College of Behavioral & Community Sciences

Congratulations to CBCS Faculty on the Top 100 USF Researchers List!

USF is on the leading edge of research in many disciplines that are critical to the future prosperity of our region, state, and nation. A USF priority for 2013 – 2018 strategic plan states: "USF will, through its high-impact research and innovation, change lives for the better, improve health, and foster sustainable development and positive societal change."

The USF College of Behavioral & Community Sciences (CBCS) originated with a similar priority as its mission. CBCS faculty are leaders in researching innovative solutions to the complex challenges that affect the behavior and well-being of individuals, families, populations, and communities in which we live. They are also among the USF Top 100 Researchers for awards received July 1, 2012 – June 4, 2013.

Congratulations to our Top 100 Researchers Faculty:


Roger Boothroyd, PhD
FMHI Contracts with Florida Agency for Health Care

The Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) serves as one of the evaluation and research entities for the state regarding behavioral healthcare issues. The contract that FMHI has with the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration involves 10 different projects that involve numerous faculty and staff across the college, specifically concentrated in the Departments of Mental Health Law & Policy (MHLP) and Child & Family Studies (CFS), as well as faculty outside the college. Dr. Boothroyd serves as the principal investigator on this contract.

Marina Bornovalova, PhD
Distress Tolerance Treatment for Substance Users

The five year $3.1 million project will involve a randomized controlled trial of the specific distress tolerance treatment called Skills for Improving Distress Intolerance (SIDI). This intervention features skills training in behavioral and acceptance strategies and intentional clinical exposure to emotional distress. The long term goal is that this program of research ultimately will result in the development of a specialized, efficacious intervention that can be broadly used in residential facilities with substance-abusing populations.

Lise Fox, PhD
Examining the Efficacy of a Classroom-Wide Model for Promoting Social and Emotional Development and Addressing Challenging Behavior in Preschool Children with or at-risk for Disabilities

Researchers have noted that children are entering elementary school without the behavior skills that are necessary for success. Social and behavior challenges that are not resolved during the early childhood years may lead to problems with socialization, school adjustment, and educational success in later grades. Intervention in preschool may help ameliorate the social, emotional, and behavioral challenges that preschoolers can display which may lead to negative outcomes in the future.

The research team is conducting a randomized controlled trial designed to address this concern. This research will evaluate whether a comprehensive, classroom-wide preschool intervention system, called Teaching Pyramid, promotes social skills, reduces challenging behavior, and enhances the school readiness of young children with and without disabilities. The research team will also investigate whether teachers continue to use the Teaching Pyramid system in the year after the research support has ended.

Carol MacKinnon-Lewis, PhD
Feasibility of an Internet-based Model for Implementation of a Prevention Program

Despite huge investments in health care, barriers to the delivery and utilization of effective services often lead to limited access to preventive behavioral health programs, especially for minorities and the poor living in rural areas, resulting in health disparities for these groups.

This pilot study tests the feasibility of an innovative model that utilizes technology for the delivery of Strong African American Families (SAAF), a universal preventive intervention shown to be effective in reducing rural AA youths' alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use, and addressing other challenges. If effective, SAAF has the potential of making a significant public health impact on the lives of millions of African American youth and their families living in the rural south.

Kathryn Rost, PhD
Influencing Employer Purchasing Behavior

Randomized trials demonstrate that depression management products can improve clinical and organizational outcomes sufficiently for selected employers to realize a return on investment. Rather than usual care marketing which uses voltage-enhanced promises to sell voltage-diminished products, the investigators designed an evidence-based (EB) intervention to encourage employers to purchase a depression management product that offers the type, intensity and duration of care shown to provide clinical and organizational value. In an RCT designed to examine employer benefit purchasing behavior of depression products in 360 employer members of over 20 regional business coalitions, the research team proposes: (a) to compare the impact of evidence-based (EB) to usual care (UC) presentations on employer benefit purchasing behavior, and (b) to identify mediators and organizational moderators of intervention impact on employer benefit purchasing behavior. This study addresses what policy analysts argue is one of the most pivotal problems in the translation of evidence-based care to 'real world' settings: whether purchasers can be influenced to buy health care products on the basis of value rather than cost. In the likely event that EB > UC, the study will provide encouragement to use an evidence-based approach to market new health care products to private payers on the basis of the product's clinical and organizational value.

Julianne Serovich, PhD
Methods of HIV Disclosure by Men Who Have Sex with Men to Casual Sexual Partners

The purpose of the proposed research is to further refine and enhance our HIV disclosure intervention (DI) designed to increase disclosure to casual sexual partners and reduce sexual risk taking behaviors among HIV- positive men who have sex with men (MSM); assess the relative effectiveness of a disclosure intervention to an attention control case management group (ACCM) for HIV-positive MSM; examine the effects of the intervention over time; explore differential treatment responses to the disclosure intervention and ACCM on the basis of ethnicity, age, and education level as well as examine the mediating effect of baseline frequency of sexual activity, severity of substance abuse at baseline, and stigmatized fear on the relationship between intervention type and the outcome. Finally we will test how treatment engagement, retention and expectations predict subsequent disclosure and risky sexual outcomes.

In addition, a number of faculty have recently submitted four or more proposals. They are Mary Armstrong, Lise Fox, David Eddins, Lorie Fridell, Colleen Clark, Jerri Edwards, and Kathryn Hyer.

Those who have recently submitted proposals of a million dollars or more to a federal agency are Lise Fox, Marina Bornovalova, Celia Lescano, Ross Andel, and Jerri Edwards.

College of Behavioral & Community Sciences Mark