Skip to Search
Skip to Navigation
Skip to Content
Skip to Search
Skip to Navigation
Skip to Content
photo24.jpgphoto28.jpgphoto10.jpgphoto9.jpg

Tricia M. Leahey, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

 
Address 358 Mansfield Road, Box U-1101
Storrs, CT 06269-1101
Email  tricia.leahey@uconn.edu 
 
tricia_leahey@brown.edu
Phone 860-486-0083
Links  

 

Dr. Leahey is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut and an Adjunct Professor at Brown Medical School’s Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center. She completed her clinical internship at Brown and received her doctorate in Clinical Health Psychology in 2008. Dr. Leahey finished her NIH F32 NRSA postdoctoral fellowship in 2010 and was faculty at Brown from 2010 to 2014. Her research focuses on developing and evaluating cost-effective behavioral interventions for the treatment of obesity in real-world settings and on testing novel approaches for weight loss maintenance.  Specifically, Dr. Leahey is currently PI or Co-I on several large trials examining the effects of social networks, peer coaching, and financial incentives on weight loss or weight loss maintenance in reduced intensity in-person programs or Internet-based dissemination initiatives. She is also Chief Scientist at a small Internet company where she is helping to develop a wide-reaching, evidence-based commercial weight loss program that involves gamification. Dr. Leahey is a standing member of NIH’s Psychosocial Risk and Disease Prevention Study Section, she has reviewed for over 30 scientific journals and is on the editorial board for several journals, and she has served as scientific expert for John Hopkins’ Comparative Effectiveness Review for Weight Maintenance and NIDDK’s Weight Control Information Network.  


EDUCATION
 
Post-doctoral Fellowship:       Brown Medical School
              Specialty:                    NIH F32 NRSA (NIDDK), Obesity research
              Attended:                    2008-2010
 
Internship:                                 Brown Medical School
              Specialty:                     Behavioral Medicine, obesity research
              Attended:                     2007-2008
             
Graduate:                                   Kent State University
              Major Field:                  Clinical Psychology
              Minor Field:                  Health Psychology
              Degrees:                       Master of Arts, 2004
                                                    Doctor of Philosophy, 2008
 
Undergraduate:                         State University of New York at Binghamton
              Major Field:                  Psychology
              Degree:                         Bachelor of Arts, 2002
 
  
HONORS & AWARDS

  • Research Excellence Citation Award, Society of Behavioral Medicine, 2016.

  • Invited Faculty Member, NIH OBSSR / NHLBI Summer Institute on the Design and Conduct of Randomized Clinical Trials Involving Behavioral Interventions. Coordinator: Peter Kaufmann, PhD, Deputy Chief, Clinical Applications and Prevention Branch, NHLBI, 2013-2016.

  • Award for Excellence in Science with a Focus on eHealth / mHealth, The Obesity Society, 2013.

  • Research Mentor Award, Brown Alpert Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, 2012-2013. 

  • Award for Excellence in Science with a Focus on eHealth / mHealth, The Obesity Society, 2012.

  • Distinguished Fellow, NIH OBSSR / NHLBI 2011 Summer Institute on the Design and Conduct of Randomized Clinical Trials Involving Behavioral Interventions, 2012.

  • NIH Loan Repayment Award Recipient, NIDDK, 2009-2012.

  • NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein Fellowship Award (F32), 2008-2010.

  • Pat Simmons Travel Grant, The Obesity Society, 2007.

  • Lillian Friedman Fellowship, 2006-2007.

  • Research Fellowship Award, Kent State University, 2006-2007.                                               

  • Distinguished Teaching Award, Kent State University, 2005.

