Our faculty’s diverse research interests include emergency preparedness, health disparities, judgment and decision making, families at high risk of disease, substance abuse and tobacco use.
Cognitive and behavioral approaches to the conceptualization,
prevention and treatment of addictive behaviors, particularly among
emerging and young adults; drinking restraint; ecological momentary
assessment; commonalities among addictive behaviors; psychosocial
issues (e.g., gender, socio-economic status) related to
Population research on patterns, determinants and control of tobacco use in adolescents and adults using state, national and international surveys; “hardening” of the population and “hard-core” smoking; tobacco harm reduction; suboptimal nutrition as a risk factor for the development and maintenance of nicotine addiction; adverse childhood experiences and nicotine dependence and smoking cessation.
Substance use and misuse including social network influences
(i.e., adult intimate partners, peers and family) on changes in
substance use (alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use) and the
impact of substance use on family functioning and health; public
health emergency preparedness including preparation, coordination
and training of disaster response teams and mitigation of the
impact of disaster response on the health of first
Better understanding of how individuals think about and make decisions about their health behaviors; developing more effective ways of encouraging behavior change; role of affective associations in health decision making; how attitudes about health behaviors influence processing of health information; social cognitive processes involved in considering changes in health behaviors; role of mood in responses to threatening health diagnoses.
Addiction and recreational drug use; use of tobacco and nicotine products; ethical and policy issues related to substance use; applications of moral psychology to substance use; addictive behaviors; public health ethics; health communication; harm reduction.
Environmental, community, organizational and behavioral
interventions to improve nutrition, increase physical activity and
encourage appropriate cancer screening; health disparities; food
access and local food systems; obesity and cancer prevention.
Advance understanding of the causes of Black-White and other racial-ethnic disparities in health and identify ways to eliminate these disparities; expand understanding of family and community adaptation to environmental hazards; encourage screening, prevention and self-care in families with a shared risk for disease.
Primary and secondary prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, impact of substance use on sexual risk behavior and medication adherence, nonmedical prescription drug use, patient-provider communication, community-based participatory research.
Predictors of weight change in adolescents, including motivation to eat healthy and unhealthy food, physical activity, impulsivity, and psychosocial risk factors; relationship between caffeine use and risk taking behavior in children and adolescents; individuals difference variables that related to difference in weight status in adults.