Dr Brenda O’Connell

Psychology, ALL Institute

Lecturer
Assistant Professor

John Hume Building
2nd Floor
SF21
(01) 474 7470

Biography

Dr. Brenda H. O’Connell joined the Department of Psychology at Maynooth University as a Lecturer in September 2017. Brenda received her B.A (Hons) and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Limerick, Ireland and was subsequently employed there as a Lecturer in Psychology in 2016. She is an experienced researcher in health, positive psychology, and wellbeing, with a particular interest in the application of psychology to enable individuals, schools, and communities to thrive and experience positive mental health. Her current research focuses on if, how, and when positive psychological constructs (gratitude, resilience, optimism etc.) influence psychological and physical health (somatic and biomarkers). She has authored several international peer-reviewed papers and has presented her work both nationally and internationally, most notably Leinster House, Houses of the Oireachtas. 

Peer Reviewed Journals

  Year Publication
2018 'Psychosocial health mediates the Gratitude-Physical Health link'
O'Connell, B.H & Killeen-Byrt, M (2018) 'Psychosocial health mediates the Gratitude-Physical Health link'. Psychology, Health and Medicine, [DOI] [IR Link] [Details]
2017 'A Commentary on Positive Psychology Interventions for Patients With Heart Disease: A Preliminary Randomized Trial'
Creaven AM;H O'Connell B;Gallagher S; (2017) 'A Commentary on Positive Psychology Interventions for Patients With Heart Disease: A Preliminary Randomized Trial'. Psychosomatics, 58 (3) [DOI] [IR Link] [Details]
2017 'Feeling Thanks and Saying Thanks: A Randomized Controlled Trial Examining If and How Socially Oriented Gratitude Journals Work'
O'Connell, BH;O'Shea, D;Gallagher, S (2017) 'Feeling Thanks and Saying Thanks: A Randomized Controlled Trial Examining If and How Socially Oriented Gratitude Journals Work'. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 73 :1280-1300 [DOI] [IR Link] [Details]
2016 'Randomised Controlled Trials in WOHP Interventions: A Review and Guidelines for Use'
O'Shea, D;O'Connell, BH;Gallagher, S (2016) 'Randomised Controlled Trials in WOHP Interventions: A Review and Guidelines for Use'. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 65 :190-222 [DOI] [Details]
2017 'Examining Psychosocial Pathways Underlying GratitudeInterventions: A Randomized Controlled Trial'
Brenda H. O’Connell, Deirdre O’Shea & Stephen Gallagher (2017) 'Examining Psychosocial Pathways Underlying GratitudeInterventions: A Randomized Controlled Trial'. Journal of Happiness Studies, [IR Link] [Details]
2016 'Mediating effects of loneliness on the gratitude-health link'
O'Connell, BH;O'Shea, D;Gallagher, S (2016) 'Mediating effects of loneliness on the gratitude-health link'. PERSONALITY AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES, 98 :179-183 [DOI] [Details]
2016 'Enhancing social relationships through positive psychology activities: a randomised controlled trial'
O'Connell, BH;O'Shea, D;Gallagher, S (2016) 'Enhancing social relationships through positive psychology activities: a randomised controlled trial'. Journal of Positive Psychology, 11 :149-162 [DOI] [Details]
2015 'A randomised controlled trial of benefit finding in caregivers: The Building Resources in Caregivers Study Protocol'
Brand C;O'Connell BH;Gallagher S; (2015) 'A randomised controlled trial of benefit finding in caregivers: The Building Resources in Caregivers Study Protocol'. Health Psychology Open, 2 (2) [DOI] [Details]

Other Journals

  Year Publication
2012 'Doctor, Doctor what’s Right with me?: The role of optimism in reduced depressive symptomology following a positive psychological intervention'
O’Connell, B., Gallagher, S., Ritchie, T. (2012) 'Doctor, Doctor what’s Right with me?: The role of optimism in reduced depressive symptomology following a positive psychological intervention' Student Psychology Journal, . [Details]

Conference Publications

  Year Publication
2017 Psychosocial pathways underlying the gratitude- health link
O’Connell, B. H., & Byrt, M. (2017) Psychosocial pathways underlying the gratitude- health link 14th Annual Psychology, Health and Medicine Conference [Details]
2016 Irish Teachers Capacity to Respond to Youth Mental Health
O’Connell, B.H., & McMahon, J. (2016) Irish Teachers Capacity to Respond to Youth Mental Health Youth Mental Health International Research Conference [Details]
2015 Gratitude Journals foster Social Relationships and Improve Life Satisfaction: A Randomized Controlled Trial
O’Connell, B. H., O’ Shea, D., & Gallagher, S. (2015) Gratitude Journals foster Social Relationships and Improve Life Satisfaction: A Randomized Controlled Trial Fourth World Congress on Positive Psychology [Details]
2015 Enhancing Social Relationships through Positive Psychology Activities: A Randomized Controlled Trial
O’Connell, B. H., O’ Shea, D., & Gallagher, S. (2015) Enhancing Social Relationships through Positive Psychology Activities: A Randomized Controlled Trial Fourth World Congress on Positive Psychology [Details]
2015 A Randomised Controlled Trial of Benefit Finding in Caregivers: Building Resources in Caregivers
Gallagher, S., O’Connell, B.H., & Brand, C. (2015) A Randomised Controlled Trial of Benefit Finding in Caregivers: Building Resources in Caregivers Psychology Society Public Event “What doesn’t kill us: New perspectives on psychological trauma and posttraumatic growth” [Details]
2014 Feasibility Study Investigating the use of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk for Online Positive Psychology Intervention Trials
O’Connell, B., O’ Shea, D., & Gallagher, S. (2014) Feasibility Study Investigating the use of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk for Online Positive Psychology Intervention Trials 28th European Health Psychology Society Conference [Details]
2014 The Role of Positive Social Interactions in Improving Wellbeing: A Randomised Controlled Pilot Trial
O’Connell, B., O’ Shea, D., & Gallagher, S. (2014) The Role of Positive Social Interactions in Improving Wellbeing: A Randomised Controlled Pilot Trial 28th European Health Psychology Society Conference [Details]
2014 The Role of Healthy Relationships in Well-Being Promoting Interventions: A Randomised Controlled Pilot Trial
O’Connell, B., O’ Shea, D., & Gallagher, S. (2014) The Role of Healthy Relationships in Well-Being Promoting Interventions: A Randomised Controlled Pilot Trial 11th Annual Psychology, Health and Medicine Conference [Details]
2012 Writing about Positive Past Events Reduces Depressive Symptomology and Boosts Optimism in Young Adults
O’Connell, B., Gallagher, S., & Ritchie, T. (2012) Writing about Positive Past Events Reduces Depressive Symptomology and Boosts Optimism in Young Adults Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health: Youth Mental Health Conference [Details]