Work in the Creating Healthy People Lab is devoted to generating new knowledge that can be used to help create healthier people. Much of the research focuses on the way in which the social environment affects health. Some of the work we do in the lab is described below.
The role of Legislation
Legislation and policy affect individual-level behavior. In our lab we are currently studying this in the context of marijuana (although we have studied in other contexts as well e.g., dietary supplements). The landscape regarding marijuana legislation is shifting. An increasing number of states are legalizing use for medical or even recreational use. In our lab we are interesting in understanding how these shifts impact marijuana-related cognitions and actual use.
Self-control refers to one’s ability to both engage in behaviors and override urges in pursuit of valued outcomes. In our lab we investigate the role that self-control plays in health risk and health promotion activities, as well as ways to improve it.
A growing body of evidence is showing that physical activity is associated with a number of beneficial health and social outcomes. For example higher levels of physical activity are associated with slower rates of cognitive decline, increases in physical health, and lower rates of tobacco use just to name a few. Yet, there remains at least one perplexing relationship between physical activity and health: that physical activity is associated with higher rates of alcohol use. Work in our lab seeks to understand why this is be the case.
Performance Enhancing Substances
Performance enhancing substances (PES) are used by individuals who wish to improve their athletic performance or physical appearance. In our lab we study risk and protective factors with respect to PES use with the goal of develop evidence-based interventions that can reduce or limit use among adolescents.