Venezia by PVII

Deborah Thompson, PhD

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
USDA/ARS Scientist/Nutritionist
Baylor College of Medicine

BS, Nutrition; University of North Carolina - Greensboro
MS, Nutrition; University of North Carolina - Greensboro
PhD, Human Performance/Health Promotion; Curriculum & Instruction; University of New Orleans
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Baylor College of Medicine
Fellow, Postgraduate Course on Physical Activity and Public Health; University of South Carolina & the Centers for Disease Control

Specialized Training

Focus Group Moderator Training; University of South Florida ; Richard Kreuger
Marketing Communications Certification; University of Houston

Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity

My research focuses on three, separate but related, areas: the design, development, and evaluation of interactive multimedia programs (e.g., web-based programs; videogames); health message design; and theory and measurement of models of youth diet and physical activity behavior. All three research areas emphasize youth obesity prevention through the promotion of positive behaviors, such as consuming more fruit, vegetables, and water and being more physically active and less physically inactive.

I am currently the Principal Investigator on several projects. These projects include “Teens On The Move”, “Physical Activity Problem Solving Inventory”, and “GirlTalk”. “Teens On The Move” is a study to develop and test a model of youth physical activity behavior and validate scales to measure the components of the model. Ultimately, this model will be used to develop interventions to help youth become more physically active. The “Physical Activity Problem Solving Inventory” study is developing a scale to measure youth physical activity problem solving ability. When finalized, the scale will help us examine the relationship between physical activity problem solving ability and physical activity. “GirlTalk” is a qualitative study to examine girls’ reactions to professionally-produced television commercials promoting diet and physical activity.

I am also a co-Investigator on several projects, including an SBIR funded study to develop two school-based videogames to promote healthy eating and physical activity behaviors to middle school youth; a large, multi-site study to prevent pediatric Type 2 diabetes in middle school youth; a study to examine the effectiveness of videos at helping mothers create a healthy home eating environment; a study to explore ways to encourage students to eat school breakfast; a project to conduct focus groups with parents of Head Start youth to develop an understanding of ways to limit television viewing; and a web-based study to promote healthy diet and physical activity behaviors to high school youth.

Other interests include creating interventions tailored to psychosocial characteristics; message framing; and qualitative research exploring youth diet and physical behaviors and practices. Emerging interests include establishing a psycho-physiological laboratory to more objectively assess player response to videogames promoting healthy behaviors; promoting the use of behavioral theory and techniques to designers of videogames and other electronic media; and identifying methods for enhancing log on rate to web-based behavior change interventions.

Survey Documents

Downloadable surveys sorted by study. Click on the study to go to the appropriate document downloading page.

Representative publications:

Thompson D, Baranowski J, Cullen K, and Baranowski T. Development of a Theory-Based Internet Program Promoting Maintenance of Diet and Physical Activity Change to 8 year old African American Girls. Computers & Education. 2007. 48(3):446-459.

Watson K, Baranowski T, Thompson D, Jago R, Baranowski J, and Klesges L. Innovative application of a multidimensional item response model in assessing the influence of social desirability on the pseudo-relationship between self-efficacy and behavior. Health Education Research. 2006. 21 Suppl 1:i85-97.

Thompson D, Canada A, Bhatt R, Davis J, Plesko L, Baranowski T, Cullen K, and Zakeri I. eHealth Recruitment Challenges. Evaluation and Program Planning. 2006. 29: 433-440.

Dansky K, Thompson D, and Sanner T. A Framework for Evaluating eHealth Research. Evaluation and Program Planning. 2006. 29:397-404.

Watson K, Baranowski T, and Thompson D. Item Response Modeling: an evaluation of the children’s fruit and vegetable self efficacy questionnaire. Health Education Research. 2006. 21 Suppl 1:i47-57.

Jago R, Baranowski T, Baranowski J, Thompson D, Cullen K, Watson K, and Liu Y. Fit for Life Boy Scout badge: Outcome Evaluation of a Troop and Internet Intervention. Preventive Medicine. 2006. 42: 181-187.

Jago R, Baranowski T, Thompson D, Baranowski J, and Greaves K. BMI from 3-6 years of age is predicted by TV viewing and physical activity, not diet. International Journal of Obesity. 2005. 29:557-564.

Jago, R, Baranowski, T, Thompson, D, Baranowski, J, and Greaves, K. Sedentary behavior, not TV viewing, predicts physical activity among 4-6 year old children. Pediatric Exercise Science. 2005. 17:364-76.

Cullen K and Thompson D. Texas school food policy changes related to middle school a la carte/snack bar foods: potential savings in kilocalories. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2005. 105:1952-4.

Thompson D, Baranowski T, Jago R, Watson K, Zakeri I, Cullen K, Story M, Sherwood N, Pruitt L, and Matheson D. Covariability in diet, physical activity, and BMI change in an obesity prevention trial. Obesity Research. 2004. 12 Suppl:46S-54S.

Baranowski, T, Baranowski, J, Cullen, KW, Thompson, DI, Nicklas, T, Zakeri, I, and Rochon, J. The Fun, Food and Fitness Project (FFFP): The Baylor GEMS pilot study. Ethnicity and Disease. 2003. 13(1):S1-30 - S1-39.

Baranowski T, Cullen KW, Nicklas T, Thompson D, Baranowski J. Are current health behavior change models helpful in guiding prevention of weight gain efforts? Obesity Research 2003. 11 Suppl:23S-43S.

Baranowski T, Cullen KW, Nicklas T, Thompson D, Baranowski J. School-based obesity prevention: A blueprint for taming the epidemic. American Journal of Health Behavior. 2002. 26:486-493.

Sumner, S., Schiller, E., Marr, E., and Thompson, D. (1986). A weight control and nutrition education program for insurance company employees. Journal of Nutrition Education. 1986. 18:Suppl 1:S60-62.

Accepted or in press:

Thompson D, Baranowski T, Cullen K, Watson K, Canada A, Bhatt R, Liu Y, and Zakeri I. Food, Fun, and Fitness Internet Program: Incentives, Recruitment Source, and Log-on Rate. Health Education Research.

Cullen K and Thompson D. Pilot study of a web-based healthy eating program for African-American families. American Journal of Health Behavior.

Jago R, Baranowski T, Baranowski J, Cullen K, and Thompson D. Physical activity, psychosocial variables, and the lack of a social desirability effect. Health Education Research.

Book chapters:

Thompson, D, Baranowski, T, Zakeri, I, Jago, R, and Cullen, C. “School-based Environmental vs Individual Approaches to Youth Obesity Prevention”. In Childhood Obesity and Health Research (R. Flamenbaum, ed). New York: Nova Science Publishers. 2006.

Thompson, D. (1994). “Sports Nutrition” in Orthopaedic Knowledge Update: Sports Medicine. Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.