                                                       
 GRANTS

* = grant awarded to student / mentee

Role: Consultant
Title: “Internet assisted obesity treatment: Enhanced by financial incentives”
Funding agency: NIH
Funding status: Funded
Total funds requested: $3,444,620
Duration: 08/01/2015-07/31/2020

*Role: Co-Investigator
Title: “Financial incentives for exercise adherence in cardiac rehabilitation”
Funding agency: Peter Munk Cardiac Center
Funding status: Funded
Total funds received: $147,141
Duration: 10/15/2014-10/14/2015

Role: Co-Investigator
Title: “Low intensity weight loss for young adults: Autonomous vs. extrinsic motivation”
Funding agency: NIDDK
Funding status: Funded
Total funds received: $3,531,253
Duration: 09/01/2014-08/31/2019

Role: Co-Investigator
Title: “Action for Health in Diabetes Continuation (Look AHEAD)”
Funding agency: NIH
Funding status: Funded
Total funds received: $851,685
Duration: 09/01/2013-08/15/2014

Role: Behavioral Specialist
Title: “Study of Health Outcomes of Weight Loss-SHOW Trial”
Funding agency: NIH
Funding status: Funded
Total funds received: $1,205,573
Duration: 08/01/2012 – 07/31/2013

Role: Principal Investigator
Title: “A randomized trial testing lay health coaches for obesity treatment”
Funding agency: NIH
Funding status: Funded
Total funds received: $2,185,112
Duration: 07/01/2012 – 06/30/2017

Role: Co-Investigator
Title: “Acceptance-based behavioral intervention for weight loss: A randomized trial”
Funding agency: NIH
Funding status: Funded
Total funds received: $1,570,396
Duration: 04/01/2011 – 08/15/2014

Role: Co-Investigator
Title: “Using a statewide initiative to disseminate effective behavioral weight loss strategies”
Funding agency: NIH
Funding status: Funded
Total funds received: $1,100,546
Duration: 04/01/2010 – 03/31/2015

Role: Co-Investigator
Title: “Innovative technology to improve patient adherence to weight loss recommendations”
Funding agency: NIH
Funding status: Funded
Total funds received: $930,320
Duration: 09/30/2009-07/31/2011

Role: Consultant (2014-2015); Co-Investigator (2010-2014)
Title: “Increasing Sleep Duration: A Novel Approach to Weight Control”
Funding agency: NIH
Funding status: Funded
Total funds received: $3,729,255
Duration: 09/28/09-08/31/15

Role: Principal Investigator
Title: “A social comparison intervention to enhance weight loss in obese individuals”
Funding agency: NIH
Funding status: Funded
Funds received: $145,818
Duration: 08/14/2008-08/13/2011

 
PUBLICATION LIST

* indicates student/mentee

Xu, X.*, Leahey, T.M., Boguszewski, K.*, Krupel, K., Mailloux, K. A.*, Wing, R. R. (2016). Self-expansion is associated with better adherence and obesity treatment outcomes in adults. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. [Epub ahead of print] 

Leahey, T., Fava, J. L., Seiden, A.*, Fernandes, D., Doyle, C.*, Kent, K.*, La Rue, M., Mitchell, M.*, Wing, R. R. (2016). A randomized controlled trial testing an Internet-delivered cost-benefit approach to weight loss maintenance. Preventive Medicine. [Epub ahead of print] 

Unick, J. L., Dorfman, L., Leahey, T., Wing, R. R. (2016). A preliminary investigation into whether early intervention can improve weight loss among those initially non-responsive to an Internet-based behavioral program. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 39, 254-61. 

Mitchell, M.*, Goodman, J. M., Alter, D. A., Oh, P. I., Leahey, T., Faulkner, G. E. (2016). The Feasibility of Financial Incentives to Increase Exercise Among Canadian Cardiac Rehabilitation Patients. Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention, 36, 28-32. 

Demos, K., Leahey, T., Hart, C., Trautvetter, J., Coward, P., Duszlak, J., Wing, R. (2016). A pilot randomized controlled trial testing the effects of a routine-based intervention on outcomes in a behavioral weight loss program. Obesity Science and Practice, 1, 110-18. 

Unick, J. Leahey, T.M., Kent, K.*, Wing, R. R. (2015). Examination of whether early weight loss predicts 1-year weight loss among those enrolled in an Internet-based weight loss program. International Journal of Obesity, 39, 1558-60.

Lillis, J., Neimeier, H. M., Middleton, K., Thomas, T. G., Leahey, T., Unick J., Kendra, K. E., Wing, R. R. (2015). Weight loss intervention for individuals with high internal disinhibition: Design of the Acceptance Based Behavioral Intervention (ABBI) randomized controlled trial. BMC Psychology, 3, 17-27.

