Health Behavior

Prospective students should click here to obtain specific admissions requirements on how to apply to Graduate School.
 

Degrees Offered: M.P.H.; M.S.P.H.; Ph.D.
Department Chair: Kevin Fontaine, Ph.D.
Phone: (205) 934-6020
Department Contact: Julie Brown, M.S.
Department Contact E-mail: jebrown@uab.edu
Website: http://www.soph.uab.edu/hb

Program Information and Objectives

The Department of Health Behavior aims to train health promotion specialists/behavioral scientists to conduct research, develop and evaluate programs, implement and disseminate programs and integrate ethical, cultural and social justice topics as they address the public’s health.

Health Behavior MPH and PhD students learn to use theories and methods from the social and behavioral sciences to develop programs that encourage  healthy behaviors. They learn state-of-the-art techniques and methods for research and program evaluation. Doctoral students study these topics in depth as they apply their knowledge and skills to conducting research and writing funding proposals and manuscripts. Our research covers obesity prevention including lifestyle interventions, family and adolescent health issues, prevention  and control of addictive behaviors, sexual health risks including HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, community based health promotion, health communication, and dissemination and implementation science.

Degree Programs

  • MPH Health Behavior - also offered fully online
  • MPH Fast Track (5th Year Program)
  • Coordinated MPH/PhD in Health Behavior and Psychology or Sociology
  • Coordinated MPH/MSN in Health Behavior
  • MSPH Clinical Research
  • Ph.D. Health Education & Health Promotion


Health Behavior Degree Competencies -  Click Here
 


Admissions Information

Master Program Deadline: www.soph.uab.edu/apply
PhD Program Deadline: July 1
GPA 3.0
Number of Letters of Recommendation Required: Three
Entrance Tests: GRE www.soph.uab.edu/prospective/testing
TOEFL TOEFL is required for international applicants whose native language is not English.
SOPH Graduate Catalog: http://www.soph.uab.edu/catalog
SOPH Admissions: http://www.soph.uab.edu/graduate
Comments For additional information please contact Julie Brown, M.S. (jebrown@uab.edu, phone: 205-975-8075)

School of Public Health Catalog

MPH Programs

The major instructional goal of the department is: to train health promotion specialists/behavioral scientists to conduct research, develop and evaluate programs, implement and disseminate programs and integrate ethical, cultural and social justice topics as they address the public’s health.

The Department of Health Behavior offers the following MPH degrees

  •  MPH - Also offered online
  • MPH Fast Track (5th Year Program)
  • MPH/MSN
  • MPH/PhD in Psychology or Sociology

MPH in Health Behavior
  Including the MPH Fast Track Program and Online Degree Program

Students in the MPH in Health Behavior are taught methods to identify and understand factors that affect behaviors related to personal and community health and to develop and evaluate intervention programs that promote healthy lives. Students are required to complete an internship. The internship is three credit hours and takes place following the completion of core course work.

The MPH program admits students with a bachelor’s degree. Students in this track take 44-47 credit hours. The number of credit hours you are required to complete is determined before admission by examining your education and professional experiences. The MPH may be completed in four semesters.

The MPH Fifth-year program admits students who are juniors at UAB. Students in this track take 44-47 credit hours. You generally complete this program one year after you complete your undergraduate degree.

RequirementsHours
MPH Core 17
BST 601Biostatistics4
ENH 600Fundamentals of Environmental Health Science3
EPI 600Intro to Epidemiology3
HB 624Advanced Social and Behavioral Science Theory3
HCO 600Management and Policy in Public Health Systems and Services3
PUH 695The Public Health Integrative Experience1
Departmental Track Requirements9
HB 636Developing Interventions to Promote Public Health3
HB 641Research Methods in Behavioral Science3
HB 643Health Program Evaluation3
Behavioral Science Electives12
SOPH Requirements3-6
PUH 627Writing & Reviewing Research for MPH Candidates3
or GRD 727 Writing & Reviewing Research
Internship3
HB 697Internship3
Total Hours44-47

Coordinated MPH/MSN in Health Behavior

The Coordinated MSN (School of Nursing)/MPH (Health Behavior) degree program is offered with the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing. This program enables you to obtain an MPH in Health Behavior simultaneously with a MSN from the School of Nursing.

The MPH degree requires a minimum of 44-47 credit hours.

 Admissions:  Students are admitted separately to the MPH and MSN degree programs and must meet admission requirements in both the School of Public Health and the School of Nursing.

* See the School of Nursing Catalog for the requirements for the MSN portion of the dual MPH/MSN degree.

