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Courtney J Stevens, PhD

Title(s)
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Additional Titles/Positions/Affiliations
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Investigator Member, Cancer Population Sciences | NCCC

Department(s)
Psychiatry

Education
University of New Hampshire
B.A., Psychology
2006 – 2010

University of Colorado Boulder
M.A., Clinical Psychology
2011 – 2012
Ph.D., Clinical Psychology
2012 – 2017

Brown University
APA Accredited Clinical Psychology Predoctoral Internship
Behavioral Medicine Track
2016 – 2017

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Clinical Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship
Behavioral Medicine Track
2017 – 2018

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
NIMH Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (T32 MH073553)
Aging Health Services Delivery
2018 – 2021

Programs
Center For Aging
Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Websites
Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/1BCUlfqN8o3kQ/bibliography/public/

Contact Information


Professional Interests

Broad:
- Behavioral Medicine, Clinical Psychology (fields)
- Science of Behavior Change
- Behavioral intervention development and testing

Specific:
- Physical Activity promotion, affect based determinants of physical activity, affect-regulated exercise
- Exercise oncology
- Adherence to health behavior regimens
- Behavioral Activation-based interventions for improving mental and physical health outcomes among older adults at risk for functional decline

Grant Information

K08 CA259632 | Stevens (PI) | 04/2021 – 03/2026
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Increasing Physical Activity Among Breast Cancer Survivors: Use of the ORBIT Model to Refine and Test a Novel Approach to Exercise Promotion based on Affect Regulation
Goal: The goal of this K08 Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award is to prepare the candidate for an independent research career as a behavior change scientist and interventionalist in oncology.
Role: PI
Effort: .80 FTE

Biography

My program of research is focused on the science of behavior change regarding the uptake and maintenance of cancer-prevention and control behaviors. I am particularly interested in the impacts of feeling states (i.e., affect, distress, and fatigue) on physical activity levels among survivors of cancer. The overarching goals of my program of research are twofold: (1) To use an experimental medicine approach to identify and target underlying mechanisms of cancer-prevention behaviors; and (2) to systematically design targeted, evidence-based behavior change interventions that are scalable and have long-lasting effects on cancer-survivorship outcomes. In the long-term, I aim to build computational models that guide person-specific, context-sensitive, adaptive behavioral interventions for the promotion of physical activity among survivors of cancer.

Beyond my primary lines of NIH-funded research, I am actively pursuing research projects and collaborations in several other areas: (1) Increasing physical functioning and role participation among individuals living with chronic health conditions and/or in contexts that negatively impact health (e.g., cancer, social isolation). For example, I am developing a line of research to promote exercise as “pre-hab” prior to lung cancer surgery. (2) Impacts of climate change on health behavior engagement and how social/behavioral scientists can inform perspectives on modifying human behavior to address the climate crisis. For example, I am a member of the Climate Change and Behavioral Health Sub-Committee for the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s Presidential Working Group on Climate Change and Behavioral Health. In this role, I collaborate with a highly transdisciplinary group of scientists to write papers, organize presentations for SBM’s annual meeting, and make recommendations to SBM’s Board regarding priorities to engage with organization-wide initiatives. (3) Anti-fat phobia interventions to reduce weight stigma and disordered eating. This is an emerging area of research for me; however, I specialize in behavioral weight management in my clinical practice as a psychologist, and overtime, I have become increasingly aware of how focus on weight and weight loss harms patients’ physical and mental health and I have made significant adjustments to my practice and interventions as a result.

Mentoring Information

I am actively looking to engage students and trainees at various career stages with my research and clinical activities (when appropriate). Students and trainees interested in connecting with my research laboratory should contact me at the email provided below.