Leahey, T. M., Xu, X.*, Doyle, C.*, Bihuniak, J., Wing, R. R. (2015). Social networks and social norms are associated with obesity treatment outcomes. Obesity, 23, 1550-1554.

Rancourt, D.*, Leahey, T. M., & Crowther, J. H. (2015). Effects of weight-focused social comparisons on diet and activity outcomes in overweight and obese women. Obesity, 23, 85-89.

Leahey, T.M., Subak L. L., Fava, J., Schembri, M., Thomas, J. G., Xu, X.*, Krupel, K., Kent, K.*, Boguszewski, K.*, Kumar, R., Weinberg, B., & Wing, R. R. (2015). Benefits of adding small financial incentives or optional group meetings to a Web-based statewide obesity initiative. Obesity, 23, 70-76.

Thomas, J. G., Leahey, T.M., & Wing, R. R. (2015). An automated Internet behavioral weight-loss program by physician referral: A randomized controlled trial. Diabetes Care, 38, 9-15.

Xu, X.*, Demos, K., Leahey, T.M., Hart, C., Trautvetter, J., Coward, P., Middleton, K., Wing, R.R. (2015). Failure to replicate depletion of self-control. Plos One, 9, 1-5.

Wing, R. R., Leahey, T. M., Espeland, M. (2014). Response to: “Clustering effects in group based-behavioral weight loss trials.” Obesity, 22, 1771.

Leahey, T. M., Rosen, J. (2014). DietBet: A Web-based program that uses social gaming and financial incentives to promote weight loss. Journal of Medical Internet Research: Serious Games, 2, 2-8.

Leahey, T.M., Thomas, J. G., Fava, J., Subak, L., Schembri, M., Krupel, K., Weinberg, B., Kumar, R., & Wing, R. R. (2014). Adding evidence-based behavioral weight loss strategies to a statewide wellness campaign: A randomized clinical trial. American Journal of Public Health, 104, 1300-1306.

Wing, R.R., Leahey, T.M., Jeffery, R., Coday, M., Hill, J. O., Johnson, K. C., Espeland, M. A., & the Look AHEAD Research Group (2014). Do weight loss and adherence cluster within behavioral treatment groups? Obesity, 22, 638-44.

Leahey, T.M., Xu, X., Unick, J., Wing, R. R. (2014). A preliminary investigation of the role of self-control in behavioral weight loss treatment. Obesity Research and Clinical Practice, 8, 115-200.

Luce, K. H., Crowther, J. H., Leahey, T. M., Buchholz, L. J. (2013). Do restrained eaters restrict their caloric intake prior to drinking alcohol? Eating Behaviors, 14, 361-5.

LaRose, J., Leahey, T. M., Hill, J. O., & Wing, R. R. (2013). Differences in motivations and weight loss behaviors in young adults and older adults in the National Weight Control Registry. Obesity, 21, 449-53.

Leahey, T.M. & Wing, R.R. (2013). A randomized controlled pilot study testing three types of health coaches for obesity treatment: Professional, peer, and mentor. Obesity, 21, 928-34.

Gokee LaRose, J., Leahey T. M., Weinberg, B., Kumar, R., & Wing, R. R. (2012). Young adults’ performance in a low-intensity weight loss campaign. Obesity, 20, 2314-6.

Leahey, T.M., Kumar, R., Weinberg, B., Wing, R.R. (2012). Teammates and social influence affect weight loss outcomes in a team-based weight loss competition. Obesity, 20, 1413-8.

Niemeier, H. M., Leahey, T. M., Palm, K., Brown, R, & Wing, R. R. (2012). An acceptance-based behavioral intervention for weight loss: A pilot study. Behavior Therapy, 43, 427-35.

Leahey, T. M., Bond, D. S., Raynor, H., Roye, D., Pohl, D., Vithiananthan, S., Ryder, B., Sax, H. C., & Wing, R. R. (2012). Effects of bariatric surgery on food cravings: Do food cravings and the consumption of craved foods “normalize” after surgery? Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, 8, 84-91.

