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Research interests

My primary program of research concerns the application of social psychological theory to illness prevention and health promotion and is comprised of a synthesis of basic research on how people process and respond to health information with the development and evaluation of theory-based interventions to promote healthy behavior. In this work, my colleagues and I have addressed a broad range of issues including how people evaluate and process risk-relevant information, why and when different health communication strategies are most effective, specifying the decision processes that underlie the initiation and maintenance of behavior change, and delineating the mechanisms that underlie behavioral interventions. Our theoretical models have informed the design, implementation, and testing of interventions across a range of behavioral domains including smoking, diet, physical activity, and cancer screening. We have also begun to explore the implications of our models for predicting and promoting environmentally-friendly behaviors. I have served as Associate Editor of Health Psychology Review and as a co-editor of a special issue of Annals of Behavioral Medicine on decision-making and eating behavior, a special issue of AIDS & Behavior on integrating theoretical models of behavior changes across levels of analysis, a special issue of Self & Identify on self- and identity-regulation and health, and a forthcoming special issue of Health Psychology on theoretical innovations in social and personality psychology and their implications for health. I have also helped lead the NCI/NIH-sponsored Advanced Training Institute on Health Behavior Theory since its inception in 2004 (http://cancercontrol.cancer.gov/workshop/) and serve as co-chair of the NCI Cognitive, Affective, and Social Processes in Health Research Group (http://cancercontrol.cancer.gov/brp/casphr/index.html).


  • message framing
  • health communication
  • health judgment and decision making
  • initiation and maintenance of behavior change
  • health behavior theory
  • mediation and moderation
  • interventions to promote healthy behavior

Fingerprint The Fingerprint is created by mining the titles and abstracts of the person's research outputs and projects/funding awards to create an index of weighted terms from discipline-specific thesauri.

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Projects 2007 2022

Research Output 1991 2019

6 Citations

Accumulating Data to Optimally Predict Obesity Treatment (ADOPT) Core Measures: Psychosocial Domain

Sutin, A. R., Boutelle, K., Czajkowski, S. M., Epel, E. S., Green, P. A., Hunter, C. M., Rice, E. L., Williams, D. M., Young-Hyman, D. & Rothman, A. J., Apr 1 2018, In : Obesity. 26, p. S45-S54

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Weight Loss
Weights and Measures

Affective response during physical activity: Within-subject differences across phases of behavior change

Dunton, G. F., Leventhal, A. M., Rothman, A. J. & Intille, S. S., Oct 1 2018, In : Health Psychology. 37, 10, p. 915-923 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Linear Models
Self Report
Longitudinal Studies

Comparing Types of Financial Incentives to Promote Walking: An Experimental Test

Burns, R. J. & Rothman, A. J., Jul 1 2018, In : Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. 10, 2, p. 193-214 22 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Reinforcement Schedule

Interpersonal effects of parents and adolescents on each other’s health behaviours: a dyadic extension of the theory of planned behaviour

Joyal-Desmarais, K., Lenne, R. L., Panos, M. E., Huelsnitz, C. O., Jones, R. E., Auster-Gussman, L. A., Johnson, W. F., Simpson, J. & Rothman, A. J., Jan 1 2018, (Accepted/In press) In : Psychology and Health.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Health Behavior
Solar System