Megan Clarke

Graduate Student, Psychology (Affiliate)

Research Overview

My research interests include obesity intervention and prevention in at-risk populations. I am especially interested in how Self-Determination Theory (SDT) may predict health behavior change. My research to date has sought to examine how teachable moments, such as the transition to college and the postpartum period, may provide ideal opportunities for health behavior change through targeted interventions. For my master’s thesis, I explored how the principles of SDT correlate with physical activity levels in college freshman. My results were consistent with the principles of SDT; autonomous motivation was associated with continued exercise adherence. Furthermore, study results indicated that females are particularly at risk for dramatic decreases in their physical activity levels. Moving forward in my research, I am interested in exploring whether SDT also predicts physical activity levels in postpartum women. Much like those transitioning to college, pregnant women and new mothers are a group that is vulnerable to unhealthy changes in diet and decreases in physical activity levels. In addition to my own work, I have worked as a research assistant on various other projects, including and NIH-funded study seeking to adapt the Look Ahead program into a virtual format, and an Aetna-funded study targeting obesogenic behaviors in Latino families.


For my undergraduate degree in Spanish and English, I attended Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. I also received a Master’s degree in Mind, Brain, and Education from Harvard University before beginning my PhD at UConn.

Contact Information
Mailing AddressDepartment of Psychology
406 Babbidge Road, Unit 1020
(Bousfield Building, BOUS)
Storrs, CT 06269-1020