RequirementsHours
MPH Core17
BST 601Biostatistics4
ENH 600Fundamentals of Environmental Health Science3
EPI 600Intro to Epidemiology3
HB 624Advanced Social and Behavioral Science Theory3
HCO 600Management and Policy in Public Health Systems and Services3
PUH 695The Public Health Integrative Experience1
Health Behavior Track15
HB 636Developing Interventions to Promote Public Health3
HB 641Research Methods in Behavioral Science3
HB 643Health Program Evaluation3
HB Electives6
SOPH Requirements3-6
PUH 627Writing & Reviewing Research for MPH Candidates3
or GRD 727 Writing & Reviewing Research
Required Nursing Courses for Health Behavior Track*6
NUR 604Leadership in Advanced Nursing Practice Roles3
NUR 606Translating Evidence into Practice3
Internship
HB 697Internship3
Total Hours44-47

Coordinated MPH/PhD in Health Behavior and Psychology or Sociology

The Coordinated MPH (Health Behavior)/PhD (Sociology or Psychology) degree program is offered with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Departments of Psychology and Sociology and the University of Alabama Department of Psychology.  This program will enable you to obtain an MPH in Health Behavior simultaneously with a PhD in psychology or sociology.  To be considered for this program, you must first be admitted to the PhD program in psychology or sociology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham or psychology at the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa). The MPH degree requires a minimum of 43-46 (sociology) or 43-46 (psychology at UAB) credit hours.

Admission: Applicants to this program must first be admitted to the PhD program of interest.  Applicants must meet the minimum requirements for admission into the School of Public Health.

 Coursework in Psychology

* Two courses can be from the doctoral program  & must be approved as behavioral science electives.

RequirementsHours
MPH Core19
PY 716Introduction to Statistics and Measurement3
PY 717Applied Statistical Methods3
ENH 600Fundamentals of Environmental Health Science3
EPI 600Intro to Epidemiology3
HB 624Advanced Social and Behavioral Science Theory3
HCO 600Management and Policy in Public Health Systems and Services3
PUH 695The Public Health Integrative Experience1
Health Behavior Track9
HB 636Developing Interventions to Promote Public Health3
HB 641Research Methods in Behavioral Science3
HB 643Health Program Evaluation3
Health Behavior/Psychology Electives9
SOPH Requirements3-6
PUH 627Writing & Reviewing Research for MPH Candidates3
or GRD 727 Writing & Reviewing Research
Internship3
HB 697Internship3
Total Hours43-46


Coursework for Sociology

One course can be from the doctoral program  & must be approved as a behavioral science elective.

RequirementsHours
MPH Core19
SOC 703Regression Analysis3
SOC 704Categorical Data Analysis3
ENH 600Fundamentals of Environmental Health Science3
EPI 600Intro to Epidemiology3
HB 624Advanced Social and Behavioral Science Theory3
HCO 600Management and Policy in Public Health Systems and Services3
PUH 695The Public Health Integrative Experience1
Health Behavior Track9
HB 636Developing Interventions to Promote Public Health3
HB 643Health Program Evaluation3
SOC 713Intro to Applied Sociology Research Methods3
Health Behavior/Sociology Electives*9
SOPH Requirements3-6
PUH 627Writing & Reviewing Research for MPH Candidates3
or GRD 727 Writing & Reviewing Research
Internship3
HB 697Internship3
Total Hours43-46

School of Public Health Catalog

MSPH Clinical Research

In response to interest in medical and other health science schools in developing the clinical research skills of faculty members and fellows, the Schools of Medicine and Public Health have combined efforts to create a training program for young faculty members and fellows from a variety of disciplines.

This program is a post-medical or other health science degree training program, aimed primarily at fellows and faculty members interested in developing skills required for clinical research. It is anticipated that this academic training will supplement extensive training in the content area in which the enrollee is trained, and senior mentoring in the politics and policies of project development and management. A graduate of this program will have the academic training to develop and lead independent research programs and projects. The program consists of a core set of courses common to all students, plus research elective and focus elective courses that reflect the academic interest of the student.  Graduates will be able to do the following upon completion of the program:

  • Design, conduct, and evaluate clinical research studies;
  • Understand issues of data collection and study management;
  • Follow appropriate policies and procedures relating to the utilization of human subjects in clinical research;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ethics of research on human subjects;
  • Prepare competitive applications for extramural research funding;
  • Prepare manuscripts for publication in the scientific literature; and
  • Critically evaluate published research.

Admission

Applicants should possess a medical or other health science professional degree. They may be in their final years of training as residents or fellows or hold positions as junior faculty members. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements for admission into the School of Public Health. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for applications to all MSPH programs in the School of Public Health. The GRE may be waived at the discretion of the committee, for applicants who have been pre-screened by the clinical investigator training grant committee of the School of Medicine. The applicant must produce three letters of reference and a letter stating that he/she will be guaranteed sufficient release time from clinical duties to be able to attend classes regularly and fulfill course requirements in a timely manner. A medical/health sciences mentor should be identified and a setting where the student can gain experience in conducting clinical research. A faculty member within the School of Public Health will be assigned as an advisor based on the stated interests of the applicant.

