Health Behavior & Health Education

Children get exercise playing on a jungle gym.

Photo of Alexandra Loukas

Program Director
Alexandra Loukas

The Health Behavior and Health Education graduate programs emphasize a multidisciplinary, bio-behavioral and developmental approach to health promotion. The program’s focus is on understanding the prevention of illness, and the promotion and maintenance of optimal health. Our research and study includes populations ranging from young children to senior adults.

Graduate students in our programs are exposed to research and coursework from faculty with diverse interests and expertise. Examples of health issues addressed in research and coursework include:

  • physical activity
  • nutrition education
  • stress management
  • smoking prevention and cessation
  • HIV risk reduction
  • alcohol and drug abuse prevention
  • successful aging

Health Behavior and Health Education graduate programs include options for the non-thesis M.Ed., the M.S. with thesis, and the Ph.D.

Faculty

Photo of Darla Castelli

Darla Castelli

Professor

Studies the relationship between physical activity and cognitive performance in children and adolescents.

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Carole K Holahan

Professor

Studies psychosocial factors in health behavior and health and well-being in adulthood and aging.

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Harold W Kohl

Research Professor

Specializes in public health, epidemiology and the study and promotion of physical activity for health.

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Alexandra Loukas

Professor

Focuses on adolescent and young adult problem behavior development, and tobacco use and cessation.

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Julie Maslowsky

Assistant Professor

Researches and develops programs in adolescent health promotion, primarily substance abuse and pregnancy prevention.

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Keryn Pasch

Associate Professor

Examines the relation between media influence on adolescent risk behavior such as substance use, nutrition, sleep and energy drink consumption.

Photo of Mary Steinhart

Mary Steinhardt

Professor

Focuses on how individuals successfully adapt to stress and build health resilience.

Labs and Research Areas

Adaptation to Stress and Health Resilience Lab

Focus areas include diabetes self-management interventions, the role of positive emotions in reducing depressive symptoms, and the relationship between chronic psychosocial stress and metabolic health.

Adolescent Health and Development Lab

Conducts studies and develops corresponding interventions on the development of adolescent health and health behaviors, such as sleep, substance use, risk behavior, and sexual behavior.

Developmental Risk and Resilience Laboratory

Focuses on the prevention of problem behaviors and tobacco use among adolescents and young adults.

Kinetic Kidz

Examines the correlation between metabolic risk factors and cognitive health in children and young adults to determine how those factors may affect future health.

Life-Span Development and Health Laboratory

Studies psychosocial factors in health behavior and health and well-being in adulthood and aging.

Motor Coordination Laboratory

Assesses kinematic, dynamic, and electromyographical data to determine neurophysiological and biomechanical factors in motor skill performance.

Prevention Research Lab

Examines the relationship between the influence the media has on at risk youth and how risk behaviors may co-occur in adolescents and young adults.