Alexander J Rothman's research while affiliated with University of Minnesota Duluth and other places

Publications (202)

Article
Background Primary care is a frequent source of pain treatment and opioid prescribing. The objective of the Prescribing Interventions for Chronic Pain using the Electronic health record (PRINCE) study is to assess the effects of two behavioral economics-informed interventions embedded within the electronic health record (EHR) on guideline-concordan...
Article
Background: Exposure to conflicting health information can produce negative affective and cognitive responses, including confusion and backlash, and the effects of this exposure can even "carry over" and reduce people's receptivity to subsequent messages about health behaviors for which there is scientific consensus. What is not known is whether c...
Article
COVID-19 has illuminated health inequity in the United States. The burdens of disease are much higher among Black and Indigenous people and other people of color. Disparities by income are also profound, as lower-wage workers were less able to adopt mitigating behaviors compared to higher-income counterparts. These disparities became part of public...
Article
Objective: This study sought to integrate the NIH Science of Behaviour Change (SOBC) measures repository comprising measures of putative mechanisms with mechanisms of action (MoA) identified by the Human Behaviour-Change Project (HBCP). Design: Participants were 30 international experts recruited from professional networks and societies. In thre...
Article
Importance: Tools that are directly integrated with the electronic health record (EHR) workflow can reduce the hassle cost of certain guideline-concordant practices, such as querying a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) before prescribing opioids. Objective: To investigate the effect of integrating access to a PDMP within the EHR on the...
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Full-text available
Background and Purpose Interventions are effective in promoting health behavior change to the extent that (a) intervention strategies modify targets (i.e., mechanisms of action), and (b) modifying targets leads to changes in behavior. To complement taxonomies that characterize the variety of strategies used in behavioral interventions, we outline a...
Article
Conflicting recommendations about mammography screening have received ample media coverage, emphasizing scientists' debate over the value of breast cancer screening and differences in professional organizations' guidelines about the appropriate starting age and frequency of routine mammograms. Whereas past research suggests that exposure to such me...
Article
Recognized challenges in promoting long-term physical activity maintenance may be due to inconsistencies in the conceptualization and operationalization of behavior maintenance terminology in physical activity research. The overall goal of this paper is to propose a framework and agenda for the development of a common set of terms, definitions, and...
Article
Background Prior research has shown that social control strategies can have either positive or negative effects on individuals’ health behaviors. However, no research has examined the degree to which social control attempts enacted by romantic partners are associated with individuals’ relational behaviors or whether perceptions of a partner’s motiv...
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Background: Young adulthood (ages 18-29 years) is marked by substantial weight gain, leading to increased lifetime risks of chronic diseases. Engaging in sufficient levels of physical activity and sleep, and limiting sedentary time are important contributors to the prevention of weight gain. Dual-process models of decision-making and behavior that...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Young adulthood (ages 18-29 years) is marked by substantial weight gain, leading to increased lifetime risks of chronic diseases. Engaging in sufficient levels of physical activity and sleep, and limiting sedentary time are important contributors to the prevention of weight gain. Dual-process models of decision-making and behavior that d...
Article
Background Parents can influence their children to live healthier lifestyles by modeling healthy behaviors and/or trying to persuade their children to engage in healthier activities. Adolescents and their parents tend to have similar eating and exercise patterns, but less is known about the simultaneous influence of parent’s health behavior and soc...
Article
Objective Two approaches may shift attention from short-term rewards to longer-term weight-loss goals: focusing on long-term consequences of unhealthy choices (prevention) or benefits of healthy choices (promotion). This randomized controlled trial tested the impact of prevention- versus promotion-focused strategies in an internet-delivered behavio...
Article
Relationship partners affect one another’s health outcomes through their health behaviors, yet how this occurs is not well understood. To fill this gap, we present the Dyadic Health Influence Model (DHIM). The DHIM identifies three routes through which a person (the agent) can impact the health beliefs and behavior of their partner (the target). An...
Article
Relationship partners affect one another’s health outcomes through their health behaviors, yet how this occurs is not well understood. To fill this gap, we present the Dyadic Health Influence Model (DHIM). The DHIM identifies three routes through which a person (the agent) can impact the health beliefs and behavior of their partner (the target). An...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Parents can influence their children to live healthier lifestyles by modeling healthy behaviors and/or trying to persuade their children to engage in healthier activities. Adolescents and their parents tend to have similar eating and exercise patterns, but less is known about the simultaneous influence of parent’s health behavior and so...
Article
Objective This study examines the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on exercise routines and engagement in moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Design Individuals (N = 397) who reported meeting recommended guidelines for MVPA prior to COVID-19 completed an online questionnaire during the United States’ COVID-19 lockdowns in April/May 2020. M...
