Erin M. Lenz

Graduate Student, Psychology (Affiliate)

Research Overview

I have worked on a variety of NIMH and NIH-funded studies, including: coordinating a small randomized controlled trial examining different methods for involving spouses in behavioral weight loss treatment, coordinating a study investigating the effects of bariatric weight loss surgery on untreated spouses and the home food and exercise environment, working on a large scale Prevention-for-Positives intervention in South Africa and developing healthy living materials for this population, assisting in the initial development of an Internet-based HIV adherence promotion intervention, examining the transmission of health beliefs and their relation to health behaviors and outcomes among a diverse sample of adolescents and their caretakers, and co-facilitating an exclusively online STI/HIV behavioral risk reduction group intervention for HIV-positive men. My current research projects involve coordinating a study examining whether different types of social support (i.e., autonomy support vs. directive support) and autonomous self-regulation are related to each other and to weight-related health behavior change in overweight and obese college students. Further, my early dissertation research involves two phases: a needs assessment to better understand the barriers to weight control for submariners and their families and the interactive effects that the working environment, the family, and submarine culture play in weight management; followed by the development and piloting of a weight management intervention tailored for submariners and their families informed by phase 1 findings.


I graduated from the University of Connecticut with a B.A. in Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies (double major). I just recently defended my master’s on pretreatment predictors of weight loss within my clinical program here at UConn. In addition to my Ph.D., I am also pursuing the health psychology graduate certificate through the graduate school.

Featured Publications

Lenz, EM, Gorin AA. Weight History, Physical, and Mental Health: Does Gender Matter? To be presented at the 35th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, Philadelphia, PA.

Lenz, EM, Gorin AA. To succeed or not to succeed? That is the pre-treatment question. Presented at Obesity Week 2013, Atlanta, GA.

Lenz, EM. An examination of the relationship between binge eating and obesity in adults: Differentiating obese binge eaters from obese non-binge eaters. Manuscript in preparation.

Lenz EM, Gorin AA. Mirror, mirror: Do people accurately estimate their own weight and the weight of family members? Manuscript in preparation.

Lenz EM, Gorin AA. Mirror, mirror: Do people accurately estimate the weight of family members? Poster presented at the 34th annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine Conference, San Francisco, CA.

Fisher JD, Smith LR, Lenz EM. Secondary prevention of HIV in the United States: Past, current, and future perspectives. J Acquir Immune Defici Syndr. 2010;55(Suppl 2) :S106-115.

McClure KJ, Schierberl Scherr A, Lenz EM, Powers T, Gorin AA. Negative attitudes toward obese people lead to less weight loss. Talk presented at: the Data Blitz of the SPSP Preconference on Social Psychology and Health; February 2010; Las Vegas, NV.

Schierberl Scherr A, Powers T, Lenz EM, McClure KJ, Gorin AA. Self-determination theory-based couples intervention for weight loss. Poster accepted to: the 31st Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine; April 2010; Seattle, WA.

Contact Information
Mailing AddressDepartment of Psychology
406 Babbidge Road, Unit 1020
Storrs, CT 06269-1020