If you are interested in assisting in SHARP quests and you are a UConn student or someone who happens to live in our community, please complete this form. We especially encourage new honor's students (freshmen or sophomores; perhaps first-semester juniors) to help with ongoing studies and experiments.
The Systematic Health Action Research Program (SHARP) primarily focuses on what makes individuals and communities healthy or unhealthy, using both mental and physical health indicators. Led by UCONN Professor Blair T. Johnson along with post doctoral research associates Rebecca L. Acabchuk and Emily Alden Hennessy, we address how best to improve health. We examine how to improve self-regulation (e.g., meditation and other stress-reduction strategies), how to improve adherence to medical regimens, decrease risk for HIV, how best to reduce depression or anxiety, how much exercise can improve blood pressure or mental health, among other aspects of health. We also investigate how interventions focused on individuals may succeed or fail based on features of the community. To achieve these goals, we creatively address problems with a wide variety of inter-disciplinary approaches. We start with social psychology but add health, clinical, and developmental psychology; geography; communication sciences; public health; social epidemiology; sociology; graphical displays; data science; statistics; experiments; among others. SHARP also hosts the Health Psychology section of a leading journal, Social Science & Medicine.
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Research in the SHARP lab has been funded since 1995 by a series of K21 and R01 grants from NIMH and a K18 from NIAAA, a sub-contract from an NIH grant providing resources and coordination for NIH's Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) project. It also has received funding from UConn's Research Foundation, the Center for Health, Intervention, and Prevention (CHIP), Elsevier, LTD, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), and from CLAS's Bennett Fund for Innovative Education in Health and Society.