Curriculum

The MSPH in Clinical Research consists of a minimum of 42 credit hours. Of these, 15 hours are required, including 9 hours of specific biostatistics courses and 6 hours of specific epidemiology courses. Students then select at least 6 credit hours from a list of approved Masters Research electives, complete 12 hours of focus specific electives in Health Behavior, and take at least 9 hours of Masters Level Directed Research to fulfill the MSPH requirement for conducting a research project.

 Students receiving a MSPH are required to complete a 3 hour Online course entitled "Overview of Public Health" by the end of their second semester. Students with prior public health education (coursework in each of the public health core disciplines) may be waived from this requirement by permission of the Associate Dean.

RequirementsHours
Required Core Courses15
BST 611Intermediate Statistical Analysis I3
BST 612Intermediate Statistical Analysis II3
BST 625Design/Conduct Clinical Trials3
EPI 610Principles of Epidemiologic Research4
EPI 680Topics in Clinical Research2
Health Behavior Requirements: 12
HB 624Advanced Social and Behavioral Science Theory3
HB 636Developing Interventions to Promote Public Health3
HB 641Research Methods in Behavioral Science3
HB 643Health Program Evaluation3
Masters Level Research:9
HB 698Master's Level Directed Research Health Education (minimum of 9 hours)1-9
Masters Research Electives: 6 hours should be selected by faculty advisor and student to complete total hours required for degree.6
BST 619Data Collection and Management3
BST 626Data Management and Reporting with SAS (including BST 626L)3
ENH 650Essentials of Environmental and Occupational Toxicology and Diseases3
EPI 625Quantitative Methods in Epidemiology3
EPI 703Special Topics in the Epidemiology of Chronic Disease3
EPI 704Advanced Epidemiologic Methods3
HB 625Dissemination and Implementation in Health3
HB 625Dissemination and Implementation in Health3
HCO 677Patient-Based Outcomes Measurement3
Total Hours42

School of Public Health Catalog

PhD in Health Education and Health Promotion

The PhD program in health education/promotion provides students with instruction and research experience to become practitioners and scientists in health education and health promotion. The program combines the resources of academic units from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB School of Public Health, Department of Health Behavior, UAB School of Education, Department of Human Studies), and the University of Alabama (UA) College of Human Environmental Sciences, Department of Health Science.

The specific objectives of the Health Behavior program are to enable the students to:

  • Develop the skills to effectively plan, implement, and evaluate intervention programs for promoting health and preventing disease;
  • Develop theoretical knowledge from social and behavior sciences;
  • Develop the knowledge and skills to become independent researchers;
  • Complete a substantive research experience integrating the first three objectives.

Admission to Ph.D. program in the SOPH Department of Health Behavior

Student applications are reviewed by the faculty in the Department of Health Behavior.  Applicants should meet the admissions requirements of the graduate school, including submission of scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Admission to the program is competitive. Evidence of scholarship, a clear statement of career goals and research interest, professional recommendations, and professional experience are among the factors receiving strong consideration. Candidates for admission must have completed a master’s degree from an accredited institution in public health, health education or a related field.
 
The PhD program requires completion of a minimum of 73 hours of graduate credit, satisfactory performance on comprehensive exams, and completion of a doctoral dissertation.

Dissertation Research

Specific courses needed for completion of the advanced research and statistical methods requirement may vary and require approval by the student's academic advisor. Specific courses for the social science concentration are selected by the student and his/her academic advisor.  Students may transfer a minimum of 12 credits from comparable graduate courses completed previously if those courses were not used to complete another degree, are graduate level, and a grade of at least a B.

Directed Research

Students are  required to complete at least twelve directed research credit hours (HB 798).  The goals of  directed research are:  

  • To provide experience in planning, conducting, and reporting behavioral science  research under the mentoring of a faculty member or a researcher employed by an agency such as the CDC, NIH, or  health department.
  • To provide you with opportunities to develop manuscripts for publication, conference paper presentations, grant submissions or other “research products”.
  • To help you prepare for dissertation work.

Comprehensive Exam

Doctoral students are required to take a comprehensive examination before proposing a dissertation. At a minimum, the exam covers the scientific and theoretical basis of health education and health promotion, the design and evaluation of health promotion programs and research methods in health promotion. Prior to taking the comprehensive exams, the student must have completed the Health Education/Promotion Core Courses and at least 75% of their course work.

Doctoral Dissertation

The doctoral dissertation is designed to provide students with a comprehensive and original research experience, and it requires the completion of a minimum of 12 hours of dissertation credit. Students complete credits for the dissertation after completing coursework and comprehensive exams, and being admitted to candidacy.

All PhD students must meet the graduation requirements of their department and the Graduate School.


RequirementsHours
Departmental Requirements:18
Sequenced Courses
HB 724Advanced Social and Behavioral Science Theory3
HB 741Clinical Research Methods in the Behavioral Sciences3
HB 736Advanced Research Intervention Design3
HB 737: Intervention Development 2 3
HB 703Writing for the Behavioral Sciences3
GRD 717Principles of Scientific Integrity3
or HCO 670 Social and Ethical Issues in Public Health

Courses

HB 600. Social and Behavioral Science Core. 3 Hours.

