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Center for Excellence in Biopsychosocial Approaches to Health (CEBAH)

» Center for Excellence in Biopsychosocial Approaches to Health (CEBAH)

The Center for Excellence in Biopsychosocial Approaches to Health (CEBAH) embraces an interdisciplinary approach to understanding health and well-being across the lifespan.  The unifying focus of CEBAH is to examine the synergistic effects of biology, psychology and social context on psychological and physical health.  The CEBAH faculty consists of internationally recognized scholars investigating topics such as maternal-child health, postpartum depression, psychological well-being, relationships and health, resilience, body image and disordered eating, pain management, cardiovascular health, and sexual health.  The center conducts research that advances basic science and that has implications for public policy.  CEBAH also is committed to making findings from basic scientific research available to the public with the broader goal of enhancing general understanding of health and science.

  • Community
  • COVID-19 Study
  • Membership
  • Partnerships
  • Guest Lecture Series
  • Laura Glynn

    Laura Glynn, Ph.D.

    Dr. Glynn's research consists of interdisciplinary program examining the interplay between biological, psychosocial and behavioral processes in human pregnancy and the influences of these processes on fetal/child development. Her research in the realm of maternal-child health covers three main areas: 1. Understanding the underlying causes of premature birth, the most serious problem in maternal-child health and the leading cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality in the United States. 2. Elucidating how pre- and postnatal hormone exposures influence the female brain and behavior, and also more specifically the quality of maternal behavior and postpartum depression. 3. Determining the role of very early life influences in fetal, infant and child development.

    Dr. David Frederick

    David Frederick, Ph.D.

    Dr. David Frederick is an Assistant Professor of Psychology. He began teaching at Chapman in 2012. Growing up in rural upstate New York, he became fascinated with animal behavior, and his original dream was to chase monkeys around Africa as a primatologist. This spurred him to study how social and biological factors interact to shape the bodies, brains, and preferences of human and nonhuman animals. He enjoys teaching Research Methods, where students are taught how to use experimental and correlational research designs to understand studies on current issues such as debates over affirmative action and the causes of the wage gap between men and women, to how we can accurately measure people’s emotions. He also enjoys teaching Human Sexuality, where students learn how hormones, evolved biological systems, and social constructions can explain cross-cultural differences in sexuality, people’s mating preferences, factors shaping sexual orientation, and how doctors respond to intersex babies.  
    Dr. Julia Boehm

    Julia Boehm, Ph.D.

    Julia K. Boehm is an assistant professor in Psychology at Chapman University. She received her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California, Riverside and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Boehm’s research centers broadly on well-being and investigates how people can thrive both mentally and physically. More specifically, her research examines whether positive psychological characteristics such as optimism and life satisfaction are associated with improved cardiovascular health. She recently authored an extensive review in Psychological Bulletin on this topic, and has conducted several prospective investigations of heart disease in epidemiological cohorts. In addition, she is interested in the behavioral and biological processes that are relevant for cardiovascular health. Dr. Boehm’s goal is to identify those psychological characteristics that contribute to healthy trajectories of cardiovascular functioning across the lifespan. Her work has been featured in many news outlets including Reuters, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and BBC News.

    Dr. David Pincus

    David Pincus, Ph.D.

    Dr. Pincus obtained his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Marquette University in Milwaukee Wisconsin. His internship and post-doctoral clinical training was completed in community mental health settings, including a post-doctoral fellowship through the UC Davis Department of Psychiatry in Child Psychology. Dr. Pincus spent a number of years prior to his graduate training (more than 13,000 supervised clinical hours in total pre and post-doctoral experience) working with adults, children and families in various community based agencies.


     Vinnie Berardi

    Vincent Berardi, Ph.D.

    Dr. Vincent Berardi joined Chapman University in 2017 as an Assistant Professor of Computational Health Psychology within the Crean College of Health and Behavioral Science.  His research lies at the intersection of behavioral science, mathematics, and computational science.  A common theme throughout his work is the recognition that the increasing ubiquity of mobile technology offers the opportunity to observe and intervene upon behavior on a personal level in near real-time. The extensive data generated by such technology, though, requires the development of innovative analytic techniques to model and investigate behavioral systems with an increased level of rigor.  The quality of developed models is increased by incorporating objective principles from behavioral science. His work has spanned many domains, including secondhand smoke abatement, physical activity promotion, and driving risk reduction.  In each of these cases, machine learning and other novel analytic techniques were applied to intensive longitudinal data with a focus towards assessing and changing behavior in real-time.  He has also collaborated with a group using image processing techniques to assess large databases of commercial magazines in order to infer conclusions about changing societal norms.

    Brooke Jenkins

    Brooke Jenkins, Ph.D.

