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Cristina Ruscitto


Academic Tutor
PhD Health Psychology (Surrey), MSc Health Psychology (Surrey), BSc (Hons) Psychology (Open University)

Academic and research departments

School of Psychology.

Biography

I completed my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees part-time whilst simultaneously working as long-haul cabin crew. During my time on the Health Psychology MSc programme, I became interested in the area of sleep and the effects of long-haul flying on cabin crew’s wellbeing. As a result, I decided to undertake a PhD at the University of Surrey to further explore the psycho-behavioural predictors of jet lag amongst long-haul cabin crew, under the supervision of Prof Jane Ogden. I was awarded a PhD in Health Psychology at the University of Surrey in February 2016.

Research Interests

My main interest is in the meditational role of psychological (e.g. dysfunctional beliefs) and behavioural (e.g. food intake and sleep parameters) factors in readjustment to jet lag. The overall aim of my PhD was to extend the understanding of jet lag in long-haul cabin crew by integrating biological and psychosocial perspectives as well as using objective and subjective measures to provide a comprehensive account of jet lag and evaluate potential strategies to reduce it. 

I am keen to continue research into how jet lag can be ameliorated through dietary interventions and I am presently working as Visiting Researcher in a project assessing the impact of mealtimes on biological rhythms such as skin temperature. In addition to the wellbeing benefits to long-haul crew, the outcome of such research would be of interest to related industries (e.g. frequent business travellers and shift-workers).

Teaching

Currently, I am working as Year 1 Academic Tutor and as Teaching Assistant in PSY2017 (Advanced Statistics and Data Analysis). 

In the past, I have assisted with teaching on the ‘Qualitative Methods’ module for MSc students within the School of Psychology, as well as providing support with quantitative research methods to Year 1, 2 and MSc Conversion students during weekly ‘drop in sessions’. I have also delivered some lectures on the ‘Biological Bases of Psychology’ modules for Year 1, 2 and MSc Conversion students.

Affiliations

Health Psychology Research Group

Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Chartered Member of the British Psychological Society

My publications

Publications

Ruscitto, C., & Ogden, J. (2017). The impact of an implementation intention to improve mealtimes and reduce jet lag in long-haul cabin crew, Psychology and Health, 32(1), 61-77.

Ruscitto, C., & Ogden, J. (2017). Predicting jet lag in long-haul cabin crew: The role of illness cognitions and behaviour. Psychology and Health, 32(9), 1055-1081.

Conference Presentations

Ruscitto, C. and Ogden, J. (2015, December). The impact of an implementation intention to improve meal times and reduce jet lag in long-haul cabin crew.  Oral presentation at the UK Society of Behavioural Medicine Scientific Meeting 2015, Newcastle, United Kingdom.