department of psychology

Chafee Hall, 142 Flagg Road, Kingston, RI 02881 – 401.874.2193 (p); 401.874.2157 (f)

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Joseph Rossi

  • Professor; Director of the Behavior Change Research Center
  • Behavioral Science
  • Phone: 401.874.5983
  • Email:
  • Mailing Address: CPRC 5W


My main interests are in quantitative methods and health psychology, particularly at the intersection of theory, methods, and substance. I am one of the main developers of the transtheoretical model of behavior change and one of the leading proponents of the “new statistics” that emphasizes effect sizes, parameter estimation, confidence intervals and model testing over null hypothesis significance testing. I am an elected member of the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology, a Fellow of Division 5 of the American Psychological Association, as well as a member of APA Divisions 2, 38, and 50. I am currently the Director of the Behavior Change Research Center, former Director of the Behavioral Science program (2009–2013), founding Director of the Health Psychology focus area (2003–2013), Director of Research at the Cancer Prevention Research Center, and since 1998 have been a member of the University of Rhode Island’s Institutional Review Board.


Quantitative methods: statistical power analysis, meta-analysis, effect size and the null hypothesis testing controversy, measurement modeling and psychometric methods, structural equation modeling
Health psychology: transtheoretical model of behavior change (including applications to sun exposure, smoking cessation, weight control, physical activity, healthy diets, and numerous other behaviors), multiple health behavior change, computer-tailored interventions


Postdoc, 1984–1985, Self-Change Laboratory, Department of Psychology, URI
Ph.D., University of Rhode Island, 1984
M.A., University of Rhode Island, 1980
B.A., 1975, Rhode Island College


Note: student co-authors in bold

  • Marracini, M.E., Weyandt, L.L., & Rossi, J.S. (in press). College students’ perceptions of professor/instructor bullying: Questionnaire development and psychometric properties. Journal of American College Health.
  • Stein, L.A.R., Clair, M., Rossi, J.S., Martin, R., Cancilliere, M., & Clarke, J. (in press). Gender, ethnicity and race in incarcerated and detained youth: Services and policy implications for girls. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal.
  • Redding, C.A., Prochaska, J.O., Armstrong, K., Rossi, J.S., Hoeppner, B.B., Sun, X., Kobayashi, H., Yin, H.-Q., Coviello, D., Evers, K., & Velicer, W.F. (in press). Randomized trial outcomes of a TTM-tailored condom use and smoking intervention in urban adolescent females. Health Education Research.
  • Soenksen, S., Stein, L.A.R., Brown, J., Stengel, J., Rossi, J., & Lebeau, R. (in press). Cannabis withdrawal among detained adolescents: Exploring the impact of nicotine and race. Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse.
  • Sillice, M.A., Paiva, A.L., Babbin, S.F., McGee, H.A., Rossi, J.S., Redding, C.A., Meier, K.S., Oatley, K., & Velicer, W.F. (2014). Testing demographic differences for alcohol use initiation among adolescents for the decisional balance and situational temptation prevention inventories. Addictive Behaviors, 39, 1367–1371.
  • Scioli-Salter, E.R., Sillice, M.A., Mitchell, K.S., Rasmusson, A.M., Allsup, K., Biller, H., & Rossi, J.S. (2014). Predictors of long-term exercise maintenance among college aged adults: Role of body image anxiety. Californian Journal of Health Promotion, 12, 27–39.
  • Rossi, J.S. (2013). Statistical power analysis. In J.A. Schinka & W.F. Velicer (Eds.), Handbook of psychology. Volume 2: Research methods in psychology (2nd ed., pp. 71–108). (I.B. Weiner, Editor-in-Chief). John Wiley & Sons.
  • Yin, H.-Q., Prochaska, J.O., Rossi, J.S., Redding, C.A., Paiva, A.L., Blissmer, B., Velicer, W.F., Johnson, S.S., & Kobayashi, H. (2013). Treatment enhanced paired action contributes substantially to change across multiple health behaviors: Secondary analyses of five randomized trials. Translational Behavioral Medicine: Practice, Policy and Research, 3, 62–71.
  • Weyandt, L., DuPaul, G.J., Verdi, G., Rossi, J.S., Swentosky, A.J., Vilardo, B.S., O’Dell, S.M., & Carson, K.S. (2013). The performance of college students with and without ADHD: Neuropsychological, academic, and psychosocial functioning. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 35, 421–435.
  • Hoeppner, B.B., Redding, C.A., Rossi, J.S., Pallonen, U.E., Prochaska, J.O., & Velicer, W.F. (2012). Factor structure of decisional balance and temptations scales for smoking: Cross-validation in urban female African-American adolescents. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 19, 217–227.
  • Blaney, C.L., Robbins, M.L., Paiva, A.L., Redding, C.A., Rossi, J.S., Blissmer, B., Burditt, C., & Oatley, K. (2012). Validation of the measures of the transtheoretical model for exercise in an adult African American sample. American Journal of Health Promotion, 26, 317–326.
  • Reavy, R., Stein, L.A.R., Paiva, A., Quina, K., & Rossi, J.S. (2012). Validation of the delinquent activities scale for incarcerated adolescents. Addictive Behaviors, 37, 875–879.
  • Paiva, A.L., Prochaska, J.O., Yin, H.-Q., Rossi, J.S., Redding, C.A., Blissmer, B., Robbins, M.L., Velicer, W.F., Lipschitz, J., Amoyal, N., Babbin, S.F., Blaney, C.L., Sillice, M.A., Fernandez, A., McGee, H., & Horiuchi, S. (2012). Treated individuals who progress to action or maintenance for one behavior are more likely to make similar progress on another behavior: Coaction results of a pooled data analysis of three trials. Preventive Medicine, 54, 331–334.
  • DuPaul, G.J., Weyandt, L.L., Rossi, J.S., Vilardo, B.A., O’Dell, S.M., Carson, K.M., Verdi, G., & Swentosky, A. (2012). Double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study of the efficacy and safety of lisdexamfetamine dimesylate in college students with ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders, 16, 202–220.
  • Stein, L.A.R., Clair, M., Lebeau, R., Prochaska, J.O., Rossi, J.S., & Swift, J. (2012). Facilitating grant proposal writing in health behaviors for university faculty: A descriptive study. Health Promotion Practice, 13, 71–80.
  • Rossi, J.S. (2011). Statistics in psychology. In M. Lovric (Ed.), International Handbook of Statistical Sciences (pp. 1139–1142). Springer.
  • Krebs, P., Prochaska, J.O., & Rossi, J.S. (2010). A meta-analysis of computer-tailored interventions for health behavior change. Preventive Medicine, 51, 214–221.
  • Hall, K.L., & Rossi, J.S. (2008). Meta-analytic examination of the strong and weak principles across 48 health behaviors. Preventive Medicine, 46, 266–274.

