Zihao Zeng

Zihao Zeng, MSc

Since September 2022 Zihao is a PhD student at the Department of Clinical, Neuro and Developmental Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He graduated as a Master’s student of Health Psychology at the Hunan Normal University in China. His PhD thesis focuses on the role of emotional support from partners in cancer survivors’ mental health. Emotional support is vital for psychological health and well-being. Although emotional support is important for everyone, it takes on an added significance for cancer survivors, who are going through a time of great emotional distress for themselves and their loved ones. Having a supportive partner can greatly help alleviate the stressful effects of cancer. The goal of Zihao’s PhD thesis is develop such a framework. This general goal has been divided into three Work Packages. WP1:  review of the current literature on interpersonal emotion regulation and synthesize it into a theoretical framework for emotional support for cancer patients. WP2: conduct an empirical study of emotional support for cancer patients. Finally, in WP3, two questionnaire studies will be conducted to explore the impact of emotional support on mental health in different scenarios.

Promotors: Prof. Dr. Sander L. Koole, Prof. Dr. IM Verdonck-de Leeuw and co-promotor: Dr. Karen Holtmaat