Article
We issue a call for the design and conduct of experimental trials to test the effects of researchers' adoption of Open Science (OS) research practices. OS emerged to address lapses in the transparency, quality, integrity, and reproducibility of research by proposing that investigators institute practices, such as preregistering study hypotheses, pr...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic altered daily life in the United States and disrupted how people engage in routine health behaviors, such as physical activity (PA). This study investigates factors that may have helped people sustain recommended levels of moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) during this time. Using a cross-sectional design, we recruited from Amazon...
Preprint
Full-text available
Relationship partners affect one another’s health outcomes through their health behaviors, yet how this occurs is not well understood. To fill this gap, we present the Dyadic Health Influence Model (DHIM). The DHIM identifies three routes through which a person (the agent) can impact the health beliefs and behavior of their partner (the target). An...
Article
Background Accumulating evidence suggests that exposure to conflicting health information can adversely affect public understanding of and trust in health recommendations. What is not known is whether prior exposure to such information renders people less receptive to subsequent unrelated health messages about behaviors for which the evidence is cl...
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Full-text available
Objective: Despite abundant observational and experimental tests, it is not yet clear whether enhancing autonomous motivation or perceived competence leads to health behavior change. We identified interventions that aimed to change these constructs and quantified the magnitude of changes in behavior observed when interventions generated increases...
Article
Machery (2020) has recently proposed a "resampling" account of experimental replication to dissolve a debate in psychology about the relative merits of direct and conceptual replication. We argue that (i) on matters of replication’s function and typology, the resampling account is not substantially different from the functional account of replicati...
Article
One concern as lung cancer screening (LCS) is implemented is that patients will be screened who are too ill to benefit. Poor exercise capacity (EC) predicts adverse outcomes following lung resection. Objective Describe the distribution of EC among smokers eligible for LCS and examine associations with comorbidities. Methods Cross-sectional analys...
Article
Adult friendships are important relationships, yet little work has examined the processes through which they end and the antecedents and consequences of endings. Building on work that has highlighted the reasons friendships end [1∗], we propose an adult friendship dissolution process model that features how situational, personal, and interpersonal...
Article
Using data from the Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating (FLASHE) study, we examined how adolescents’ age as well as parents’ and their adolescent’s gender are associated with the influence strategies parents use to promote healthy behaviors. Parents reported their use of intentional modeling and social control for four health behaviors:...
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Full-text available
Background Many global health challenges may be targeted by changing people’s behaviour. Behaviours including cigarette smoking, physical inactivity and alcohol misuse, as well as certain dietary behaviours, contribute to deaths and disability by increasing the risk of cancers, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Interventions have been designed...
Article
As with many other infectious and chronic conditions, the COVID-19 crisis in the United States (U.S.) reveals severe inequities in health. The objective of this study was to describe public perceptions of disparities in mortality from COVID-19 and examine correlates of those perceptions. We fielded a nationally-representative survey in late April 2...
Article
The Ready Steady 3.0 trial is designed to test the main and interactive effects of two behavior change intervention components, within an 8-week physical activity intervention, on older adults' physical activity (PA). Each component is comprised of behavior change strategies that emphasize two different evidence-based ways to motivate older adults...
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The article describes a position statement and recommendations for actions that need to be taken to develop best practices for promoting scientific integrity through open science in health psychology endorsed at a Synergy Expert Group Meeting. Sixteen Synergy Meeting participants developed a set of recommendations for researchers, gatekeepers, and...
Article
Behavior maintenance is crucial to sustaining one's health, yet researchers consistently find that individuals have difficulty sustaining health behavior over time. This entry outlines the importance of maintaining health behaviors over time, describes the challenges associated with operationalizing maintenance, considers how maintenance is operati...
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Full-text available
Conflicting information surrounding COVID-19 abounds, from disagreement over the effectiveness of face masks in preventing viral transmission to competing claims about the promise of certain treatments. Despite the potential for conflicting information about COVID-19 to produce adverse public health effects, little is known about whether the U.S. p...
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Background: Accelerating advances in health behavior change requires releasing the brake as well as applying the throttle. This paper discusses 6 challenges or ‘brakes’ that have slowed progress. Purpose/Methods/Results. We engage with 6 issues that limit investigators ability to delineate and test the strategy-target and target-behavior relations...
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Full-text available
Background: Behavioral interventions typically include multiple behavior change techniques (BCTs). The theory informing the selection of BCTs for an intervention may be stated explicitly or remain unreported, thus impeding the identification of links between theory and behavior change outcomes. Purpose: This study aimed to identify groups of BCT...