Leahey, T. M., Thomas, J. G., LaRose, J., & Wing, R. R. (2012). A randomized trial testing a contingency-based weight loss intervention involving social reinforcement. Obesity, 20, 324-9.

McCaffery, J. M., Franz, C. E., Jacobson, K., Leahey, T. M., Xian, H., Wing, R. R., Lyons, M. J., Kremen, W. S. (2011). Effects of social contact and zygosity on 21-year weight change in male twins. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 94, 404-9.

Thomas, J. G., Bond, D. S., Ryder, B., Leahey, T. M., Vithiananthan, S., Roye, D., & Wing, R. R. (2011). Ecological momentary assessment of recommended postoperative eating and activity behaviors. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, 7, 206-212.

Leahey, T. M., Crowther, J. H., & Ciesla, J. (2011). An ecological momentary assessment of the effects of weight and shape social comparisons on women with eating pathology, high body dissatisfaction, and low body dissatisfaction. Behavior Therapy, 42, 197-210.

Leahey, T. M., LaRose, J., Fava, J., & Wing, R. R. (2011). Social influences are associated with BMI and weight loss intentions in young adults. Obesity, 19, 1157-1162.

Leahey, T. M., Crane, M., Pinto, A. M., Weinberg, B., Kumar, R., & Wing, R. R. (2010). Effect of teammates on changes in physical activity in a statewide campaign. Preventive Medicine, 51, 45-49.

Bond, D. S., Jakicic, J. M., Vithiananthan, S., Thomas, G., Leahey, T. M., Sax, H. C., Pohl, D., Roye, D., Ryder, B. A., Wing, R. R. (2010). Objective quantification of physical activity in bariatric surgery candidates and normal-weight controls. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, 6, 72-78.

Bond, D. S., Vithiananthan, S., Leahey, T. M., Thomas, J. G., Sax, H. C., Pohl, D., Ryder, B., Roye, D. G., Giovanni, J., Wing, R. R. (2009). Prevalence and degree of sexual dysfunction in a sample of women seeking bariatric surgery. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, 5, 698-704.

Bond, D. S., Phelan, S., Leahey, T. M., Hill, J. O., & Wing, R.R. (2009). Weight-loss maintenance in successful weight losers: Surgical vs. non-surgical methods. International Journal of Obesity, 33, 173-180.

Leahey, T. M., Bond, D.S., Irwin, S.R, Crowther, J.H., & Wing, R.R. (2009). When is the best time to deliver a behavioral intervention to bariatric surgery patients, pre- or post-operatively? Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, 5, 99-102.

Leahey, T. M., Crowther, J. H., & Irwin, S. R. (2008). A Cognitive-behavioral Mindfulness Group Therapy Intervention for the Treatment of Binge Eating in Bariatric Surgery Patients. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 15, 364-75.

Crowther, J. H., Armey, M., Luce, K. L., Dalton, G., & Leahey, T. M. (2008). The point prevalence of bulimia nervosa over 15 years. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 41, 491-497.

Stanek, K., Gunstad, J., Leahey, T.M., Glickman, E., Alexander, T., Spitznagel, M., Juvancic-Heltzel, J., & Murray, L. (2008).  Serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor is associated with reduced appetite in healthy older adults.  Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging, 12, 183-185.

Leahey, T. M., Myers, T., Gunstad, J., Glickman, E., Spitznagel, M., Alexander, T., & Juvancic-Heltzel, J (2008).  AB40 is associated with cognitive function, body fat, and physical fitness in healthy older adults.  Nutritional Neuroscience, 10, 205-209. 

Leahey, T. M. & Crowther, J. H. (2008). An ecological momentary assessment of comparison target as a moderator of the effects of appearance-focused social comparisons. Body Image, 5, 307-311.

Leahey, T. M., Crowther, J. H., & Mickelson, K. D. (2007). An ecological momentary assessment of the frequency, nature, and effects of naturally occurring appearance-focused social comparisons. Behavior Therapy, 38, 132-143. BOOKS AND 

Bond, D.S., Leahey, T. M., Vithiananthan, S., & Ryder, B. (2009). Bariatric surgery for severe obesity: The role of patient behavior. Medicine and Health: Rhode Island, 92, 58-60.

