Kirsten K Davison
Professor

Kirsten K Davison

Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Social and Behavioral Sciences

kdavison@hsph.harvard.edu

Other Positions

Adjunct Professor of Nutrition

Nutrition

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health


Overview

RESEARCH INTERESTS

1. Family-centered interventions for obesity prevention
2. Parenting effects on youth physical activity and screen-based behaviors
3. Development and application of conceptual models for obesity prevention
4. Program evaluation; longitudinal research designs

My research primarily focuses on family- and community-level factors that influence children's lifestyle behaviors (diet, physical activity, screen-based activities) and risk of obesity. Key topics that I have researched to date include familial clustering of risk behaviors linked with accelerated weight gain in children, psychosocial consequences of obesity in children, parenting strategies that promote active lifestyles in children, and developmental and contextual factors that explain declines in adolescent girls’ physical activity. More recently, my work has focused on the development and evaluation of family-centered interventions for obesity prevention in low-income children, including children enrolled in WIC and Head Start. A primary emphasis of these programs is the need to consider the family unit as a whole and address factors beyond the family (e.g., community resources, media factors) that impact on intrafamilial interactions around healthy lifestyles.

A secondary focus of my work is the development and application of conceptual models that foster a stronger understanding of the contextual, developmental and behavioral origins of obesity in children and adolescents. Examples include the Ecological Model of Childhood Obesity (Davison & Birch 2001), the Family Ecological Model (Davison & Campell, 2005) and the Family Action-based Model of Intervention Layout and Implementation (FAMILI)) (Davison, Lawson, & Coatsworth, in press).


Bibliography


News

Community-wide effort to fight childhood obesity shows promise

For immediate release: June 27, 2017 Key Takeaways:  After a two-year comprehensive effort to reduce childhood obesity in two low-income communities in Massachusetts, the prevalence of obesity decreased among some schoolchildren; some students drank less sugar-sweetened beverages and…