Teresa Ellen Seeman

Dr. Teresa Seeman, PhD, is Professor of Epidemiology at the Fielding School of Public Health and of Medicine in the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Trained as an epidemiologist, with post-doctoral training in neuroendocrinology, her research interests are inter-disciplinary, focusing on role of social and psychological factors in health and aging, with particular interest in elucidating the biological pathways through which such factors impact on health.Working in both community- and laboratory-based contexts, her work has documented the widespread health effects of protective social factors (e.g., social relationships) and psychological characteristics (e.g., control beliefs, perceptions of self-efficacy), including effects on risks for physical and cognitive decline as well as overall longevity. Her research has also contributed to our understanding of how these social and psychological influences are mediated through multiple major biological regulatory systems. She has been a leader in empirical research on a multi-systems view of biological risk - allostatic load. Her work has shown that levels of allostatic load predict subsequent health outcomes, and that differences in allostatic load are related to social factors, including levels of social integration and support as well as more traditional measures of socio-economic status [SES]: higher allostatic load seen among those reporting less social integration and/or support and lower SES. Her current research is focused on developing more integrated models that incorporate consideration of life-course experiences with stressful and protective conditions and the cumulative impacts of these experiences on major biological regulatory systems that determine trajectories of health and longevity. 


  • PhD, Epidemiology, University of California, Berkeley, CA
  • BA, French Literature, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
  • MS, Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, CA

Areas of Interest

  • Understanding the biological mechanisms for social and psychological effects on health risks.

Selected Publications

  • Seeman TE, Crimmins E, Bucur A., Huang MH, Gruenewald T, Berkman LF, Reuben DB Cumulative Biological Risk as a Mediator of Socio-Economic Differences in Mortality: MacArthur Studies of Successful Aging. Soc Sci & Med ; (in press).
  • Cunningham Timothy J, Berkman Lisa F, Kawachi Ichiro, Jacobs David R, Seeman Teresa E, Kiefe Catarina I, Gortmaker Steven L CHANGES IN WAIST CIRCUMFERENCE AND BODY MASS INDEX IN THE US CARDIA COHORT: FIXED-EFFECTS ASSOCIATIONS WITH SELF-REPORTED EXPERIENCES OF RACIAL/ETHNIC DISCRIMINATION. Journal of biosocial science. 2012; 75(5): 1-12.
  • Gruenewald Tara L, Liao Diana H, Seeman Teresa E Contributing to Others, Contributing to Oneself: Perceptions of Generativity and Health in Later Life. The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences. 2012; 67(5): .
  • Champaneri Shivam, Xu Xiaoqiang, Carnethon Mercedes R, Bertoni Alain G, Seeman Teresa, Diez Roux Ana, Golden Sherita Hill Diurnal salivary cortisol and urinary catecholamines are associated with diabetes mellitus: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Metabolism: clinical and experimental. 2012; 61(7): 986-95.
  • Cho Hyong Jin, Bower Julienne E, Kiefe Catarina I, Seeman Teresa E, Irwin Michael R Early life stress and inflammatory mechanisms of fatigue in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study.. Brain, behavior, and immunity. 2012; 26(6): 859-65.
  • Ishii Shinya, Karlamangla Arun S, Bote Marcos, Irwin Michael R, Jacobs David R, Cho Hyong Jin, Seeman Teresa E Gender, obesity and repeated elevation of C-reactive protein: data from the CARDIA cohort.. PloS one. 2012; 7(4): e36062.
  • Eaton Nicholas R, Krueger Robert F, South Susan C, Gruenewald Tara L, Seeman Teresa E, Roberts Brent W Genes, environments, personality, and successful aging: toward a comprehensive developmental model in later life.. The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences. 2012; 67(5): 480-8.
  • Gruenewald Tara L, Karlamangla Arun S, Hu Perry, Stein-Merkin Sharon, Crandall Carolyn, Koretz Brandon, Seeman Teresa E History of socioeconomic disadvantage and allostatic load in later life.. Social science & medicine (1982). 2012; 74(1): 75-83.
  • Human Lauren J, Biesanz Jeremy C, Miller Gregory E, Chen Edith, Lachman Margie E, Seeman Teresa E Is change bad? Personality change is associated with poorer psychological health and greater metabolic syndrome in midlife.. Journal of personality. 2012; 75(5): .
  • Kroenke Candyce H, Seeman Teresa, Matthews Karen, Adler Nancy, Epel Elissa Mood patterns based on momentary assessment of positive and negative moods over a day and coronary artery calcification in the CARDIA study.. Psychosomatic medicine. 2012; 74(5): 526-34.
  • Chiang Jessica J, Eisenberger Naomi I, Seeman Teresa E, Taylor Shelley E Negative and competitive social interactions are related to heightened proinflammatory cytokine activity.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2012; 109(6): 1878-82.
  • Chen Edith, Miller Gregory E, Lachman Margie E, Gruenewald Tara L, Seeman Teresa E Protective factors for adults from low-childhood socioeconomic circumstances: the benefits of shift-and-persist for allostatic load.. Psychosomatic medicine. 2012; 74(2): 178-86.
  • Tamayo Teresa, Jacobs David R, Strassburger Klaus, Giani Guido, Seeman Teresa E, Matthews Karen, Roseman Jeffrey M, Rathmann Wolfgang Race- and sex-specific associations of parental education with insulin resistance in middle-aged participants: the CARDIA study.. European journal of epidemiology. 2012; 27(5): 349-55.
  • Cunningham Timothy J, Seeman Teresa E, Kawachi Ichiro, Gortmaker Steven L, Jacobs David R, Kiefe Catarina I, Berkman Lisa F Racial/ethnic and gender differences in the association between self-reported experiences of racial/ethnic discrimination and inflammation in the CARDIA cohort of 4 US communities.. Social science & medicine (1982). 2012; 75(5): 922-31.
  • Friedman Esther M, Karlamangla Arun S, Almeida David M, Seeman Teresa E Social strain and cortisol regulation in midlife in the US.. Social science & medicine (1982). 2012; 74(4): 607-15.
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