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Tracey A. Revenson

Ph.D., New York Univsersity

Department of Psychology
Hunter College, Room
695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10065

Trained as one of the first generation of health psychologists, Prof. Revenson brings a social-ecological perspective to the study of how stress and coping processes affect psychological adjustment to chronic physical illness, and how these processes are influenced by the social context. She is the co-author or co-editor of nine volumes, including Couples Coping with Stress and the Handbook of Health Psychology, now in its second edition. She is an Associate Editor of the journal Annals of Behavioral Medicine is on the editorial board of the journal Health Psychology. She was the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Women’s Health: Gender, Behavior and Policy. Dr. Revenson is a Past-President of the Division of Health Psychology of the American Psychological Association and in 2013 was awarded the Nathan Perry Career Service Award in Health Psychology for her contributions to the advancement of health psychology as a field, nationally and internationally.


All of my research relates to a few simple questions: How do individuals and their families adapt to a major life stressor, specifically living with a serious illness, such as cancer?  What person and environment factors help and hinder successful coping? And how can we translate the health-protective factors into brief, cost-effective and in-situ interventions?

To answer these questions, my laboratory conducts research on stress and coping processes among individuals, couples, and families facings serious physical illness. We investigate this phenomenon among children, adolescents, and adults, married couples, and families facing recently-diagnosed and long-term chronic illnesses, including cancer and rheumatoid arthritis; the influence of supportive and non-supportive social relationships on psychosocial adjustment, and dyadic coping – how couples face stress and illness together.

All my research adopts a social contextual perspective. That is, we conduct research primarily in naturalistic settings, and ask questions that have the potential to promote positive social and individual change. We use multiple methods, including in-person and SKYPE interviews, written questionnaires, internet surveys, and focus groups. The audience for this work is broad, including psychologists, physicians and other health professionals, and popular magazines.

Current research projects include:

·         a multi-method study of the unique stresses that younger adults in their 20s and 30s face when they are coping with blood cancers (lymphoma and leukemia)

·         a randomized clinical trial of a brief educational intervention that emphasizes dyadic coping for couples in which the husband has prostate cancer

·         a longitudinal study of how fear of recurrence changes over time for breast cancer survivors

·         a study (with  Health Psychology & Clinical Science doctoral student Amanda Marin) of how Latina adolescents cope with their mom’s breast cancer

·         a study (with Clinical Psychology doctoral student Ian Pervil) of how patients with solid v. liquid tumors think about and understand their illness

·         a randomized clinical trial of how expressive writing about one’s illness increases psychosocial adjustment among colorectal cancer patients


Revenson, T.A., & Lepore, S.J. (2012). Coping in social context. In A. Baum, T. A., Revenson, & J.E. Singer (Eds).  Handbook of Health Psychology, 2nd edition (pp. 193-217). NY: Psychology Press.

Margola, D., Facchin, F., Molgora, S., & Revenson, T.A.  (2010). Cognitive and emotional processing through writing among adolescents who experienced the death of a classmate.  Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 2 (3), 250-260.

Badr, H., Carmack, C.L., Kashy, D.A., Cristofanilli, M. & Revenson, T.A. (2010). Dyadic coping in metastatic breast cancer.  Health Psychology, 29 (2), 169-180.

Lepore, S.J., & Revenson, T.A. (2007). Social constraints on disclosure and adjustment to cancer. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 1 (1), 313–333. doi:10.1111/j.1751-9004.2007.00013.x

Stanton, A., Revenson, T.A., & Tennen, H. (2007). Health psychology: Psychological adjustment to chronic disease. Annual Review of Psychology, 58, 13.1-13.28

Lepore, S.J, Revenson, T.A., Weinberger, S., Weston, P., Frisina, P. Robertson, R., Mentor-Portillo, M., Jones, H., & Cross, W. (2006). Effects of social stressors on cardiovascular reactivity in Black and White women. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 31(2), 120-127.