Article
This special issue showcases how investigators working in different areas of health behavior change are utilizing early phase studies to advance intervention development. Through the publication of design or protocol papers for currently funded Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) network projects, the special issue illustrates how investigative teams...
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Full-text available
Researchers, practitioners, and policymakers develop interventions to change behavior based on their understanding of how behavior change techniques (BCTs) impact the determinants of behavior. A transparent, systematic, and accessible method of linking BCTs with the processes through which they change behavior (i.e., their mechanisms of action [MoA...
Article
Background: Research suggests that focusing on the process of losing weight (i.e. how to eat and exercise) may be more advantageous for sustained engagement with goal pursuit than focusing on weight loss itself. However, gym-based weight loss programs focus almost exclusively on outcomes (e.g. weight, appearance). Using a quasi-experimental design...
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Full-text available
Efficacious translational research in health psychology relies on specifying why intervention strategies change health behaviors, and when, for what behaviors, and for whom, do these strategies promote change. Whereas interventions’ mechanism of action (the why question) has attracted considerable attention, there is a need to conceptualize and int...
Article
People who pursue approach goals (i.e., desired outcomes to be reached) tend to be more likely to achieve their goals than people who pursue avoidance goals (i.e., undesired outcomes to be prevented). We tested this premise in a brief preventive parenting intervention targeting parental praise to reduce disruptive child behavior. We also tested whe...
Article
Objective: To examine whether manipulating the frame used in email subject lines affects open or click-through rate. Participants: Students (N = 38,538) at a Midwestern university received emails from their health clinic about a stress management program (September - December 2017). Method: Three subject lines (Action Instruction only, Gain Frame p...
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Full-text available
Objective: We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to promote health behavior change based on self-determination theory (SDT). The review aimed to (a) quantify the impact of SDT interventions on health behaviors, (b) test mediation by theoretically specified variables (autonomous motivation and perceived competence), an...
Article
Human behavior plays a central role in cancer morbidity and mortality. Much behavior is, in turn, attributable to several core biological, cognitive, emotional, motivational, and interpersonal processes. Understanding the systematic and interactive impact of these processes can inform efforts to address cancer-relevant outcomes such as tobacco use,...
Article
In the 21st century, efforts to reduce the prevalence of disease and to improve life expectancy are inextricably linked to modifying patterns of human behavior (Adams, Grandpre, Katz, & Shenson, 2019; Bauer, Briss, Goodman, & Bowan, 2014). To achieve this goal, health professionals need a toolbox composed of intervention strategies that effectively...
Preprint
Background: Behavioural interventions typically include multiple behaviour change techniques (BCTs). The theory informing the selection of BCTs for an intervention may be stated explicitly, or remain unreported, thus impeding the identification of links between theory and behaviour change outcomes. Purpose: This study aimed to identify groups of BC...
Article
Full-text available
Matching the content of persuasive messages to the characteristics (e.g., motives, personality) of people receiving them is a widely used technique to improve persuasion. However, little is known about how to optimize matching beyond simply using the technique. We propose that matching interventions can be strengthened by matching messages to multi...
Article
Interventions that promote long-term maintenance of behaviors such as exercise, healthy eating, and avoidance of tobacco and excessive alcohol are critical to reduce noncommunicable disease burden. Theories of health behavior maintenance tend to address reactive (i.e., automatic) or reflective (i.e., deliberative) decision-making processes, but rar...
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine psychosocial constructs targeted as potential mediators in a prior physical activity (PA) intervention study. This secondary analysis used data from 102 older adults randomized to one of four conditions—within a 2 (Interpersonal Strategies: yes, no) x 2 (Intrapersonal Strategies: yes, no) factorial design. W...
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Background: Scalable weight loss maintenance (WLM) interventions for adults with obesity are lacking but vital for the health and economic benefits of weight loss to be fully realised. We examined the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a low-intensity technology-mediated behavioural intervention to support WLM in adults with obesity after cli...
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Research has shown that greater stress responses predict worse sleep and that the quality of one's current romantic relationship predicts one's sleep. Despite these established links, research has not examined connections between ongoing patterns of interpersonal experiences and competencies (relationship effectiveness) and stress exposure on sleep...
Article
Objective: Interpersonal relationships are important predictors of health outcomes and interpersonal influences on behaviours may be key mechanisms underlying such effects. Most health behaviour theories focus on intrapersonal factors and may not adequately account for interpersonal influences. We evaluate a dyadic extension of the Theory of Planne...
Article
Background Although there is growing theoretical and empirical support for the proposition that media exposure to conflicting health information negatively influences public understanding and behavior, few studies have causally linked exposure to conflict with undesirable outcomes. Such outcomes might be particularly likely in the context of mammog...
