Established in 2009, the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Health Behavior Research is an institution-wide collaborative effort, dedicated to conducting health behavior research, fostering advances in measurement of health behaviors, advancing the use of health behavior theory, and promoting collaboration among faculty, fellows and students. Through theory-based research and a broad focus on measurement of health behavior, the CHBR contributes to both fundamental and applied research to help individuals, populations and clinicians improve health behaviors and outcomes. The CHBR is a Type I center that is housed within the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB) at the Perelman School of Medicine.
Activities and Collaboration
Measurement of Health Behaviors, their Environments, and Related Constructs
- Developing and pilot testing new measures
- Validation, reliability testing, and scale development
- Formative research, both qualitative and quantitative
- Consultation on proposal development, data collection methods, data reduction and analysis
Health Behavior Theory
- Matching theoretical approaches to research ideas and designs
- Small-scale research to test theoretical constructs and theory-based hypotheses
- Application of theory for intervention development
- Consultation on proposal development, research design, analytical methods for theory testing
Training & Mentoring
- Training and mentoring a small team of postdoctoral scholars and junior faculty in CHBR
- Mentoring and employment for students at all levels including MSCE, PhD students in Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Nursing, and other fields
Scope of Research Topics
Our Center is currently conducting several research projects:
- Built environment and obesity in children and teens
- The perceived food environment in different socioeconomic neighborhoods
- Mapping food and activity landscape
- Melanoma family history and genetic testing
- Improving glaucoma medication compliance with interactive communications
A complete listing of our ongoing projects and recently completed work can be found on our research page.
Other health topics for recent or current research at our Center include: adolescent health/child health, behavior and health, cancer prevention, community-based research, evaluation, health promotion, nutrition, obesity prevention, physical activity, public health practice, rural health, smoking prevention/cessation.
Service and Consultation
A core goal of the CHBR is to encourage and optimize the quality of health behavior research at Penn. As such, the CHBR has a service component in which consultation can be provided. Areas of expertise and service include:
- Design and testing of novel instruments to evaluate health behavior constructs
- Applying conceptual models to guide health behavior research design
- Assessment of food and physical activity environments
Please click here to learn more and to request a consultation.
The CHBR team includes faculty, an advisory panel, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students from the Perelman School of Medicine, the School of Nursing and other departments, as well as a full-time staff of dedicated support personnel and researchers. The CHBR also provides training and mentoring opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who desire a career in health behavior research.