Howard Tennen, PhD

Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, Community Medicine (PI)

Department of Public Health Sciences

Research Overview

Howard Tennen studies the dynamics of stress and coping with a focus on (1) the interaction of psychological factors and processes with the course and outcomes of major medical problems and (2) stress and coping in relation to substance use. His research participants have included patients with chronic pain disorders, parents of acutely ill newborns, developmentally disabled children, chronically ill children, victims of heart attacks, taste and smell loss, and infertility; risky drinkers, and more recently, college student drinkers. These studies have revealed how people’s psychological responses to their own or loved ones’ medical problems influence morbidity, health, and well-being. During the past twenty years, Dr. Tennen has also examined day-to-day stresses and burdens of chronic illness, daily coping efforts, and short-term changes in physical symptoms. He has applied the same daily process methods to the study of risky alcohol use, including the investigation of genetic factors that predict daily drinking dynamics and genetic predictors of emotional reactivity in daily life.


Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, 1976 (clinical psychology)
M.S., University of Massachusetts, 1973 (clinical psychology)
B.S., Queens College, City University of New York, 1969

Recent/Selected Publications

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Contact Information
Mailing AddressDepartment of Community Medicine
263 Farmington Avenue
MC 6325
Farmington, CT 06030-6325