66(6), 567-572.
- Silver, R. C., & Wortman, C. B. (2007). The stage theory of grief. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 297, 2692.
- Suvak, M., Maguen, S., Litz, B. T., Silver, R. C., & Holman, E. A. (2008). Indirect exposure to the September 11 terrorist attacks: Does symptom structure resemble PTSD? Journal of Traumatic Stress, 21, 30-39.
- Updegraff, J. A., Silver, R. C., & Holman, E. A. (2008). Searching for and finding meaning in collective trauma: Results from a national longitudinal study of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 709-722.
- Wicke, T., & Silver, R. C. (2009). A community responds to collective trauma: An ecological analysis of the James Byrd murder in Jasper, Texas. American Journal of Community Psychology, 44, 233-248.
- Blum, S., & Silver, R. C. (2008). Coping. In W. A. Darity, Jr. (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social sciences (2nd ed.), Volume 2 (pp. 128-130). Detroit: Macmillan Reference.
- Silver, R. C., & Matthew, R. (2008). Terrorism. In V. N. Parrillo (Ed.), Encyclopedia of social problems (Vol. 2, pp. 926-929). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Roxane Cohen Silver
Department of Psychology and Social Behavior
4336 Social and Behavioral Sciences Gateway
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, California 92697-7085
- Phone: (949) 824-2192
- Fax: (949) 824-3002