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Psychology Faculty and Staff

Stephen Gallagher

Dr. Stephen Gallagher

Postal Address:
Psychology Department 
University of Limerick

Telephone: 00353 (0) 61 234899


Office Hours: Thursday 11-1







Biographical Details: 

After graduating from the University of Liverpool with a BSc in Psychology and Health Sciences, I then completed and MSc in Health Psychology at Staffordshire University. Following this, I then went on to do a PhD in psychoneuroimmunology at the University of Birmingham which I completed in October 2008. I started a lectureship in Psychology at Staffordshire University in January 2009 where I obtained a Post Graduate Certificate in Higher and Professional Education in 2010. I started my current lecturing position at the University of Limerick in September 2010. 

Research Interests

My main research interests focus on the impact of stress on health and well-being. I use the caregiver-control model of chronic stress to examine the association between caregiving factors and various health outcomes (e.g. blood pressure, immunity, depression, sleep and physical health).  I am particularly interested in the impact of psychosocial factors on health via interactions between the neuroendocrine and immune systems (vaccination response, cortisol and S-IgA).  My current research is looking at coping styles and positive aspects of caregiving for caregiver health.  I am also using laboratory-based research to examine the buffering role of social support on cardiovascular reactivity and immunity. Further I am also involved with patient population studies (multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis) with colleagues in Clinical Therapies to examine the psychosocial predictors of adherence and engagement with exercise treatments. Other research that I am involved with includes stress reduction techniques for improving health, well-being and immunity. I am also a member of the Centre for Social Issues Research and Institute of Knowledge in Society and one of the founding members of Intellectual Disabilities Studies at UL


At the Department of Psychology: Module organiser for Health Psychology 4th year module; Co-teach on Theory and Method 1 1st year module and Biological Basis of Behaviour 2nd year module; final year Project Supervisor;

Elsewhere: Lecturer in Health Psychology Graduate Entry Medical School, UL. 


I have won a number of awards for my research, Radcliffe Prize, PhD research, University of Birmingham, 2009 and Deanery Prize Winner, Graduate School, University of Birmingham, 2007. I have also successfully obtained grant funding for several research projects, with other funding applications currently being reviewed. 

Postgraduate Supervision.

I have supervised over ten MSc level students and at the University of Limerick I am currently supervising three PhD students, all of which are in the area of applied psychology and health. I am also on the Graduate Research Committee for a PhD student at the National University of Ireland, Galway.


Other activities 

  • Course Director for MSc Psychological Science
  • Member of Collaborative Learning Committee, UL
  • Member of SLÍ group UL
  • Director of Limerick City Community Development Project
  • Advisory board member of St Mary's Community Development Project
  • Community-based learning programme steering committee
  • Conference Social Psychology of Ireland 2011 (CSP-I) - organising committee and session chair
  • Workshop leader - Social Identity and Health - European Association of Social Psychology Summer School 2012
  • Carers' Alliance Family Carer Network Research Group



Gallagher, S. & Hannigan (Forthcoming). Depression and chronic health conditions in parents of children with and without developmental disabilities: The Growing Up in Ireland cohort study. Research in Developmental Disabilities.

Richardson, V.E., Bennett, K.M., Carr, D., Gallagher, S., Kim, J., & Fields, N. (Accepted). How Does Bereavement Get Under the Skin? The Effects of Late Life Spousal Loss on Cortisol Levels. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences 

Gallagher, S., Wallace, S., Nathan, Y., & McGrath, D. (Forthcoming). "Soft and Fluffy": Medical students' experiences of psychology in medical education. 

Gallagher, S., Meaney, S., & Muldoon, O.T. (Forthcoming). The influence of social identity processes on stress appraisals and cardiovascular reactions in response to acute psychological stress. British Journal of Health Psychology DOI: 10.1111/bjhp.12056 

Gallagher, S., O'Donnell, A., Minescu, A., Muldoon, O.T (2013). A commentary on 'The effects of identification with a support group on the mental health of people with multiple sclerosis'. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 75, 294-295 

Healey, S., Gallagher, S., & Msetfi, R. (2013). Happy and a bit Nervous': The Experiences of Children with Autism in Inclusive Physical Education. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 41, 222-228 

Gallagher, S., & Whiteley, J. (2013). The association between stress and physical health problems in parents caring for children with intellectual disabilities is moderated by children's challenging behaviours. Journal of Health Psychology, 18, 1220-1231  (PDF)

Healey, S., Gallagher, S., & Msetfi, R. (in press). Happy and a bit Nervous': The Experiences of Children with Autism in Inclusive Physical Education. British Journal of Learning Disabilities.

