Fac/Staff profile


Associate Professor of Psychology
Brenda Whitehead
4057 CASL Building
4901 Evergreen Rd
Dearborn, MI 48128

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Biography and Education

I earned my M.A. and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Notre Dame. My specialty is Adult Development and Aging, which emphasizes the fact that, along with the losses that naturally accompany the aging process, we continue to experience "gains"--areas of growth and learning--throughout our lives. Those who age most "successfully" tend to effectively utilize the gains (enhanced perspective, personal strength, strong social networks) in order to overcome the losses and challenges of growing old. My research reflects two primary areas of study, both with a health psychology emphasis: stress and coping processes in later life, and the influence of psychological factors on health behaviors and functional decline with age.

Teaching and Research

Selected Publications

Whitehead, B.R., & Blaxton, J.M. (2017). Daily well-being benefits of exercise and activity in older adults: Does time spent matter? The Gerontologist. 

Whitehead, B.R., & Bergeman, C.S. (2016). Affective health bias in older adults: Considering positive and negative affect in a general health context. Social Science & Medicine, 165, 28-35. 

Whitehead, B.R. (2016). Health behaviors in older adults: Considering age, affect, and attitudes. Journal of Health Psychology. 

Whitehead, B.R., & Bergeman, C.S. (2015). The effect of the financial crisis on physical health: Perceived impact matters. Journal of Health Psychology.


Member for
4 years 6 months
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