Health Psychology Research

The Health Psychology graduate program stresses research training above all other goals.

From entry into the program until graduation, students work with faculty on empirical research projects. Moreover, as full members of the research community, students publish research in peer-reviewed journals, make presentations at regional, national, and international conferences, and in general are acculturated into the world of psychological science research on the way to developing a professional identity as health psychologists.

Research areas

Our faculty conduct both basic and applied research with diverse groups of child, adolescent, college student, community adult, elderly and medical populations. Research interests include:

  • The impact of stereotyping on caregiver-infant interactions, patient-physician interactions and adolescents with cancer
  • The prevention of HIV, teen pregnancy and other risk behaviors in African American and Latino youth and other populations
  • Socialization of coping and communication patterns in families with a parent who is HIV-positive
  • Cultural, familial and international approaches to disability rehabilitation, especially focusing on the mental health of caregivers in Latin America
  • The role of stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination in health and healthcare disparities
  • Family management of pediatric chronic illnesses, including urban and cultural factors
  • Familial factors in mitigating or enhancing youths’ risk for negative outcomes of stress
  • Drug dependence in college students and other adults
  • Facilitating the psychological adaptation of older adults to chronic medical illness and disability
  • Chronic pain and sleep
  • Pediatric health inequities
  • Tobacco regulatory science
  • The influence of non-cigarette novel and/or alternative tobacco products such as water pipes, little cigars/cigarillos and electronic nicotine delivery systems cigarettes on individual and population health
  • Mobile- and web-based intervention strategies for tobacco cessation
  • The role of mindfulness in mental and physical health

For detailed information about each faculty member’s research programs, please visit the Faculty Directory.