    Brooke Jenkins’ research program focuses on the intersection of stress, emotion, and health. She investigates how individual differences in emotion and emotion regulation affect health outcomes related to stress. She examines these processes across several different stress contexts in diverse populations, including children, adults with chronic illnesses, and individuals of minority backgrounds. Her work focuses on physiological and behavioral health outcomes such as recovery from surgery, pain, autonomic nervous system activity, sleep, and dietary adherence. Working both in the lab and natural environments, she uses a multi-method, theoretically-driven approach to solve health problems related to stress by applying rigorous study designs and advanced data analytic techniques, including multilevel modeling, spline growth curve modeling, survival analysis, and nonlinear methods. A unique aspect of her work is the development of methods to accurately measure the emotion and health outcomes that emerge during the stress process. 

    Tara Gruenewald

    Tara Gruenewald, Ph.D., MPH

    Dr. Tara Gruenewald is an Associate Professor and Chair of Psychology who joined the Chapman faculty in the Fall of 2017.  Tara is a social and health psychologist with additional postdoctoral training in Public Health and Gerontology.  Her research focuses on the social and psychological factors which shape cognitive and physical functioning, physiology, and mental and physical health across the life course.  Current foci include:  (1) Identification of the psychological, social, behavioral, and biological pathways which underlie socieoeconomic gradients in functioning and health, (2) The role of perceptions of generativity in shaping health and functioning in later life, and (3) Examination of health correlates of generative activity and intergenerational civic activity engagement.  Her research utilizes a wide array of designs including longitudinal cohort studies, experience sampling investigations, and experiments in the lab and in natural environments, as well as diverse data collection methods.

  • Click Here to be routed to the Chapman University COVID-19 National Mental Health Study (Spring 2020) Website

    The Chapman University COVID-19 National Mental Health Study (Spring 2020) examined the experiences of 4149 people living in the United States.  Participants came from all 50 states and Washington, D.C.  The study was led by Dr. David Frederick, an Associate Professor of health psychology at Chapman University, along with 11 members of the Chapman University Center for Excellence in Biopsychosocial Approaches to Health. 

    The study was funded by a grant provided to Chapman University by the Kay Family Foundation.  The authors are currently seeking additional funding to recruit additional participants and follow current participants over time. 

    People interested in taking the survey can complete it and be entered into a lottery for $250 at:


  • CEBAH would like to identify individuals whose research, patient care or professional activities are relevant to center goals and to encourage them to apply for membership.

    Types of Membership


    1. A faculty appointment in Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences
    2. Evidence of an active research program that is aligned with the mission of CEBAH (see guidelines below)

    Associate Member

    1. Evidence of an active research program that is aligned with the mission of CEBAH (see guidelines below)

    Affiliate Member

    1. Clinicians and community stakeholders who may not be actively engaged in research, but whose professional interests are aligned with the mission of CEBAH.

    Application Process

    To apply for CEBAH membership, please email your completed application and a current CV to Tara Gruenewald  gruenewa@chapman.edu

    Applications will be reviewed by the Members.  All applicants will receive a decision letter after review.  We encourage all researchers, clinicians and community stakeholders with interests relevant to the CEBAH mission to apply.

    General guidelines for consideration for Member and Associate Member:

    Membership requires evidence that the applicant is developing or maintaining an active and defined program of research primarily focused on health that is systematically and substantially contributing to scientific understanding relevant to the CEBAH mission and is based on recent publication history and/or grant activity.

    Examples of such evidence include:

    • Minimum of 10 total peer-reviewed journal articles across the past five years*, with the majority placed in Q1 journals in the relevant field.
    • At least 4 journal articles as first/senior author during the past 5 years.
    • Publications in particularly impactful journals may be given higher weight (e.g., PNAS, JAMA or Nature Journals, Psychological Science).
    • Books and book chapters will be considered according to the nature of the work, but with journal publications generally given higher weight in most cases.
    • Extramural funding

    *appropriate adjustments will be made for those who are less than 5-years post PhD

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  • 2017-2018

    Kate Sweeny, PhD

    Kate Sweeny, PhD

    The Psychological Experience of Awaiting Breast Diagnosis
    A discussion of new research findings

    March 26, 2018

    Janet Tomiyama

    Janet Tomiyama, PhD

    Eating Behavior, Stress, and Health
    Exploring the intersection between eating and stress, with special emphasis on weight stigma.

    October 30, 2017



    Jessica Lynn

    Jessica Lynn

    Jessica Lynn's Transgender Journey
    Transgender mother tells of challenges to parental rights.

    March 15, 2017

    Sarah Pressman

    Sarah Pressman, PhD

    Can We Smile Our Way To Better Health?
    The surprising connections between positive facial expressions and wellness.

    February 13, 2017

    Jonathan Butner

    Jonathan Butner, PhD

    Dynamical Systems
    Topology, self-regulation, and coordination in psychological systems.

    February 27, 2017

    Ted Robles

    Ted Robles, PhD

    Family Relationships and Health
    Insights from intensive repeated measures and molecular mechanisms.

    October 24, 2016