Dr. Darbes’ research is anchored in the fields of heath psychology and behavioral medicine. Specifically, her research examines how primary partners can influence health behaviors, which impacts one’s morbidity and mortality. For example, relationship factors such as intimacy and desired fertility are often factors that can strongly influence sexual behavior. She has conducted longitudinal investigations and intervention studies of relationship dynamics on sexual risk behavior and HIV testing, utilizing qualitative and quantitative methodologies, among heterosexual, gay male couples, and transgender women both domestically and internationally (Kenya, South Africa). A clinical psychologist by training, her work utilizes theoretically grounded approaches, incorporating social psychology, as well as classic concepts of health behavior change. Dr. Darbes’ research perspective is that our partners are not merely supporting us in an emotional sense, rather they are exerting powerful influences that can significantly impact on our health and well-being. Her goals include understanding how to leverage the power of relationships to intervene to improve mental and physical health outcomes.
Institution: University of Michigan
Protocol: We Prevent