Graduate Students

Ellen Stephenson, MA, PhD Student

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Ellen’s training in stress and coping research began at McGill University where she completed a BSc in Psychology. Her honours thesis work examined the role of personality, stress appraisal, and coping in psychological and physiological reactions to stress.  In 2012, she joined the team at the Centre for Health and Coping Studies as a graduate student in the health psychology program at UBC.  Since then she have been involved in several projects examining how couple and family dynamics influence and are influenced by chronic stress and illness.

She is interested in understanding the interpersonal processes surrounding how people come together to cope with stress and maintain their health and wellbeing. Much of her work takes a dyadic approach to coping, using data collected from both members of a couple to examine the ways in which partners influence each other throughout the coping process. She is also interested in how couples cope with chronic illness as well as how they can encourage the prevention of illness and the maintenance of adaptive health behaviours.


Jessie Pow, MA, PhD Student, Vanier Scholar

CV | ResearchGate

Jessie completed her undergraduate degree (BSc Hons) in Psychology at the University of Calgary in 2012. After taking a year off to travel, she began her Master’s in Health Psychology with Dr. Anita DeLongis beginning in 2013. Her Master’s thesis focused on the stress buffering role of social support (Pow, King, Stephenson, & DeLongis, 2016).

Jessie’s primary interest is in understanding the interpersonal context of coping with stress.  Previously, she has examined factors that lead individuals to seek and provide support, including how they perceive stressful situations (Pow, Lee-Baggley, & DeLongis, 2016) as well as their levels of agreeableness and extraversion (Pow, Lee-Baggley, & DeLongis, 2017). Jessie is currently developing a new measure of social support in intimate relationships that can be used to examine different types of support mobilized during daily stress (Pow & DeLongis, in prep). She also studies the role of forgiving the intimate partner in promoting relationship satisfaction and emotional well-being (Pow, King, Paulhus, Dekel, & DeLongis, in review).

Jessie is the former study coordinator for the Preschool Families Study.


Drake Levere, MA, PhD Student

CV | ResearchGateGoogle Scholar

Drake completed his undergraduate degree (BA Hons) at the University of Ottawa in 2015. He is currently in the first year of his PhD under the supervision of Dr. Anita DeLongis. Drake’s master’s thesis work assessed the relationship between perceived stress, rumination, and post-traumatic stress symptomology in a sample of paramedics. His interests focus on dyadic coping and support within romantic relationships. Drake’s current project focuses on spousal support in relationships where a family member is chronically ill.

Drake is the current study coordinator for the Preschool Families Study.


Dr. David King, PhD, Post Doctoral Student | Website


Dr. King’s research experience has spanned multiple areas within the fields of health and social psychology, with underlying interests in the dynamic interplay between body and mind. His early honours research focused on sleep and dreams, revealing significant relationships between dream imagery and indicators of physical health. Dr. King’s master’s research allowed him to explore a related interest in the measurement and application of meaning-making skills and existential/spiritual capacities. Today, his research addresses the question of how stress impacts physical, mental, and social health, examining the transmission of stress between roles, settings, and individuals. He is particularly interested in how individuals cope with stress together (in dyads and groups) and make meaning of their stressful or traumatic experiences. In this regard, it is the social context of stress and coping that he is primarily interested in. Other interests include the long-term effects of trauma among emergency workers and health professionals, the psychosocial determinants of coping with threat of infectious disease, and the application of relational-transactional models of stress and coping in clinical, professional, and ‘invisible’ populations. For more information, visit Dr. David King’s personal website.

His doctoral research in the Centre for Health and Coping Studies involved an examination of stress, coping, and social support processes among Canadian paramedics. For more information on this project, please visit this link. While still involved in a number of projects with the Centre for Health and Coping Studies, he is currently working as a post-doctoral research fellow at the IRMACS Centre at Simon Fraser University.