Rick Gibbons, PhD

Professor, Social Psychology (PI)

Department of Psychological Sciences

Research Overview

I am a health-social psychologist. I study psychosocial factors related to health status and health behavior. A primary focus in this area has been the effects of perceived racial discrimination on the health behavior (e.g., substance use, risky sexual behavior) of African Americans. I am a PI on the Family and Community Health Study (FACHS), the largest panel study of African American families in the US. I conduct survey and experimental work; the latter involving lab explorations of the effects of discrimination and social exclusion on health risk. The survey work examines environmental factors affecting health behavior, as well as Gene x Environment (GxE) effects on health. I have also been involved in several interventions and preventive-interventions (e.g., The Strong African American Families [SAAF] program; and the Iowa – San Diego UV protection project). I also conduct research (lab and survey) based on our model of adolescent health behavior, the Prototype-Willingness model, which is a dual-processing model of health decision-making, mostly among adolescents. Finally, I study psychosocial factors related to cancer risk behaviors (smoking, UV exposure, risky sexual behavior).


Colgate University; BA, major in Psychology.
Univ. of Texas @ Austin; Ph.D. in Psychology (emphasis in social psychology)
Univ. of Kansas; Post-doctoral fellowship in Applied Social Psychology

Recent/Selected Publications

Google Scholar

Contact Information
Phone(860) 486-5060
Mailing Address406 Babbidge Road, Unit 1020
Storrs, CT 06269-1020

Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy
2006 Hillside Road
Unit 1248
Storrs, CT 06269-1248