This course is structured to provide students with a basic "starting point" for developing the required competencies in this area. The course consists of information delivery (e.g., lectures, readings), practice and application exercises, and knowledge integration and synthesis activities. Successful completion of this course will enable you to describe the role of social and community factors in both the onset and solution of public health problems; identify the causes of social and behavioral factors that affect health of individuals and populations; identify basic theories, concepts and models; apply ethical principles to public health program planning, implementation and evaluation; specify multiple targets and levels of intervention; identify individual, organizational and community concerns, assets, resources and deficits; apply evidence-based approaches in the development and evaluation of interventions; describe the merits of social and behavioral science interventions and policies; describe steps and procedures for the planning, implementation and evaluation of public health programs; and identify critical stakeholders for the planning, implementation and evaluation of public health programs, policies and interventions. Course will be graded by letter. 3 hours.

HB 600Q. Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health Online. 3 Hours.

This course is structured to provide students with a basic "starting point" for developing the required competencies in this area. The course consists of information delivery (e.g., lectures, readings), practice and application exercises, and knowledge integration and synthesis activities. Successful completion of this course will enable you to describe the role of social and community factors in both the onset and solution of public health problems; identify the causes of social and behavioral factors that affect health of individuals and populations; identify basic theories, concepts and models; apply ethical principles to public health program planning, implementation and evaluation; specify multiple targets and levels of intervention; identify individual, organizational and community concerns, assets, resources and deficits; apply evidence-based approaches in the development and evaluation of interventions; describe the merits of social and behavioral science interventions and policies; describe steps and procedures for the planning, implementation and evaluation of public health programs; and identify critical stakeholders for the planning, implementation and evaluation of public health programs, policies and interventions. Course will be graded by letter. 3 hours.

HB 602. Alcohol and Drug Abuse. 3 Hours.

History and theory of human substance use and abuse. Empirical foundations of alcohol and drug abuse, diagnosis, assessment, treatment, and prevention. Course will be graded by letter. 3 hours.

HB 603. Obesity Prevention & Intervention. 3 Hours.

The aim of this course is to provide students with theoretical and practical knowledge required to develop, implement, and evaluate obesity intervention and prevention programs. The course covers both pediatric and adult obesity intervention and prevention with a focus on lifestyle (dietary intake, physical activity) and environmental factors. Course will be graded by letter. 3 hours.

HB 604. High Technology Approaches to Health Communications and Behavior Change Interventions. 3 Hours.

To present students with an initial, in-depth exposure to concepts, technical skills and research findings associated with the integration of computer technology and health communications.

HB 605. Physical Activity in Public Health. 3 Hours.

This seminar course is an introduction to research and practice related to physical activity promotion from a public health perspective and will describe health benefits, epidemiological data, national recommendations and plans, and global initiatives related to physical activity. Course will be graded by letter. 3 hours.

HB 606. Food Systems and Policies. 4 Hours.

This course will introduce students to elements of food systems and the implications of public policies around food.

HB 606Q. Food Systems and Policies Online. 3 Hours.

This course will introduce students to elements of food systems and the implications of public policies around food.

HB 607. Nutrition of Mothers and Children. 3 Hours.

This course will cover concepts in MCH nutrition at three levels (biology, epidemiology and prevention/policies/practice)specific to 4 core topics over-nutrition/obesity; under-nutrition; infant and toddler nutrition; and pregnancy/fetal nutrition. Half of each class session will be devoted to interactive discussion.

HB 608. Womens Health and Social Behavior. 3 Hours.

This course examines social and behavioral factors that adversely affect women's health. Students learn to apply gender specific theories to design health interventions tailored towards women.

HB 608Q. Women’s Health and Social Behavior. 3 Hours.

Improvements in women’s health require an understanding of the determinants of disease, functioning and well‐being and the capacity to intervene in connection with the determinants. This course aids students in developing a better understanding of the social determinants of women’s health throughout the life cycle and explores practical strategies for intervention.

HB 609. African-American Health Issues. 3 Hours.

This is an intermediate level course that focuses on: epidemiological data illustrating the health risks experienced by African-Americans; sociocultural factors essential for understanding and enhancing the health of African-Americans; effective health-related prevention programs for African-Americans.

HB 610. Health Promo/Disease Prevent:Adv Theory/Practice. 3 Hours.

This course is a comprehensive overview of methods used to develop health promotion and disease prevention programs. It focuses on understanding, synthesizing, and applying behavior change theories to public health program development. The course includes the critical review of existing assessment measurements, the development of theory-based measures and evaluation principles in the context of intervention development and implementation.
Prerequisites: HB 600 [Min Grade: C]

HB 611. Mental Illness as a Public Health Issue. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to increase knowledge of mental illness at the individual, community, and population levels. It also covers historical and contemporary models and research on the etiology, diagnosis, assessment, treatment and prevention of mental and other behavioral health disorders.

