Dr Kim Dienes

Lecturer, Psychology

Email address

Office - 906
Ninth Floor
Vivian Building
Singleton Campus


I'm interested in how biological and psychological stress sensitivity leads to changes in mood, mental and physical health and relationships. I use surveys, interviews, and focus groups to understand people’s perceptions of stress, and I sample salivary cortisol (a stress hormone), and measure heart rate and skin conductance to look at biological stress processes. I’m especially interested in how chronic stressors (like the coronavirus pandemic) interact with acute stressors (like an exam) to lead to personal experience and biological outcomes. I also assess how well various interventions work to reduce our stress levels and how discrimination may function as a chronic and acute stressor.

I have a BA in Human Biology and MA in Psychology from Stanford University and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from UCLA. I completed my internship and postdoctoral work at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. I practiced part time as a clinical psychologist in the US from 2009-2016 when I moved to the UK while also serving as the Director of the Doctorate in Psychology Programme at Roosevelt University. Currently I teach on the MSc in Clinical Psychology and Mental Health at Swansea University and I’m co-lead of Admissions.

Areas Of Expertise

  • Allostatic load
  • stress sensitization
  • Risk for mood and anxiety disorders
  • Student wellbeing
  • Romantic partner interaction
  • Ethnic disparities
  • Precarity in the workplace
  • Stress reduction interventions

Career Highlights

Teaching Interests


Affective Disorders and Trauma


Basic Clinical Skills

Mind and Body

Research Collaborations