The principal themes of my research address issues central to both developmental and health psychology.  In broadest terms, this work explores the socialization processes and individual characteristics involved in the acquisition of health beliefs and behaviors beginning in childhood and continuing throughout the life span. A primary focus of my research has been the examination of social influences on eating-related behaviors (i.e., eating, dieting, body image). I am especially interested in romantic partners’ role in eating-related behaviors.  Some of my research has also examined parents’ influences on their children’s eating-related behaviors and media influences on body image. A complementary line of research that I have been involved in focuses on the role that personality qualities play in individuals’ adoption of health-related behaviors. My current research combines these two lines of research through the investigation of  young adult heterosexual, gay, and lesbian couples and the role that both their relationships and their personalities play in influencing their health.

The research projects I am working on in 2014 include:

  • Strategies for Healthy, Long-Term Weight Management
  • Heterosexual, Lesbian and Gay Couples’ Health (body image, eating behaviors, well-being)
  • Parents’ Concerns about Their Children’s Obesity Risk
  • Predictors of Cosmetic Surgery Attitudes and Interest