HB 614. Cancer Control in the Community. 3 Hours.

Students will learn to apply basic health behavior and program planning theory and models to develop, plan, implement and assess culturally and socially appropriate interventions within a public school and/or community setting. Through service learning, students will have the opportunity to implement interventions in a community setting intended to promote healthy nutrition choices, institute exercise practices, lower tobacco usage and promote the use of skin protection.
Prerequisites: HB 624 [Min Grade: C] or HB 643 [Min Grade: C]

HB 624. Advanced Social and Behavioral Science Theory. 3 Hours.

Advanced review of selected behavioral science concepts and theories useful for developing health promotion programs; social cognitive theory and the transtheoretical model of change are examined in depth. This course may be required for some MPH students. Course will be graded by letter. 3 hours.

HB 624Q. Advanced Social and Behavioral Science Theory Online. 3 Hours.

The aim of this course is to provide students with a broad understanding of theories of health behavior change with a strong focus on those theories that are most widely used in research and practice. Emphasis will be given to the discussion and elaboration of important theoretical concepts as well as their application in specific health behavior interventions. This class will take an ecological perspective and discuss theories that approach behavior change from various different levels. Basic theories that are covered in this course include individual level models (Health Belief Model, Theory of Planned Behavior, Transtheoretical Model), interpersonal level models (Social Cognitive Theory), and community level models (community organization and other participatory models like Community Based Participatory Research, Diffusion of Innovations). Moreover, we will cover advanced topics related to using theory in research and practice, such as the PRECEDE-PROCEED planning model, Social Marketing tools, and the RE-AIM model.

HB 625. Dissemination and Implementation in Health. 3 Hours.

The course will offer an introduction to dissemination and implementation science, an interdisciplinary field focused on improving the transition of evidence-based health practices, programs, and interventions from research studies into “real-world” settings. Course will be graded by letter. 3 hours.
Prerequisites: HB 600 [Min Grade: C] and HB 641 [Min Grade: C]

HB 627. GIS for Public Health. 3 Hours.

This is an introductory course covering the theory and application of geographic information systems (GIS) for public health. Through this course, students will develop basic GIS skills, including GIS operations such as buffering, geocoding, layering, and spatial queries. Students will learn how to use those operations to both describe and propose solutions for public health challenges. The course will address introductory cartography and basic statistical aspects of spatial analysis. Learning will occur through lab exercises, case studies and homework exercises. The course will consist of one hour-long lecture/discussion and two hours of supervised lab/lecture each week. Course will be graded by letter. 3 hours.

HB 630. Health Communications: Theory and Practice. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to investigate the role of communication theories and methods in promoting public health and preventing disease. Both theoretical background in communication and behavioral science and practical communication/intervention development methods will be addressed.
Prerequisites: HB 624 [Min Grade: C]

HB 630Q. Communications Skills for the Health Professional. 3 Hours.

Research indicates that there are strong positive relationships between a healthcare team member’s communication skills and a patient’s capacity to follow through with medical recommendations, self-manage a chronic medical condition, and adopt preventive health behaviors. Studies conducted during the past three decades show that the health professional’s ability to explain, listen and empathize can have a profound effect on biological and functional health outcomes as well as patient satisfaction and experience of care. Communication skills with the patient, within a team and to the public are essential skills for the health professional. This course will cover interpersonal foundations for human communication, effective patient communication strategies (active listening and motivational interviewing), risk communication and health communications.

HB 635. Communities, Families & Health. 3 Hours.

This course is designed for graduate students in public health and related fields interested in working with families and communities to improve health outcomes. It is intended to provide students with a broader understanding of the structural and psychosocial factors related to health and well-being. To do so, the course will focus on theoretical frameworks that draw on an ecological perspective and examine how factors associated with families, peers, schools, neighborhoods, and communities influence health. Emphasis will also be placed on the relevance of individual and community assets for the science of Health Behavior and the broader public health arena. Course will be graded by letter. 3 hours.

HB 636. Developing Interventions to Promote Public Health. 3 Hours.

This course is intended to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the range and diversity of intervention approaches to behavior change and their application in public health. Emphasis will be placed on developing skills for designing interventions: a) in various public health settings, b) for specific population subgroups, c) based on determinants identified to be most influential and amenable to intervention, and d) within the confines of available resources. Students will also apply previously acquired research methods skills to design targeted interventions that are salient to needs of particular audiences, including formative research, theory selection, process evaluation, implementation tracking and outcome evaluation. This course uses lecture and seminar format. Course will be graded by letter. Pre-requisite HB 624. 3 hours.
Prerequisites: HB 624 [Min Grade: C]

HB 636Q. Developing Interventions to Promote Public Health Online. 3 Hours.

This course is intended to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the range and diversity of intervention approaches to behavior change and their application in public health. Emphasis will be placed on developing skills for designing interventions: a) in various public health settings, b) for specific population subgroups, c) based on determinants identified to be most influential and amenable to intervention, and d) stay within the confines of available resources.