Marquez, B., Leahey, T. M., & Wing, R.R. (2009). Overweight and obesity in Rhode Island: Developing programs to combat the obesity epidemic. Medicine and Health: Rhode Island, 92, 45-47.

Leahey, T. M. (March, 2016). What are the best motivators for successful and sustained weight loss? US News and World Report.

 

INVITED PRESENTATIONS

Leahey, T. M. (July, 2016; July, 2015; July, 2014; July, 2013). Recruitment and adherence in RCTs involving behavioral interventions. Invited talks given at the NIH OBSSR / NHLBI Summer Institute on the Design and Conduct of Randomized Clinical Trials Involving Behavioral Interventions; Warrenton, VA.

Leahey, T. M. (October, 2015) Leveraging financial incentives and social influence to address current challenges in obesity treatment. Invited talk given at the Yale Chronic Disease and Epidemiology Seminar Series; New Haven, CT. 

Leahey, T. M. (October, 2015). Next frontiers in obesity treatment: Disseminating evidence-based strategies and weight loss maintenance. Invited talk given at the UConn Department of Nutrition Seminar Series; Storrs, CT. 

Leahey, T. M. (October, 2015). Reducing obesity in the U.S. by using financial incentives and gamification. Invited talk given at the University of Vermont’s Center on Behavior and Health Annual Behavior Change Conference; Burlington, VT.

Leahey, T.M. (April, 2015). Harnessing financial incentives and social influence to address current challenges in obesity treatment research. Invited talk given at the 2014-2015 CHIP lecture series, Storrs, CT. 

Leahey, T. M. (October, 2014). Behavioral economics for obesity treatment. Invited talk given at the University of Vermont’s Center on Behavior and Health Annual Behavior Change Conference; Burlington, VT.

Leahey, T. M. (March, 2014). Behavioral economics and social networks for obesity treatment. Invited talk given at the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine Seminar Series; Worchester, MA.

Leahey, T. M. (March, 2014). Financial rewards and social networks for obesity treatment. Invited grand rounds given at the University of Vermont; Burlington, VT. 

Leahey, T. M. (April, 2013). Social influence and financial incentives for weight loss and weight loss maintenance. Invited talk given at DietBet, Inc.; New York, NY.

Leahey, T. M. (June, 2012). Social influence and weight control. Invited grand rounds given at New Jersey Medical School; Newark, NJ.

Kumar, R., Leahey, T.M., & Miller, L (April, 2012). Healthy behaviors are contagious. Invited talk given at Shape Up, Inc.’s nationally-broadcasted Webinar; Providence, RI.

Leahey, T. M. (February, 2012). Obesity and social networks. Invited talk given at the American College of Preventive Medicine; Orlando, FL.

Leahey, T. M. (March, 2010). Keeping the pounds off: Behavioral strategies for long-term weight control. Invited talk given at the United Health Services Hospitals’ Weight Management and Diabetes Teaching Day; Binghamton, NY.

 

ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS                       

Invited Scientific Reviewer, Harvard Medical School’s 5th World Congress on Social Media, Mobile Apps, and Internet/Web 2.0 Conference Abstract Review Committee, 2012.
 
Technical Expert, Comparative effectiveness review on approaches to weight maintenance in adults, John Hopkins University Evidence-based Practice Center, 2012.
 
Invited Scientific Reviewer, Society of Behavioral Medicine Rapid Submission Abstract Review Committee, 2012, 2013.
 
Lead Editor, Special Section: Social networks and obesity, Journal of Obesity, 2012-2013.
 
Scientific Advisory Board, Journal of Behavioral Health, 2012-2014.
 
Invited Scientific Abstract Reviewer, The Obesity Society, 2013.
 
Invited Scientific Reviewer, NIH/NIDDK’s Weight Control Information Network: Tips to Help you Get Active, 2013.
  
Expert Advisory Board, DietBet, Inc., 2013-2014.
 
