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Behavioral Health Concentration


Master of Science in Psychology

The Master of Science with a concentration in behavioral health is a two-year terminal degree program in experimental methodology. The concentration is aimed at developing the research skills necessary to pursue doctoral training in health or applied areas. Faculty in the behavioral health concentration have active research programs investigating cardiovascular health, obesity, sexual risk taking, addictive behaviors, sleep, stress, trauma and emotion regulation.

Who should apply?

Any student seeking to further their education in the field of psychology, particularly those looking to continue on into a Ph.D. program in health psychology.

Faculty in the Behavioral Health Concentration

Dr. Andrea Kozak: I am greatly concerned about the unhealthy behaviors and co-morbid health issues associated with overweight/obesity. Therefore, my research program is primarily focused on trying to understand factors that contribute to excess weight, ways to help people lose weight and keep it off, and the consequences of overweight and obesity. My work has also focused on managing heart failure symptoms and signs from a non-pharmacological perspective and on the relationship between health-related quality of life and a variety of diseases. I have used a variety of methods to answer my research questions of interest such as randomized controlled trials, correlational studies and systematic reviews/meta-analysis.

Dr. Scott Pickett:
I am interested in examining risk and recovery factors associated with psychological trauma, such as emotion regulation strategies and positive health behaviors (e.g., adequate sleep quality). Using both correlational and experimental designs, I have examined the emotional contexts in which emotion regulation strategies are enacted and how health behaviors are impacted by these contexts and strategies. Given the reciprocal nature between emotion, emotion regulation and health outcomes, my research aims to understand the mechanisms involved in these relationships to inform prevention and intervention efforts.

Dr. Michele Parkhill Purdie: My primary research interests concern the social psychological processes involved in the relationship between alcohol and sexual assault perpetration, victimization, and AIDS risk behaviors. I have established a strong program of research that focuses on both survey and experimental methodologies in examining how alcohol influences past sexual assault perpetration, the likelihood of engaging in sexual assault perpetration in the future, and the likelihood of engaging in sexual intercourse without a condom.