HB 638. Public Health Promotion and Aging Seminar. 3 Hours.

Exploration of current problems of the elderly, introduction to broad principles of health promotion for the elderly and review model health promotion programs. Course will be graded by letter.

HB 638Q. Public Health Promotion and Aging Seminar Online. 3 Hours.

Exploration of current problems of the elderly, introduction to broad principles of health promotion for the elderly and review model health promotion programs. Course will be graded by letter. 3 hours.

HB 641. Research Methods in Behavioral Science. 3 Hours.

Review of research methodology in behavioral sciences. Formulation of research questions, causality, experimental and quasi-experimental designs, reliability and validity, reporting findings. Course will be graded by letter. 3 hours Preq: Requires permission of instructor.

HB 641Q. Research Methods in Behavioral Sciences Online. 3 Hours.

This course is required for all Health Behavior MPH programs and the MSPH in clinical research in Health Behavior. The objective is to give Health Behavior and other students a broad overview of scientific methods for quantitative research, qualitative research, mixed methods research and basic concepts in survey development and outcome evaluation. The students will be able to identify the major steps and processes involved in health promotion or behavioral science research projects. These steps begin with the formulation of a research question and end with the reporting of the findings.

HB 643. Health Program Evaluation. 3 Hours.

Principles and procedures to evaluate health promotion/disease prevention programs: data collection methods, instrument-scale development, measurement, evaluation designs and analysis of case studies of disease prevention literature on evaluation. Course will be graded by letter. Prerequisite: HB 641. 3 hours.
Prerequisites: HB 641 [Min Grade: C]

HB 643Q. Health Program Evaluation Online. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to provide graduate students in public health and related fields an exposure of the basic concepts and principles in program evaluation. The course will provide an overview of major steps and strategies involved in formative, process, and outcome evaluation.

HB 660. Adolescent Health: A Social and Behavioral Perspective. 3 Hours.

Designed to provide students with the most current knowledge and analysis of issues influencing the health and well-being of adolescents. Theoretical frameworks that draw on an ecological perspective will provide a better understanding of how families, peers, schools, and neighborhoods influence risk and protective factors in youth. Emphasis will be placed on the relevance of adolescent health issues for the science of Health Behavior and the broader public health arena. Course will be graded by letter. 3 hours.

HB 660Q. Adolescent Health: A Social and Behavioral Science Perspective. 3 Hours.

This Masters level course will provide an overview of critical health issues in adolescence and review the potential of emerging perspectives to advance adolescent health and promote positive youth development. This course is designed to provide students with the most current knowledge and analysis of issues influencing the health and well-being of adolescents. Theoretical frameworks that draw on an ecological perspective will provide a better understanding of how families, peers, schools, neighborhoods, and the larger community influence risk and protective factors in youth. Adolescence is a time of growth and experimentation, a period marked by establishing autonomy and confronting new challenges.

HB 665. Family Violence/Child Victimization. 3 Hours.

Introduction: The purpose of this course is for students to gain a comprehensive knowledge of child maltreatment, family violence, child and youth victimization, and youth perpetration of violence. The course will focus on multi-disciplinary theoretical frameworks to explain family violence and subsequent effects on child/youth/young adult functioning including behavioral, social, and physical and mental health consequences.
Prerequisites: HB 624 [Min Grade: C]

HB 680. Health Promotion through Radio Outreach. 3 Hours.

Alternative methods for delivering health promotion messages to "hard-to-reach" audiences are being explored across the U.S. This course examines the strategy known as "entertainment education", specifically in terms of radio programming. Students who enroll will participate on the "BODYLOVE" script writers group as they learn to apply principals of behavior change in an "entertainment-education" format. "BODYLOVE" is a radio drama that is aired across the state of Alabama to education about risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

HB 692. Principles and Practices of Community Organization. 3 Hours.

Seminar designed as an integrative experience for persons working with community groups. The focus is on learning to use available resources and advocating change to maximize community involvement. NOTE: Requires permission of instructor.

HB 695. Seminar on Selected Health Behavior Topics. 1,3 Hour.

Seminar covering a variety of health behavior topics. Course will be graded as Pass/No Pass. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. 3 hours.

HB 697. Internship. 3 Hours.

Field experience under joint direction of appropriate faculty member and qualified health education specialist. Written report specifying activities, products, and outcomes of experience submitted upon completion of internship. Course will be graded as Pass/No Pass.
Prerequisites: BST 601 [Min Grade: C] or (BST 611 [Min Grade: C] and BST 612 [Min Grade: C]) and ENH 600 [Min Grade: C] and EPI 600 [Min Grade: C] and HB 624 [Min Grade: C] and HCO 600 [Min Grade: C]

HB 697Q. Internship Online. 3 Hours.

The internship provides an opportunity for each student to work in a public health setting in a position that carries responsibility and is of particular interest. Each placement is different, but all depend upon completion of most coursework, the ability to work with minimal supervision, and acquiring permission of the student’s SOPH advisor and on‐site preceptor/supervisor. Prerequisite: Completion of the MPH Core course requirements.

