Welcome

The Vermont Center on Behavior and Health (VCBH), led by Director Stephen T. Higgins, PhD, is an interdisciplinary research center committed to investigating relationships between personal behavior patterns (i.e., lifestyle) and risk for chronic disease and premature death. Our work has historically focused on health disparities for the most vulnerable populations, particularly among the socioeconomically disadvantaged where these risk factors are overrepresented.

 

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Located in Burlington, VT at the University of Vermont, Larner College of Medicine, VCBH researchers have a specific focus on understanding mechanisms underpinning risk and developing effective interventions and policies to promote healthy behavior. A common thread across VCBH research projects is the application of knowledge from the disciplines of behavioral economics and behavioral pharmacology to increase understanding of vulnerability to unhealthy behavior and the use of incentives and other behavioral and pharmacological interventions to support healthy behavior change interventions and policies.

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Upcoming VCBH Events

 

Our Lecture Series will pick back up in September with guest speaker Dr. Sherrie Khadanga.

Visit the Center on Rural Addiction

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VCBH Career Opportunities

Postdoctoral Research Fellowships. Click here for more information.

VCBH News

VCBH Presents Preventive Medicine’s Tenth Special Issue, November 2023

February 2, 2024 by Shannon O’Connor

The November 2023 Special Issue of Preventive Medicine is now available. As a part of the Behavior Series, this Special Issue centers on behavior change, health, and health disparities. VCBH Director Stephen Higgins, PhD acted as guest editor and organized the selection of papers.

VCBH Director Stephen Higgins, PhD is guest editor of the November 2023 Special Issue of Preventive Medicine

The November 2023 Special Issue of Preventive Medicine is now available. As a part of the Behavior Series, this Special Issue centers on behavior change, health, and health disparities. VCBH Director Stephen Higgins, PhD acted as guest editor and organized the selection of papers.

The issue, “Behavior change, health, and health disparities 2023: Contingency management for treating substance use disorders and promoting health in vulnerable populations,” includes work from VCBH researchers and annual conference presenters focused on contingency management in the treatment of tobacco, alcohol and opioid use disorders.

“This issue focuses on Contingency Management (CM), a highly efficacious behavior-change intervention for substance use disorders (SUDs) and other behavioral health conditions wherein patients receive material incentives […] contingent on objectively verified behavior change,” says Dr. Higgins in his introduction to the Special Issue. “Despite substantial support for its efficacy, CM remains largely unavailable in U.S. community SUD treatment facilities and other healthcare settings. […] This SI details recent promising developments in efforts to surmount longstanding implementation obstacles while also detailing other promising advances from meta-analyses and controlled trials examining CM's efficacy”.

The Special Issue is available online through Science Direct here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/preventive-medicine/vol/176/suppl/C