Mary A Gerend Ph.D.

Mary A Gerend Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Main Campus

Dr. Mary Gerend is a social health psychologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine at the Florida State University College of Medicine. She received her BA in psychology from the University of Minnesota and her PhD in psychology (social psychology) from Arizona State University. She was on the faculty at the Florida State University College of Medicine from 2003-2014. From 2014-2017 she joined the faculty at Northwestern University in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine. She returned to the Florida State University College of Medicine in 2017. Dr. Gerend’s research aims to understand and promote health and health behavior. Her primary lines of research focus on cancer prevention (human papillomavirus [HPV] vaccination, cancer screening, and tobacco use) and health messaging. She also has interests in stigma and health. Her work aims to promote health equity and reduce health disparities in socially marginalized populations. Dr. Gerend’s research has been funded by the National Cancer Institute. She has served on committees associated with the Social, Personality & Health Network and the National HPV Vaccination Roundtable.

Program of Research

Dr. Gerend’s program of research focuses on cancer prevention, particularly among socially marginalized groups. One of her primary lines of research has investigated factors that affect people’s decisions to get vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection that can cause cancer. The goal of this work is to develop and test interventions for increasing HPV vaccination, particularly among populations disproportionately affected by HPV-related cancers such as Latinas and sexual minority men. Dr. Gerend also has extensive experience designing health messages to promote behavior change. More recently she started another line of research on weight stigma and health. This work aims to identify psychological, physiological, and behavioral factors associated with risk and resilience to weight stigma.

Professional Preparation and Development

University of Minnesota, B.A.(1995)

Arizona State University, Ph.D.(2003)

Member, American Psychological Association

Member, Association for Psychological Science

Member, Society of Behavioral Medicine

Member, Society for Personality and Social Psychology

Member, Social Personality & Health Network

Member, Society of Experimental Social Psychology

Notable Research/Creative Works

Gerend, M. A., Madkins, K., Crosby, S. Bass, M. Phillips, G., Houlberg, M., & Mustanski, B. (in press). A qualitative analysis of young sexual minority men’s perspectives on human papillomavirus vaccination. LGBT Health.

Gerend M. A., Stephens, Y. P., Kazmer, M. K., Slate, E. H., & Reyes, E. (2019). Predictors of human papillomavirus vaccine completion among low-income Latina/o adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 64, (753-762).

Gerend, M. A., Newcomb, M. E., & Mustanski, B. (2017). Prevalence and correlates of smoking and e-cigarette use among young men who have sex with men and transgender women. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 179, 395-399.

Gerend, M. A., Shepherd, M. A., Kaltz, E., Davis, W. & Shepherd, J. E. (2017). Understanding women’s hesitancy to undergo less frequent cervical cancer screening. Preventive Medicine, 95, 96-102.

Gerend, M. A., & Shepherd, J. E. (2012). Predicting human papillomavirus vaccine uptake in young adult women: Comparing the Health Belief Model and Theory of Planned Behavior. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 44, 171-180.

Gerend, M. A., & Maner, J. K. (2011). Fear, anger, fruits, and veggies: Interactive effects of emotion and message framing on health behavior. Health Psychology, 30, 420-423.

Faculty Links

Gerend Health Psychology Lab

Curriculum Vitae

Complete List of Publications



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