Teaching Interests

Experimental Design (graduate core course)
Methods of Psychological Research & Experimental Design (graduate core course)
Statistical Power Analysis (advanced graduate seminar)
Multicultural Research Methods (advanced graduate seminar)
Quantitative Methods in Psychology (undergraduate core course)
Health Psychology (undergraduate general education course)

Honors And Awards

Distinguished Peter Merenda Prize in Statistics and Research Methodology: In recognition of a distinguished career in statistics and research methodology, 2012
Highest Impact Papers, Health Psychology (1993–2003), 2010
Most Cited Paper, Preventive Medicine (2005–2010), 2010
ISI Highly Cited Researcher: named one of the most highly cited researchers in the world in the fields of Psychology/Psychiatry; Thomson Reuters Institute for Scientific Information, 2006
Top 50 Papers in Tobacco Control: 9th and 14th most cited papers, 2005
Fellow: American Psychological Association, Division 5, 2004
Scholarly Excellence Award: University of Rhode Island, 2003
Outstanding Intellectual Property Awards: University of Rhode Island, 2003, 2001
Top 25 Authors and Papers in Psychology: Author Impact (citations/paper): 5th; Author Citations: 12th; Cited Papers: 21st; results of a study conducted by the Institute for Scientific Information and the American Psychological Society, 1996
Elected member: Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology, 1995
Alumni Honor Roll Award, Rhode Island College, 1992
Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on more than 60 federal, state, private foundation, and corporate grants for more than $80 million, 1985–2014

Graduate Student Research and Positions

Note: I have served as major professor for students in both the Behavioral Science program and in the Clinical Psychology program.

Bing Chen (PhD candidate).
• Current position: Teaching Assistant, Department of Psychology, University of Rhode Island.

Elsa Larson (PhD candidate; MA, 2012).
• Thesis: Decisional Balance for Condom Use and Temptations for Unprotected Sex Among Men Who Have Sex With Men: Using the Transtheoretical Model for HIV Prevention.
• Current position: HIV Prevention Program Manager (Deputy Director), Office of HIV/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis, Rhode Island Department of Health, Providence, RI.

Kelsey Ufholz (PhD candidate).
• Dissertation: Multivariate Measurement of Multiple Heath Behavior Change and its Relation to Baseline Severity.
• Current position: Teaching Assistant, Department of Psychology, University of Rhode Island.

Hui-Qing Yin (PhD candidate; MA, 2013).
• Thesis: Psychometric Validation of the Four Factor Situational Temptations for Smoking Inventory in Adult Smokers.
• Current position: Graduate Research Assistant, Cancer Prevention Research Center, University of Rhode Island.

Hisanori Kobayashi (PhD, 2012).
• Dissertation: Multiple Behavior Analytical Techniques.
• Current position: Research Associate, Evidence Generation, Medical Affairs, Janssen Pharmaceutical, Tokyo, Japan.
• Former position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Cancer Prevention Research Center, Department of Psychology, University of Rhode Island.

Karli K. (Kondo) Zearley (PhD, 2012).
• Dissertation: Acculturation and the Effects on Health Behaviors in Pregnant and non-Pregnant Latinas: A Meta-Analysis.
• Current position: Core Investigator, Portland VA Research Foundation, Portland, OR
• Former Position: Assistant Professor, School of Professional Psychology, Pacific University, Hillsboro, OR.

Elizabeth Dimond (PhD, 2010).
• Dissertation: Attitudes Towards Research Methods.
• Current positions: Data Analyst, Food & Nutrition Science; Instructor, Department of Psychology, University of Rhode Island.

Catherine M. Stephan (PhD, 2008).
• Dissertation: The Relationship Between Self-Efficacy and Decisional Balance for Stress Management and Exercise Behavior in an Adolescent Population: A Cross-Lagged Panel Analysis.
• Current position: School Psychologist, State of New York.

Ya-Ting Yeh (PhD, 2005).
• Dissertation: Applicability of the Transtheoretical Model in Weight Management in an Adolescent Population in Taiwan.
• Current position: Data Analyst, Boston, MA.

Kara L. Hall (PhD, 2004).
• Dissertation: A Meta-Analytic Examination of Decisional Balance Across Stage Transitions: A Cross-Sectional Analysis and Longitudinal Cross-Validation.
• Current position: Program Director, Science of Research and Technology Branch, Behavioral Research Program, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD;
• Former position: Health Scientist Administrator, Office of the Director, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD.

More Information

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