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Program Areas

Social and Behavioral Interventions (SBI)

Dr. Caitlin Kennedy, Director

The Social and Behavioral Interventions (SBI) program conducts research and training on the development, implementation and evaluation of social science-based public health interventions to benefit the underserved globally and locally.

Our work is multi-disciplinary. We draw on the theoretical and methodological approaches of medical anthropology, nutritional anthropology, social epidemiology, behavioral psychology, health education, and other social science and public health disciplines. Examples of research and programmatic work conducted by faculty and students in the SBI program include formative research to develop the content of behavior change and community mobilization interventions, systematic reviews, development of new ways to measure factors that affect behavior, qualitative and quantitative evaluations of behavioral and community interventions, and other efforts to reduce individual or population susceptibility to poor health. Faculty and students work with disadvantaged communities in both domestic and international settings. Research by SBI faculty on behavioral and community interventions relates to a range of topics, including:

  • Management of sick children outside of health facilities
  • Neonatal and maternal health, and maternal mental health
  • Vector-borne diseases, water and sanitation
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Promotion of exercise and improved diet to reduce rates of obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases
  • Establishment of innovative community-based mental health services and promotion of child development and healthy families in native American communities
  • Understanding factors affecting the effectiveness and sustainability of control programs for diarrheal disease, malaria, HIV/AIDS and other health problems, in lower-income settings
  • Design and evaluation of economic-strengthening interventions to improve health and well-being in the underserved

Degrees Offered

Research and Centers


SBI Research Article of the Week

Tingey L, Chambers R, Littlepage S, Slimp A, Lee A, Lee S, Melgar L, O'Keefe V, Craig M, Gaydos C, Rompalo A. 'Empowering our people' to address depression, violence, and sexual risk among Native Americans with recent binge alcohol use. Ethn Health. 2020 Mar 28:1-15. doi: 10.1080/13557858.2020.1740177. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32223325.