Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine

PADL lab


What is Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine?

Health psychology and behavioral medicine combines concepts from medicine and psychology to examine relations between physical activity and health. Some of our researchers in this area also examine links between sedentary behaviour and health outcomes.

Focus of Research

Dr. Tanya Berry
Dr. Berry examines automatic and cognitive responses to health promotion messages and how these reactions influence one's decision to be physically active or not. She will be retired as of Dec. 31, 2023 and is not accepting new trainees.

Dr. Valerie Carson
Dr. Carson's research primarily focuses on the relationship between physical activity, sedentary behaviour and health, as well as the determinants and measurement of physical activity and sedentary behaviour among children and youth.

Dr. Kerry Courneya
As a Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Cancer, Dr. Courneya's research program focuses on the role of physical activity in cancer survivorship including coping with treatments, recovery after treatments and long-term survival.

Dr. Tara-Leigh McHugh
Dr. McHugh's research is focused on enhancing the sport, physical activity and body image experiences of youth. Through qualitative and collaborative research approaches, her research provides an in-depth exploration of the psychosocial aspects of such experiences.

Dr. Taniya Nagpal
Dr. Nagpal's research interests include psychosocial barriers, such as health-related stigmas, experienced in the preconception, prenatal and postpartum period and implications on adherence to healthy behaviours and health-care delivery.

Dr. Geri Ruissen
Dr. Ruissen's research seeks to understand the dynamic role that affect plays in physical-activity behaviour change. She is particularly interested in examining how these dynamics vary within a person over time, as well as examining how these dynamics unfold in person-specific ways. The ultimate goal of this research program is to leverage this information to develop just-in-time adaptive interventions to promote physical-activity behaviour, particularly among individuals with a clinically diagnosed mood disorder.

Dr. John C. Spence
Dr. Spence's research focuses on both the benefits and determinants of physical activity and how physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour are related to obesity.