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Tracey A. Revenson

Ph.D., New York Univsersity


Department of Psychology
Hunter College
Room 1201, East Building
695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10065
Lab website:

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.

Current Areas of Research

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 risk and resilience factors help and hinder successful coping? And how can we translate the health-protective factors into brief, cost-effective interventions?

To answer these questions, the Coping and Health in Context (CHiC) lab 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 younger adults in their 20s and 30s face when they are coping with blood cancers (lymphoma and leukemia)
  • A survey student of stress, coping and adjustment among the parents of young adults with cancer, led by HPCS doctoral student Aliza Panjwani
  • A study of how Latina adolescents cope with their mom's breast cancer, led by HPCS doctoral student Amanda Marin)
  • A national survey comparing how patients with solid v. liquid tumors understand their illness, led by Clinical Psychology doctoral student Ian Pervil
  • A systematic review and meta-analysis of how social constraints are related to adjustment among people facing chronic illness and other stressors, led by HPCS doctoral student Katie Darabos
  • A randomized clinical trial of how expressive writing about one's illness increases psychosocial adjustment among colorectal cancer patients
  • An experimental study to examine the utility of using a multimethod video for surgical informed consent for thyroid patients
  • A longitudinal study to identify the psychological factors that make thyroid cancer patients a good candidate for active surveillance vs. surgery


Selected Publications


Revenson, T.A., Griva, K., Luszczynska, A.,  Morrison, V. Panagopoulu, E., Vilchinsky, N., & Hagedoorn, M. (2015, in press). Caregiving in the Illness Context. Hampshire, England: Palgrave Macmillan.

Baum, A., Revenson, T.A., & Singer, J.E. (Eds).  (2012). Handbook of Health Psychology, 2nd edition.  New York: Taylor & Francis.

Wiley, S., Philogène, G., & Revenson, T.A. (Eds.) (2012). Social Categories in Everyday Experience. Washington DC: American Psychological Association.

Revenson, T.A.,  Kayser, K., & Bodenmann, G. (Eds.) (2005). Couples Coping with Stress: Emerging Perspectives on Dyadic Coping.  Washington DC: American Psychological Association.


Book Chapters

Gamarel, K., & Revenson, T.A. (2015). Dyadic adaptation to chronic illness: The importance of considering context in understanding couples’ resilience.  In K. Skerett & K. Fergus (Eds.), Couple Resilience: Emerging Perspectives (pp. 83- )NY: Springer.

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).  New York: Psychology Press.

Revenson, T.A., & DeLongis, A. (2011). Couples coping with chronic illness. In S. Folkman (Ed.), Oxford Handbook of Stress, Health, and Coping (pp. 101-123). NY: Oxford University Press.

Stanton, A., & Revenson, T.A. (2011). Adjustment to chronic disease: Progress and promise in research. In H. S. Friedman (Ed.), Oxford Handbook of Health Psychology.  NY: Oxford University Press.


Journal Articles

Lepore, S.J., Revenson, T.A., Roberts, K.J., Pranikoff, J.R., & Davey, A.  (2015). Randomised controlled trial of expressive writing and quality of life in women and men treated for colorectal cancer. Psychology & Health, 30 (3), 284-300. DOI:10.1080/08870446.2014.971798

Starkey, L., & Revenson, T.A. (2015). Impact of socioeconomic mobility during childhood: Do early changes in SES predict changes in BMI? Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 49, 212-220. DOI 10.1007/s12160-014-9648-1

Travagin, G., Margola, D., & Revenson, T.A. (2015). How effective are expressive writing interventions for adolescents? A meta-analytic review.  Clinical Psychology Review, 36, 42-55. DOI: 10.1016/j.cpr.2015.01.003

Vilchinsky, N., Dekel, R., Revenson, T.A., Liberman, G., & Mosseri, M. (2015). Caregivers' burden and depressive symptoms: The moderational role of attachment orientations. Health Psychology, 34 (3), 262-269. DOI: 10.1037/hea0000121

Facchin, F., Margola, D., Molgara, S., & Revenson, T.A. (2014). Effects of benefit-focused versus standard expressive writing on adolescents' self-concept during the high school transition. Journal of Research in Adolescence, 24 (1), 131-144.   DOI:10.1111/jora.12040