Welcome to the Colby Health Psychology Lab!  We are interested in both understanding the psychological, social, and environmental factors that relate to health behaviors and improving the design of health promotion interventions.  In general, our research asks questions of how, for whom, and under what circumstances these factors affect health.  We are currently pursuing three lines of research .

Influences of peers on health.  Our primary area of research seeks to understand peer influence, particularly in the context of college student alcohol use. We are examining how and for whom students’ peer social networks encourage risky behavior and constrain efforts at changing behavior. We are currently examining the processes that underlie mimicry of heavy alcohol use and testing strategies that might protect individuals against this form of peer influence. Collaborators on this research include Kate Carey at Brown and Eric Robinson and Matt Field at the University of Liverpool.

Improving interventions to reduce alcohol use. This line of research focuses on improving alcohol interventions for young adults by producing a better understanding of the mechanisms through which interventions bring about behavior change. This work has included a systematic review examining evidence for mechanisms of behavior change in college alcohol interventions. We are currently testing the efficacy of individual intervention ingredients to improve our understanding of which strategies are effective and which might be abandoned. We are also interested in differentiatiating the factors that are important for initiating versus maintaining behavior change.

Influences of stigma and discrimination on health. In a third line of research, we examine influences of stigma and discrimination on health.  With collaborators Jeannette Ickovics, Trace Kershaw, and others at Yale, we are examining how and for which individuals experiences with discrimination negatively affect a number of health outcomes, including maternal and child health.  We are also working with Jack Dovidio and Blair Johnson to examine the influence of structural forms of stigma (e.g., residential segregation, community attitudes) on the efficacy of interventions for improving African American’s health.

Allecia Reid

Lab Director, William and Margaret Montgoris Assistant Professor of Psychology

I took a socReid_photoial psychology course as an undergraduate where the professor helped me to see connections between basic social psychological research and why we may do things that are bad for our health. Since then, I have been drawn to the question– how can we use psychological principles to help people to take better care of their health?  After receiving my B.A. in psychology from the University of Connecticut, I completed my M.A. and Ph.D. in social psychology at Arizona State University. At ASU, I also picked up a love for data analysis! I then completed postdoctoral research positions in Yale’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS and Brown’s Center for Alcohol and Addictions Studies before coming to Colby. I regularly teach Health Psychology (PS 241) and a seminar on Social Psychology and Health (PS 356/357).



Current Research Assistants

Aliza Anderson, ’21

Holly Gottsegen,’20

Alessandra Grossman,’19

SJ Sahagun,’20

Olivia Selemon, ’19

Chiara Tice, ’18


Lab Alumni

Ali Belzer ’17
Michelle Boucher ’17
Anna Herling ’16
Molly Hodgkins ’15: Currently completing a MSW at Univ. of Maine
Ariel Martin ’14
Caroline Minott ’15: Currently completing a BSN at Univ. of Southern Maine
Frances Onyliagha ’14: Currently completing a BSN at Duke Univ.
Kate Riley ’16: Currently a clinical research coordinator at Boston Children’s
Carly Taylor ’15: Currently completing a MD at Tufts University



Carey, K. B., Lust, S. A., Reid, A. E., Kalichman, S. C., & Carey, M. P. (2016). How mandated college students talk about alcohol: Peer communication factors associated with drinking. Health Communication, 31, 1127-1134.

Reid, A. E., & Carey, K. B. (2015). Interventions to reduce college student drinking: State of the evidence for mechanisms of behavior change. Clinical Psychology Review, 40, 213-224.

Reid, A. E., Carey, K. B., Merrill, J. E., & Carey, M. P. (2015).  Social network influences on initiation and maintenance of reduced drinking among college students. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83, 36-44.

Rosenthal, L., Earnshaw, V. A., Lewis, T. T., Reid, A. E., Lewis, J. B., Stasko, E. C., Tobin, J. N., & Ickovics, J. R. (2015). Changes in discrimination across pregnancy and postpartum: Age differences and consequences for mental health. American Journal of Public Health, 105, 686-693.

Merrill, J. E., Carey, K. B., Reid, A. E., & Carey, M. P. (2014). Drinking reductions following alcohol-related sanctions are associated with social norms among college students. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 28, 553-558.

Merrill, J. E., Reid, A. E., Carey, K. B., & Carey, M. P. (2014). Gender-specific effects of depression on drinking outcomes following brief motivational interventions. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 82, 984-992.

Prince, M. A., Reid, A. E., Neighbors, C., & Carey, K. B. (2014). Effects of normative feedback for drinkers who consume less than the norm: Dodging the boomerang. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 28, 538-544.

Reid, A. E., Dovidio, J. F., Ballester, E., & Johnson, B. T. (2014). HIV prevention interventions to reduce sexual risk for African Americans: The influence of community-level stigma and psychological processes. Social Science and Medicine, 103, 118-125.

Rosenthal, L., Earnshaw, V. A., Lewis, J. B., Lewis, T. T., Reid, A. E., Stasko, E. C., Tobin, J. N., & Ickovics, J. R. (2014). Discrimination and sexual risk: A longitudinal analysis among young urban pregnant women of color. Health Psychology, 33, 3-10.

Earnshaw, V. A., Rosenthal, L., Lewis, J. B., Stasko, E. C., Tobin, J. N., Lewis, T. T., Reid, A. E., & Ickovics, J. R. (2013). Maternal experiences with everyday discrimination and infant birth weight: A test of mediators and moderators among young, urban women of color. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 45, 13-23.

Gordon, D. M., Hawes, S. W., Reid, A. E., Callands, T., Magriples, U., Divney, A., Niccolai, L. M., & Kershaw, T. S. (2013). The many faces of manhood: Examining the health behaviors of young fathers across race. American Journal of Men’s Health, 7, 394-401.

Novick, G., Reid, A. E., Kershaw T. S., Magriples, U., Lewis, J. B., & Ickovics, J. R. (2013). Group prenatal care:  Model fidelity and outcomes. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 209, 112.e1-112.e6.

Reid, A. E., & Aiken, L. S. (2013). Correcting misperceptions of injunctive peer norms motivates behavior change: A randomized controlled sun-protection intervention. Health Psychology. Special issue: Theoretical Innovations in Social and Personality Psychology: Implications for Health, 32, 551-560.

Reid, A. E., Magriples, U., Niccolai, L. M., Gordon, D. M., Arnold, A., & Kershaw T. S. (2013). The influence of a sexually transmitted disease diagnosis during a relationship on condom use and psychosocial outcomes. American Journal of Community Psychology, 51, 510-519

Reid, A. E., & Aiken, L. S. (2011). Integration of five models of health behavior: Common strengths and unique contributions to understanding condom use. Psychology and Health, 26, 1499-1520.

Reid, A. E., Cialdini, R. B., & Aiken, L. S. (2010). Social norms and health behavior. In A. Steptoe (Ed.), Handbook of behavioral medicine research: Methods and applications (pp. 263-274)New York: Springer.

Johnson, B. T., Carey, M. P., Chaudoir, S. R., & Reid, A. E. (2006). Sexual risk reduction for persons living with HIV. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 41, 642-650