Walsh, R.S., Gallagher, S., Muldoon, O.T. Fortune, D. (in press). An integrative approach to Acquired Brain Injury: Combining Social Psychological and Neuropsychological perspectives. Health Psychology Review.

Gallagher, S., & Whiteley, J. (2012).Social support is associated with blood pressure responses in parents caring for children with developmental disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities. 33, 2099-2105 (PDF)

Gallagher, S & Tierney, W (2012) "Spirituality," Chapter 495, Encyclopedia of Behavioural Medicine (Springer Publishing).

Gallagher, S & Tierney, W (2012) " Religion/Spirituality," Chapter 488, Encyclopedia of Behavioural Medicine (Springer Publishing).

Gallagher, S & Tierney, W (2012) " Religiousness/Religiosity," Chapter 489, Encyclopedia of Behavioural Medicine (Springer Publishing).

Gallagher, S., Randall, J., Punnett, G., Li, E., Buckley, E., & Grogan, S. (2012). Experiences of adolescent participation in community-based workshops designed to improve psychosocial skills: What are the key benefits? Community, Work & Family, 15,209-216 (PDF)

Burns, V.E., and Gallagher, S. (2010). Antibody response to vaccination as a marker of in vivo immune function in psychophysiological research. Neuroscience Biobehavioral Review, 35, 122-126 (PDF)

Gallagher, S, Phillips, A.C. & Carroll (2010). Parental stress is associated with poor sleep quality in parents caring for children with developmental disabilities. Pediatric Psychology, 35, 728-737 (PDF)

Phillips, A.C., Carroll, D., Gallagher, S., Der, G., & Hunt, K. (2010).  Depression and anxiety in caregivers: a population study. British Journal of Clinical Psychology 48, 335-46 (PDF)

Gallagher, S. (2009). Review of Professor Kiecolt-Glaser's 'How stress kills' keynote address. Health Psychology Update, 18, 51-54 (PDF)

Gallagher, S., Phillips, A.C., Drayson, M.T., & Carroll, D. (2009). Caregiving for children with developmental disabilities is associated with a poor antibody response to influenza vaccination. Psychosomatic Medicine. 71, 341-344 (PDF)

Gallagher, S., Phillips, A.C., Drayson, M.T., & Carroll, D. (2009). Parental caregivers of children with developmental disabilities mount a relatively poor antibody response to pneumococcal vaccination. Brain, Behaviour and Immunity, 23, 338-346 (PDF)

Phillips, A.C., Gallagher, S., & Carroll, D. (2009). Social support, social intimacy, and cardiovascular reactions to acute psychological stress. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 37, 38-45 (PDF)

Gallagher, S., Phillips, A.C., Ferraro, A.J., Drayson, M.T., & Carroll, D. (2008). Social support is positively associated with the immunoglobulin M response to vaccination with pneumococcal polysaccharides. Biological Psychology, 78, 211-215 (PDF)

Gallagher, S., Phillips, A.C., Ferraro, A.J., Drayson, M.T., & Carroll, D. (2008). Psychosocial factors are associated with the antibody response to both thymus-dependent and thymus-independent vaccines. Brain, Behaviour and Immunity, 22, 456-460 (PDF)

Gallagher, S., Phillips, A.C., Evans, P., Der, G., Hunt, K., & Carroll, D. (2008). Caregiving is Associated with Low Secretion Rates of Immunoglobulin A in Saliva. Brain, Behaviour and Immunity, 22, 565-572 (PDF)

Gallagher, S., Phillips, A.C., Oliver, C., & Carroll, D. (2008). Predictors of Psychological Morbidity in Parents of Children with Intellectual Disabilities. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 33,1129-1136 (PDF)

Phillips, A.C., Gallagher, S., Carroll, D., & Drayson, M.T. (2008). Preliminary evidence that morning vaccination is associated with an enhanced antibody response in men. Psychophysiology,45, 663-666 (PDF)

Gallagher, S., Bennet, M., & Halford, J.C.G. (2006). A comparison of acute and long-term health-care personnel's attitudes towards older adults. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 12, 273-279 (PDF)

Gallagher, S., & Povey, R. (2006). Determinants of older adults' intentions to vaccinate against influenza: a theoretical application. Journal of Public Health, 28, 139-144 (PDF)

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