- PhD, Purdue University, 2012
About Nicholas Turiano
Dr. Turiano received his B.S. in human development and family studies from Penn State University in 2005 and a dual-title Ph.D. in human development and family studies and gerontology from Purdue University in 2012. He completed an NRSA postdoctoral fellowship in psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center with training in psychophysiology and health disparities research (2012-2014). Dr. Turiano joined the WVU faculty as an assistant professor of lifespan developmental psychology in 2014.
Dr. Turiano’s research focuses on understanding the association between personality development and a variety of health processes over the entire life span. The key question of his research aims to identify why certain personality characteristics are associated with disease, disability, and earlier mortality while others are associated with more successful outcomes. Mechanisms of interest include substance use behaviors (alcohol, tobacco, and drug use), diet and exercise habits, and the physiological reactivity to stress. His life span training leads him to study such processes in diverse age groups, including childhood, adolescence, early and middle adulthood, and late adulthood to capture successful aging. Two emerging lines of research include the study of psychological resilience to early life adversity (childhood misfortune, low socioeconomic status) and psychological predictors that predict development during the transition to college.
Dr. Turiano utilizes focused lab studies such as the recently collected College Student Transition (CST) study that is examining predictors of substance use, risky sexual behaviors, and drop-out during the transition to college. He also utilizes population based data from three major ongoing long-term longitudinal studies, the Midlife in the U.S. study (MIDUS), the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study (NAS), and the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). His research incorporates a diverse set of methodological tools such as proportional hazards modeling (a.k.a. cox modeling, survival analysis, event-history analysis), factor analytic procedures, structural equation modeling, and growth curve modeling.