Bess Marcus Adjunct Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior

Dr. Marcus is a clinical health psychologist who has spent the last 20 years conducting research on physical activity behavior and has published over 150 papers and book chapters as well as three books on this topic. She has developed a series of assessment instruments to measure psychosocial mediators of physical activity behavior and has also developed low-cost interventions to promote physical activity behavior in community, workplace, and primary care settings.

research overview

As a clinical health psychologist, Bess Marcus has spent the last 20 years conducting research on physical activity behavior. She has published over 150 articles and book chapters, as well as three books on physical activity. Marcus has developed a series of assessment instruments to measure psychosocial mediators of physical activity behavior and has also developed low-cost interventions to promote physical activity behavior in community, workplace, and primary care settings. She contributed to new national recommendations for physical activity and contributed to the 1996 Surgeons General Report on Physical Activity and Health.

research statement

Bess H. Marcus, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Brown University Medical School. She is a clinical health psychologist and her primary research interests are in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and the promotion of women's health. She has spent the last 20 years conducting research primarily on physical activity behavior and has published over 150 papers and book chapters on this topic as well as three books. She has developed a series of assessment instruments to measure psychosocial mediators of physical activity behavior and has also developed low-cost interventions to promote physical activity behavior in community, workplace, and primary care settings.

She has participated in numerous national and international committees and review groups including the American Heart Association, American College of Sports Medicine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Institutes of Health. She has served on panels that have created new recommendations regarding the quantity and intensity of physical activity necessary for health benefits. She was also a contributing author to the Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health. She serves or has served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Psychology, Sport and Exercise, Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, and Research and Sport. She serves on the national advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) course on Physical Activity and Public Health.

She has also conducted a series of studies on the efficacy of physical activity to enhance smoking cessation and minimize weight gain in women smokers (e.g., CA50087; CA77249). She is currently principal investigator or co-investigator on 13 National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants on physical activity behavior including trials of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention in adults and older adults (e.g., HL64342; HL69866).

funded research

2006-2009 Principal Investigator. Achieving Physical Activity Guidelines Through an Enhanced Print Intervention. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute #R01 HL64342. $1,943,480.

2006-2008 Principal Investigator. Achieving Physical Activity Guidelines Through an Enhanced Print Intervention. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Diversity Supplement to #R01 HL64342. $90,374.

2006-2010 Principal Investigator. Using a YMCA Exercise Program to Enhance Nicotine Dependence Treatment for Women. National Institute on Drug Abuse #R01 DA021729. $2,495,136.

2006-2008 Principal Investigator. Seamos Activas. Increasing Activity among Latinas. National Institute of Nursing Research # R21 NR009864. $267,002.

2006-2008 Co-Investigator (with D. Williams, Principal Investigator). Does Moderate Intensity Exercise Help Prevent Smoking Relapse Among Women? National Cancer Institute # R03 CA119747. $ 100,000.

2007-2009 Co- Investigator (with B. Bock, Principal Investigator). Yoga for Women Attempting Smoking Cessation: An initial investigation National Institute for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine #R21 AT003669. $214,288.