HB 698. Master's Level Directed Research Health Education. 1-9 Hour.

Independent study with guidance of appropriate faculty. Includes activities such as literature review and evaluation. Course will be graded as Pass/No Pass. 1 - 9 hours.

HB 699. Master's Level Project Research Health Education. 1-9 Hour.

Research for project under direction of research project committee. Course will be graded as Pass/No Pass. 3-6 hours.

HB 701. Theory-Based Measurement Development. 3 Hours.

The aim of this course is to introduce students to measurement development based on well-specified behavioral theories. This course will review and discuss key issues related to measurement development such as item/scale development, number of factors to retain rotation options and statistical programs. Prerequisite: Requires knowledge of elementary probability and statistics for non-statistics majors and BST 611. Course will be graded by letter. 3 hours.
Prerequisites: BST 611 [Min Grade: C]

HB 703. Writing for the Behavioral Sciences. 3 Hours.

The aim of this course is to develop and fine-tune scientific writing proficiency. In this course, students will read and critique a variety of books, essays, and articles about science and medicine, and complete numerous writing assignments and participate in peer review.

HB 706. Energetics: Scientific Foundations of Obesity and Other Health Aspects. 3 Hours.

The aim of this course is to acquaint individuals doing scholarly work related to obesity with the fundamental principles of energetics and their applications, and to use those in assessing the causes and treatment of obesity. The first part of the course will go over fundamental knowledge in this area, which will be covered by a midterm examination, and the second part of the course will go over research applications, which will be incorporated into the final term paper. Course will be graded by letter. 3 hours.

HB 707. Nutrition of Mothers and Children. 4 Hours.

This course will cover concepts in MCH nutrition at three levels (biology, epidemiology and prevention/policies/practice)specific to 4 core topics over-nutrition/obesity; under-nutrition; infant and toddler nutrition; and pregnancy/fetal nutrition. Half of each class session will be devoted to interactive discussion.

HB 714. Survey Research Methods. 3 Hours.

This course will provide students with a theoretical and practical overview of survey research methodology. Topics to be covered include questionnaire and interview design; tailoring instruments for specific settings, populations and methods of administration; maximizing reliability of measurement; construction of scales and indices; sampling theory and methods, assessing sampling bias, and maximizing response rates. NOTE: Must have doctoral standing or permission of instructor.

HB 720. Neighborhood Influences on HB. 3 Hours.

To expose students to classical and current theories of neighborhoods and their affects on development and behavior in such a way that they will develop an apprreciation for the importance of neighborhood context and it's impact on development and behavior and the ability to critically evaluate studies of neighborhoods and neighborhood context, and the conceptuall tools to be able to incorporate neighborhood (and other) contextual effects into their own research.

HB 724. Advanced Social and Behavioral Science Theory. 3 Hours.

This course focuses on a thorough examination of theories and models of behavior change and their applications in both research and implementation in various fields of health promotion and public health. Basic knowledge of research methodology and statistics is required. Course will be graded by letter. 3 hours.

HB 730. Health Communication Research. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to investigate the role of communication theories and methods in promoting public health and preventing disease. Both theoretical background in communication and behavioral science and practical communication/intervention development methods will be addressed.
Prerequisites: HB 750 [Min Grade: C]

HB 736. Advanced Research Intervention Design. 3 Hours.

The aim of this course is to teach doctoral students how to develop, implement, and evaluate the efficacy of rigorous, theory-based, consumer driven behavioral interventions. In this course, students will learn and apply a variety of evidence-based methods and strategies for developing targeted behavioral interventions to meet the needs of specific audiences. In addition to the textbook, students will read and critique a number of scientific articles of interventions that vary widely by content area, outcome targets, settings and populations. Students will complete writing assignments and develop a comprehensive research intervention development, implementation, and evaluation plan.
Prerequisites: HB 724 [Min Grade: C]

HB 740. Advanced Health Program Evaluation Seminar. 3 Hours.

Advanced review of evaluation theories, approaches, and methods for assessing the plans, implementation, and effectiveness of health promotion programs. Course will be graded by letter. Prerequisite: HB 643 or other master's level evaluation course and a graduate level multiple regression or multivariate statistics course. 3 hours.
Prerequisites: HB 643 [Min Grade: C]

HB 741. Clinical Research Methods in the Behavioral Sciences. 3 Hours.

This course provides an in-depth treatment of the major clinical trial research methods used in the behavioral sciences. Emphasis is given to the clinical trial as it forms the cornerstone of valid methods of scientific inquiry. The course will also examine methods of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data. Other topics include evaluating published research, writing research proposals and reports, and ethical considerations.
Prerequisites: HB 641 [Min Grade: C]

HB 742. Mediation and Moderation in Behavioral Science Research. 3 Hours.

