Dr. Dawn Wilson, President, Society for Health Psychology



Dr. Wilson is a Professor of Psychology at the University of South Carolina (USC).  Her nationally funded program of research has focused on developing innovative, theoretically-based interventions for health promotion in minority adolescents and their families. Her theoretical approach integrates bio-ecological models, family systems, and motivational approaches for understanding social and environmental influences of long-term health behavior change. Her current trials are evaluating the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of social marketing interventions on increasing safety and access for walking in high crime, under-served communities.  Her recent projects also integrate cultural and family-based approaches to tailoring effective weight loss programs in minority adolescents. 

Primary areas of interest are:

  1. Developing theoretically based interventions to promote healthy diet and physical activity in ethnic minority youth and their families.
  2. Applying bio-ecological models, family system approaches and motivational theory to develop effective  childhood obesity prevention programs in undeserved communities.
  3. Developing culturally and parenting tailored interventions for weight loss and prevention of metabolic syndrome in minority youth.
  4. Integrating a bio-ecological approach to studying gene environmental interactions related to obesity, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
  5. Developing cost-effective interventions for health promotion in ethnic minorities and undeserved populations that have implications and translation for influencing public health policy.

University of South Carolina