Article
Full-text available
Background Understanding the mechanisms through which behavior change techniques (BCTs) can modify behavior is important for the development and evaluation of effective behavioral interventions. To advance the field, we require a shared knowledge of the mechanisms of action (MoAs) through which BCTs may operate when influencing behavior. Purpose T...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: To advance understanding of intervention effects, and improve theory development, a methodology for linking behavior change techniques (BCTs) to the processes through which they change behavior (i.e. their mechanisms of action (MoAs)) is required. Purpose: To triangulate evidence for hypothesized BCT-MoA links obtained in previous liter...
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Full-text available
Background Despite advances in behavioral science, there is no widely shared understanding of the “mechanisms of action” (MoAs) through which individual behavior change techniques (BCTs) have their effects. Cumulative progress in the development, evaluation, and synthesis of behavioral interventions could be improved by identifying the MoAs through...
Article
Objective: Affective response during physical activity may be a key factor reinforcing future behavior. However, little is known about how affective responses during physical activity may differ across phases of behavior change. This study used real-time Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) to examine within-subject differences in affective respo...
Preprint
BACKGROUND: Understanding the mechanisms through which behaviour change techniques (BCTs) can modify behaviour is important for the development and evaluation of effective behavioural interventions. To advance the field, we require a shared knowledge of the mechanisms of action (MoAs) through which BCTs may operate when influencing behaviour. PURPO...
Preprint
Background: Despite advances in behavioural science, there is no widely shared understanding of the ‘mechanisms of action’ (MoAs) through which individual behaviour change techniques (BCTs) have their effects. Cumulative progress in the development, evaluation and synthesis of behavioural interventions could be improved by identifying the MoAs thro...
Article
Psychological theories of health behavior focus on intrapersonal influences on behavior. Greater attention to interpersonal effects and the relational contexts that regulate them has the potential to improve theory, and offer innovative strategies for intervention. This research takes a dyadic approach to understanding how parent and adolescent bel...
Article
Objective Reducing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption is a public health priority, yet finding an effective and acceptable policy intervention is challenging. One strategy is to use proportional pricing (a consistent price per fluid ounce) instead of the typical value-priced approach where large beverages offer better value. The purpose of the pr...
Article
Background Offering people financial incentives to increase their physical activity is an increasingly prevalent intervention strategy. However, little is known about the relative effectiveness of different types of incentives. This study tested whether incentives based on specified reinforcement types and schedules differentially affected the like...
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Full-text available
Background: Individual variability in response to multiple modalities of obesity treatment is well documented, yet our understanding of why some individuals respond while others do not is limited. The etiology of this variability is multifactorial; however, at present, we lack a comprehensive evidence base to identify which factors or combination...
Article
Background: Within the Accumulating Data to Optimally Predict obesity Treatment (ADOPT) Core Measures Project, the psychosocial domain addresses how psychosocial processes underlie the influence of obesity treatment strategies on weight loss and weight maintenance. The subgroup for the psychosocial domain identified an initial list of high-priorit...
Preprint
Matching the content of messages to the characteristics of individuals receiving them has proven to be an effective way to improve persuasive communication. Beyond this proposition, however, research has not fully delineated principles on how to optimize the effectiveness of communications that rely on message matching. The current study addresses...
Article
Background and objectives: Despite the availability of community resources, fall and inactivity rates remain high among older adults. Thus, in this article, we describe older adults' self-reported awareness and use of community resources targeting fall prevention and physical activity. Research design and methods: In-depth, semistructured interv...
Preprint
Migration is a critical issue for child development in the 21st century. We expand on García Coll et al.’s (1996) integrative model of minority child development by drawing from principles of attachment theory and interpersonal relationships research to offer new insights into how youth manage and respond to migration experiences. Immigrant and ref...
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Full-text available
Migration is a critical issue for child development in the 21st century. We expand on García Coll et al.’s (1996) integrative model of minority child development by drawing from principles of attachment theory and interpersonal relationships research to offer new insights into how youth manage and respond to migration experiences. Immigrant and ref...
Preprint
Psychological theories of health behavior focus on intrapersonal influences on behavior. Greater attention to interpersonal effects and the relational contexts that regulate them has the potential to improve theory, and offer innovative strategies for intervention. This research takes a dyadic approach to understanding how parent and adolescent bel...
Preprint
Objective: Interpersonal relationships are important predictors of health outcomes, and interpersonal influences on behaviours may be key mechanisms underlying such effects. Most health behaviour theories focus on intrapersonal factors and may not adequately account for interpersonal influences. We evaluate a dyadic extension of the Theory of Plann...