This course is an elective course for doctoral students in public health and related fields, designed to provide an exposure to statistical mediation and moderation. Mediation and moderation are central in social and behavioral science research. Mediation explains and tests the underlying mechanisms by which the predictor variable affects the outcome variable, while moderation specifies under what conditions the predictor affects the outcome. Statistical techniques investigating mediation and moderation are among the most widely used data analysis techniques in a variety of disciplines. The primary goal of this course is to provide students with theoretical concepts of mediation and moderation and hands-on experience with relevant analytical techniques. Prerequisite: Students should have taken courses on multiple regression such as BST 611, BST or other equivalent courses. Course will be graded by letter. 3 hours.

HB 750. Advanced Theoretical and Scientific Basis of Health Education and Promotion. 3 Hours.

Provides doctoral students with in-depth examination of history and philosophy of health education; reviews professional competencies and outlines major theories of behavior change. Course will be graded by letter. 3 hours.

HB 760. Planning and Administration of Health Education and Promotion Programs. 3 Hours.

The purpose of this course is to teach and practice the three basic phases of comprehensive health education and promotion programs (planning, implementation and evaluation). Course will be graded by letter.
Prerequisites: HB 750 [Min Grade: C] and HB 724 [Min Grade: C]

HB 770. Doctoral Studies Seminar. 1-3 Hour.

The broad intent of the course is to review current issues relevant to the field of Health Promotion/Health Education, critically examine the relationship between scholarship, research, ethics and funding and reflect and discuss theoretical aspects of Health Promotion/Helath Education.

HB 771. Seminar in Health Education/Health Promotion Session I. 1 Hour.

The purpose of this course is to teach and practice the three basic phases of comprehensive health education and promotion programs (planning, implementation and evaluation). Course will be graded by letter. 3 hours.

HB 772. Seminar in Health Education/Health Promotion Session II. 1 Hour.

This course is the second in a series of three 1-hour Doctoral Seminar classes. This seminar series is designed to meet the specific needs of graduate students by better preparing them for successful completion of their respective degrees as well as their future as health education professionals. Course will be graded by letter. Pre-requisite HB 771.
Prerequisites: HB 771 [Min Grade: C]

HB 773. Seminar in Health Education/Health Promotion Session III. 1 Hour.

This course is the third of a series of three 1-hour Doctoral Seminar classes. This seminar series is designed to meet the specific needs of graduate students by better preparing them for successful completion of their respective degrees as well as their future as health education professionals. Course will be graded by letter. Pre-requisites HB 771 & 772. 1 hour.
Prerequisites: HB 771 [Min Grade: C] and HB 772 [Min Grade: C]

HB 798. Doctoral-Level Directed Res. 1-9 Hour.

Independent study with guidance of senior public health faculty. Course will be graded as Pass/No Pass. 1 - 9 hours.

HB 799. Doctoral Dissertation Research. 1-9 Hour.

Research for dissertation under direction of dissertation committee. Course will be graded as Pass/No Pass. Prerequisite: Students must be admitted to candidacy in order to register for this class.1 - 9 hours.
Prerequisites: GAC Z

Faculty

Coombs, David, Associate Professor Emeritus, 1983, Ph.D. (Florida)
Davies, Susan, Associate Professor, 1997, Ph.D. , Family interventions to promote youth health, HIV prevention in economically disadvantaged communities, Adolescent pregnancy and childbearing
Fontaine, Kevin, Professor and Chair, 2012, Ph.D. (Victoria University, UK), Obesity, non-descriptive placebo responses, resistance exercise, mirror visual feedback for pain, movement restrictions in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and the effects of carbohydrate restricted diets on systemic inflammation
Franklin, Frank A., Professor Emeritus, 1990, M.D., Nutrition Problems and Policies, Pediatrics, School of Nutrition Promotion Programs
Hendricks, Peter, Associate Professor, 2010, Ph.D. (South Florida), Tobacco use initiation, maintenance, and relapse, with a goal of developing novel and potentially more efficacious interventions for intractable smoking behavior
Kohler, Connie, Professor Emeritus, 1985, Ph.D.
Lanzi, Robin Gaines, Associate Professor, 2009, M.P.H., Ph.D. (UAB), Adolescent parenting, child maltreatment, maternal depression, early intervention programs, developmental outcomes, research methods, ethical issues, and social policy
Pavela, Gregory, Assistant Professor, 2015, Ph.D. (Florida), Environmental determinants of health and obesity and the importance of early life conditions to later health. Specially, to 1) determine when and how environmental exposures “get under the skin” to affect human adiposity; 2) improve causal inferences about the effects of social status on adiposity; and 3) describe the reciprocal relationship between human physiology
Pekmezi, Dori, Assistant Professor, 2009, Ph.D. (Louisiana State), Chronic disease prevention and health communication
Turner, Lori, Adjunct Professor, UA Health Science, 2007, Ph.D.
Usdan, Stuart, Adjunct Professor; UA, Health Science, 2013, Ph.D.