Risky Health Behaviors in College Students
This study is being conducted in collaboration with University Health Service to investigate the health behaviors of college students. Current variables of interest include stress and coping mechanisms, sexual health, tobacco use, and factors related to overweight/obesity.
Principal Investigator: Joanne Brown, Co-Investigator: Melinda Ickes, Ph.D.

Tobacco-free Take Action!: Improving Compliance on a College Campus
This longitudinal study aims to determine the effects an Ambassador program can have on compliance with tobacco-free policies on college campuses.
Principal Investigator: Melinda Ickes, Ph.D.

Campus Readiness for Tobacco-free
The study aims to develop a novel campus readiness measure to implement smoke- and tobacco-free policies. Results from this study strive to strengthen the policy adoption and implementation process across campuses nationwide.
Principal Investigator: Melinda Ickes, Ph.D.

Promoting Responsive Smoke- and Tobacco-free Policy Adoption and Implementation
This project aims to promote smoke- and tobacco-free policy adoption and effective implementation through advocacy, policy analysis and monitoring,and stakeholder engagement.
Principal Investigator: Ellen Hahn, Ph.D., Co-Investigator: Melinda Ickes, Ph.D.

CDC Tips from Former Smokers PSAs
The purpose of this study is to determine the impact the CDC Tips from Former Smokers PSAs had on college student tobacco use, quit attempts, and attitudes. Additional data are available to highlight emerging tobacco use, social norm influences and exposure to secondhand smoke.
Principal Investigator: Melinda Ickes, Ph.D.

Evaluation of Time to Change
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the Time to Change program, a 12-week weight loss and healthy living intervention for obese college students. In addition, health promotion students will be trained as health coaches to determine impact on related skills and self-efficacy.
Principal Investigator: Melinda Ickes, Ph.D.

An Examination of the Societal and Cultural Factors Contributing to Obesity among Kentucky Youth
This project seeks to obtain formative data necessary for the development and implementation of a culturally appropriate intervention targeted at children and their parents to reduce the occurrence of obesity across Kentucky.
Principal Investigator: Don Helme, Ph.D., Co-Investigator: Melinda Ickes, Ph.D.


Sexual Health Promotion

The Couples Study
A longitudinal study examining sexual health in couples.
Principal Investigator: Kristen Mark, Ph.D.

Women’s Desire Study
A study examining sexual desire in women.

Rectal Cancer and Couple Well-being Study
Sexual and relationship functioning in the context of rectal cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Principal Investigator: Kristen Mark, Ph.D.

HIV Serodiscordant Couples Study
Risk reduction and pleasure-based examination of couples in HIV-serodiscordant relationships.
Principal Investigator: Kristen Mark, Ph.D.

Sexual Values Study
Examination of the value placed on sex and developmental significance.
Principal  Investigator: Stephanie Bennett, Ph.D.

Sexual Desire and Attachment Study
Study examining the link between desire, attachment, and mindfulness.
Principal Investigator: Kristen Mark, Ph.D.

Attitudes toward Monogamy Study
Examination of attitudes toward monogamy in diverse populations.
Principal Investigator: Kristen Mark, Ph.D.

Healthy Firefighters Project
A study designed to improve the health, fitness, and performance of firefighters.
Investigator: Mark Abel, Ph.D.

Physical Activity Assessment
Research designed to assess the validity of pedometers and accelerometers in measuring physical activity.
Principal Investigator: Mark Abel, Ph.D.

Physical Activity and Children’s Academic Performance
This study examined the effect of additional physical education on children’s academic achievement (e.g., test scores), behavior, and cognition. Additionally, physical activity as a predictor of cognitive functioning is explored.
Faculty Mentor: Heather Erwin, Ph.D.

Student and Teacher Perceptions of Two Recess Periods
The purpose of this study was to examine both teacher and student perceptions of a school implementing two recess periods per school day. This was a mixed methods study incorporating questionnaires and interviews.
Principal Investigator:  Heather Erwin, Ph.D.

Walking Classroom
This study compared traditional sedentary learning and a Walking Classroom content-based curriculum on elementary students’ learning and mood. This was a mixed methodology study with physical activity, questionnaires, and interviews.
Collaborator:  Heather Erwin, Ph.D.

Student Perceptions and Use of Sensory Spaces during School
In this study, student stress levels and mindfulness will be measured before and after they are offered the opportunity to self-initiate movement breaks in hallway sensory spaces at their school. Students will also participate in interviews to determine their perceptions of the activity breaks and the sensory spaces.
Principal Investigator:  Heather Erwin, Ph.D.

Gait Training in Individuals with Multiple Sclerosis
This study investigates the effectiveness of anti-gravity treadmill gait training on neuromuscular function, dynamic balance and gait in the population with Multiple Sclerosis.
Principal Investigator: Fan Gao, Ph.D.

Innovative Gait Training in Unilateral Transfemoral Amputees
In this project, an innovative robotic gait training is developed and implemented in individuals with unilateral transfemoral amputees. Its performance is compared with traditional supervised treadmill gait training in enhancing neuromuscular characteristics of the hip abductors, reducing gait deviations and improving functional performance.
Principal Investigator: Fan Gao, Ph.D.

Effects of Femoroacetabular Impingement Syndrome (FAIS) on Hip Joint Mechanics, Cartilage and Bone Health
Patients with FAIS exhibit abnormal hip joint mechanics and severe hip pain yet the effects of FAIS on hip joint bone and cartilage health are not well understood. Our study utilizes advanced musculoskeletal modeling techniques, quantitative MRI and PET-imaging to develop an understanding of the relationship between hip joint mechanical loading, cartilage composition and subchondral bone remodeling. This information will aid in the development of interventions that can optimize hip joint mechanical loads, improve hip joint health and reduce hip pain in the FAIS population.
Principal Investigator: Michael Samaan, Ph.D.

Alterations in Hip Joint Stress Patterns After Aerobic Exercise in Patients with Hip Osteoarthritis
Aerobic exercise is prescribed to patients with hip osteoarthritis (OA) yet the effects of aerobic exercise on hip joint stress patterns, biochemical alterations in cartilage health and hip-related pain are not well documented. We will assess the changes in hip joint stress patterns and serum-based biomarkers of cartilage health after a 30-minute walking task (mechanical stress test) in patients with hip OA. In conjunction with hip muscle strength measures, we will use the results from our mechanical stress test to develop targeted exercise-based interventions that will reduce the effects of hip OA disease.
Principal Investigator: Michael Samaan, Ph.D.

Explore the Department’s Seminar Series