Rebecca Acabchuk, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow (PI)

Psychological Sciences

Research Interests

My research interests include yoga and mindfulness-based programs to improve mental health, resilience, and self-compassion. I use advanced, meta-analytic techniques to evaluate cognitive, emotional and self-related mechanisms of mind-body interventions, and conduct RCTs to evaluate implementation strategies for lasting behavior change, with the goal of reaching a diverse audience. As a member of the SHARP Lab, I am part of a large multi-site NIH-sponsored initiative, The Science of Behavior Change (SOBC), which aims to better understand what helps people make healthy behavior change, and actually stick to it. I also have research experience in neurogenesis and concussions, and recently completed the first-ever meta-analysis on yoga, meditation and mindfulness-based interventions for concussion rehabilitation.


PhD, University of Connecticut, 2016

Recent Publications

Acabchuk, R. L., Simon, M., Low, S., & Johnson, B. T. Measuring Mindfulness Progress with a Consumer-Grade EEG Device: Caution from a Randomized Controlled Trial. Mindfulness, under review.

Wu, Y., MacDonald, H. V., Johnson, B. T., Acabchuk, R., Livingston, J., Park, C. S., & Pescatello, L. S. (2017). The antihypertensive benefits of yoga: A meta-analysis. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 49(5S), 587. PCMID: NA

Acabchuk, R. L., Kamath, J., Salamone, J. D., & Johnson, B. T. (2017). Stress and chronic illness: The inflammatory pathway. Social Science & Medicine, 185, 166-170. PCMID: NA

Johnson, B. T., & Acabchuk, R. L. (2018). What are the keys to a longer, happier life? Answers from five decades of health psychology research. Social Science & Medicine, 196:218-226. PMID: 29153315

Acabchuk, R. L., & Johnson, B. T. (2017). Helmets in women’s lacrosse: What the evidence shows. Concussion. PCMID: NA

Acabchuk, R. L., Briggs, D. I., Angoa-Pérez, M., Powers, M., Wolferz Jr, R., Soloway, M., … & Conover, J. C. (2016). Repeated mild traumatic brain injury causes focal response in lateral septum and hippocampus. Concussion. PCMID: NA

Shook, B. A., Lennington, J. B., Acabchuk R. L., Halling, M., Sun, Y., Peters, J., Wu, Q., Mahajan, A., Fellows, D. W., Conover, J. C. (2014). Ventriculomegaly associated with ependymal gliosis and declines in barrier integrity in the aging human and mouse brain. Aging Cell. 2014 Apr;13(2):340-350. PCMID: NA

Acabchuk, R. L, Sun Y., Wolferz Jr, R., Lennington, J. B., Shook, B. A., Conover, J. C. (2015). 3D Modeling of the lateral ventricles and histological characterization of periventricular tissue in humans and mouse. Journal of Visualized Experiments. (99). PCMID: NA

Eastman, M. B., Acabchuk, R. L., Conover, J. C. (2015). Neural stem cell behavior in the subventricular zone as a function of age: Neural stem cells in health and disease. World Scientific Press. PCMID: NA

Select posters and oral conference presentations:

Acabchuk, R. L., Babbott-Bryan, N., Hennessy, E. A., Hand, G., & Johnson, B. T. (2018). Mind-body interventions for recovery from mild traumatic brain injury and post-concussion syndrome: Systematic review of evidence and potential mechanisms. Oral presentation at Mind & Life International Symposium for Contemplative Research, Wild Horse Pass, AZ. PCMID: NA

Acabchuk, R. L., Simon, M., Cracco, E.J., Park, C. L., Johnson, B. T. (2018). Assisting University Students Self-Manage Stress: Comparison of Mindfulness Meditation Tools. Poster presentation at Mind & Life International Symposium for Contemplative Research, Wild Horse Pass, AZ. PCMID: NA

Acabchuk, R. L., Park, C. L., Bernier, K., Ramesh, D., Johnson, B. T., Starkweather, A. (2017). Yoga for chronic low back pain: Investigating mechanisms of action and adherence to home practice. Poster presentation at the Symposium for Yoga Research, Stockbridge, MA. PCMID: NA

Contact Information
Mailing Address2006 Hillside Rd Unit 1248 Storrs, CT 06269-1248 United States