Invited Scientific Reviewer, NIH/NIDDK’s Weight Control Information Network: Getting on Track: Physical Activity and Healthy Eating for Men, 2014.
 
Invited Abstract Reviewer, Medicine 2.0: Social Media, Mobile Apps, and Internet/Web 2.0 in Health Medicine and Biomedical Research Conference, 2014.
 
Invited Scientific Reviewer, Obesity and Eating Disorders Special Interest Group Student Abstract Awards Committee, Society of Behavioral Medicine, 2014.
 
Invited Scientific Session Co-Chair, Society of Behavioral Medicine, Evaluations of weight loss interventions, 2014.
 
Invited Scientific Reviewer, University of Connecticut’s College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources’ Research Forum, 2014.
 
Chief Scientist, Waybetter, Inc., 2014-present
 
Invited Scientific Session Chair, Society of Behavioral Medicine, Weight management and weight loss, 2015.
 
Data and Safety Officer for NIH grant R34 DK100981, “TEEN JOIN: A scalable weight control intervention for adolescents,” 2014-present.
 
Data and Safety Monitoring Officer for NIH-funded grant R01 HL128666, “Escalating proportion of weight-loss maintainers via modules prior to weight loss,” 2016-present.
 
Data and Safety Monitoring Officer for NIH-funded grant K04 DK100498, “Exercise as a buffer against stress-induced eating,” 2016-present.
 
Invited Scientific Session Co-Chair, Society of Behavioral Medicine, Weight Loss Maintenance, 2016.
 
Associate Editor, Journal of Obesity, 2016–present.
 
Ad-hoc Member, NIH Psychosocial Risk and Disease Prevention Study Section (PRDP), R01, R03, and R21 mechanisms (May, 2012). CSR Scientific Review Officer, Stacey Fitzsimmons.
 
Invited External NIH Grant Reviewer, University of Houston, 2012.
 
Scientific Reviewer, Center for Health Intervention and Prevention and Connecticut Children’s Seed Grants, 2015.
 
Invited External NIH Grant Reviewer, University of South Carolina, 2015.
 
Scientific Reviewer, Center for Health Intervention and Prevention and Connecticut Research Grants, University of Connecticut, 2016.
 
Co-Chair, Center for Health Intervention and Prevention Research Grant Review Committee, University of Connecticut, 2015-2016.
 
Co-Chair, NIH Psychosocial Risk and Disease Prevention Study Section, 2015.
 
Standing Member, NIH Psychosocial Risk and Disease Prevention Study Section (PRDP), R01, R03, and R21 mechanisms. CSR Scientific Review Officer, Stacey Fitzsimmons, 2013-present.

 

CURRENT MENTEES

Carnisha Gilder - PhD Student, University of Connecticut
Shane Sacco - PhD Student, University of Connecticut
Jacob Naparstek - Honors Student, University of Connecticut
Marc Mitchell, PhD - Postdoctoral fellow, University of Toronto
 

 PREVIOUS MENTEES

Maureen Megson, BS – Honors Student, University of Connecticut
      Current position: Graduate student at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Caroline Doyle, BA – Research Assistant and Mentee, Brown Medical School
      Current position: Graduate student at Arizona State University
Xiaomeng (Mona) Xu, PhD – T32 Postdoctoral Fellow, Brown Medical School
      Current position: Tenure track faculty at Idaho State University
Diana Rancourt, PhD – T32 Postdoctoral Fellow, Brown Medical School
      Current position: Tenure track faculty at University of South Florida
Andrew Seiden, BA – Research Assistant and Mentee, Brown Medical School
      Current position: Graduate student at John Hopkins University
Katherine Boguszewski, BA – Research Assistant and Mentee, Brown Medical School
      Current position: Graduate student at University of Virginia
Kimberly Kent, BA – Research Assistant and Mentee, Brown Medical School
      Current position: Graduate student at Brown University

about AHS
There has consistently been a high demand for graduates of the DGS Program and job opportunities are expected to remain excellent.

 

Department of Allied Health Sciences
College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources
358 Mansfield Road, Unit 1101
Storrs, Connecticut 06269-1101
Telephone: (860) 486-2834
Fax: (860) 486-5375