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Stephen J. Lepore

Stephen J. Lepore, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Professor of Clinical Sciences, School of Medicine
Director, Social and Behavioral Health Interventions Laboratory


1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue
Ritter Annex, 9th floor (004-09)
Philadelphia, PA 19122


Dr. Stephen Lepore is Professor of Public Health and Founding Director of the Social and Behavioral Health Interventions Laboratory. He holds degrees from the University of California-Irvine, Harvard University, and Clark University. His work focuses on cancer prevention, control and survivorship, with an emphasis on developing theoretically informed social and behavioral interventions to improve the quality of life in people who have had cancer and to promote healthy lifestyle choices and behaviors that might lead to the prevention or early detection and treatment of cancer.

Of particular interest to Dr. Lepore is the impact of cancer on interpersonal relationships and how relationship dynamics with family, friends, health care providers, and other cancer survivors can influence psychosocial adjustment to cancer. His work in this area has culminated in the Social Cognitive Processing model of adjustment to cancer, which has been used as the basis for designing individual, group, and Internet-based interventions to improve quality of life in cancer survivors. In addition, Dr. Lepore is highly committed to reducing the burden of cancer in high-risk populations, such as low-income and African American communities where exposures to cancer risk factors are high and cancer outcomes are poor. Efforts to reduce cancer disparities have included an intervention to promote informed decision making about prostate cancer testing among African American men and an intervention to promote smoking cessation and reduce harms of secondhand smoke exposure in low-income, African American families. New research directions are focusing on using technology, such as the Internet, mobile phones and electronic medical records, to increase the reach and efficacy of social and behavioral interventions. For example, ongoing trials investigate the psychological and social benefits of online support groups for cancer survivors and the use of mHealth (text messaging, mobile apps) to promote health behavior change.

Dr. Lepore has received numerous awards in recognition of his research accomplishments, including an Award for Outstanding Contributions to Health Psychology from Division 38 of the American Psychological Association, the Young Investigator Award for Outstanding Contributions to Behavioral Medicine from the Society of Behavioral Medicine, Distinguished Lecturer at Old Dominion University, Distinguished Visiting Faculty Award at University of Kentucky, and a Fulbright Award. He is a Fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine and the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Researchers, and a Charter Member of the National Institutes of Health Behavioral Medicine Interventions study section. His work regularly appears in leading scientific journals in health, psychology and medicine, and has been continuously supported for 20+ years by grants from federal agencies and private foundations.


Lepore, S. J. Revenson, T. A., Roberts, K. J., Pranikoff, J. R., & Davey, A. (2015). Randomized controlled trial of expressive writing and quality of life in men and women treated for colorectal cancer. Psychology & Health, 30(3), 284-300. PMID: 25271396

Juth, V., Smyth, J. M., Lepore, S. J., & Carey, M. P. (2015). Social constraints are associated with negative psychological and physical health in bereavement. Applied Health Psychology: Health and Well-Being. (epub ahead of print) PMID: 25708231

Kaynak, O, Lepore, S. J., Jaggi, L., & Kliewer, W. (2015). Peer victimization and subsequent disruptive behavior in school: The protective functions of anger regulation coping. Personality and Individual Differences, 73, 1-6. PMID 25309013.

Kliewer, W., & Lepore, S. J. (2015): Exposure to violence, social cognitive processing, and sleep problems in urban adolescents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 8(3), 427-436. PMID: 25218396

Lepore, S. J., Buzaglo, J. S., Lieberman, M. A., Golant, M., Greener, J. R., Davey, A. (2014). Comparing standard versus prosocial Internet support groups for patients with breast cancer: A randomized controlled trial of the helper therapy principle. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 32(36), 4081-4086. PMID: 25403218

Morris, B., Lepore, S.J. Wilson, B., Lieberman, M.A., Dunn, J., Chambers, S.K. (2014). Adopting a survivor identity after cancer in a peer support context. Journal of Cancer Survivorship: Research and Practice, 1-10. PMID: 24706364

Lepore, S. J. & Kliewer, W. L. (2013). Violence exposure, sleep disturbance and poor academic performance in middle-school youth. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, PMID: 23315234.

Lepore, S. J., Winickoff, J. P., Moughan, B., Bryant-Stephens, T. C., Taylor, D. R., Fleece, D., Davey, A., Nair, U. S., Godfrey, M., Collins, B. N. (2013). Kids Safe and Smokefree (KiSS): A randomized controlled trial of a multilevel intervention to reduce secondhand tobacco smoke exposure in children. BMC Public Health, 13:792, PMID: PMC3844378

Chambers, S. K., Smith, D., Berry, M. Lepore, S. J., Foley, E., Clutton, S. McDowall, R., Occhipinti, S., Frydenberg, M., Gardiner, R. A. (2013). A randomised controlled trial of a mindfulness intervention for men with advanced prostate cancer. BMC: Cancer, 13:89. doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-89

Nelson, D. B., & Lepore, S. J., (2013). The role of stress, depression and childhood violence on unintended pregnancy among young urban women. Journal of Women’s Health, 22, 8, 673-680. PMID: 23789582f

Lepore, S. J., et al. (2012). Informed decision making related to prostate cancer testing in predominantly immigrant black men: A randomized controlled trial. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 44, 320-330.

Mosher, C., Lepore, S. J., Wu, L., Austin, J., et al. (2012). Social correlates of distress following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: Exploring the role of loneliness and cognitive processing. Journal of Health Psychology, 17, 1022-1032.

Latini, D. M., Hart, S. L., Goltz, H. H., Lepore, S. J., & Schover, L. R. (2012). Prostate cancer Patient Education Project (PCPEP) – prostate cancer symptom management in low-literacy men. In R. Elk & H. Landrine (Eds.), Cancer Health Disparities: Causes and Evidence-Based Solutions, 393-414. New York: Springer.

Lepore, S. J., Buzaglo, J., Lieberman, M., Golant, M., & Davey, A. (2011). Standard versus prosocial online support groups for distressed breast cancer survivors: a randomized controlled trial. BMC: Cancer, 11, 379-386.

Revenson, T. A., & Lepore, S. J. (2012). Stress and coping processes in social context. In A. Baum, T. A. Revenson, & J. Singer (Eds.), Handbook of Health Psychology (2nd ed.), 193-217. NY: Psychology Press.

Kliewer, W., Lepore, S. J., Farrell, A. D., Allison, K., Meyer, A. D., Sullivan, T. N., & Greene, A. Y. (2011). A school-based expressive writing intervention for at-risk urban adolescents’ aggressive behavior and emotional lability.  Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 40, 693-705.

Chambers, S.K., Newton, R., Girgis, A. Nielsen, L., Lepore, S. J., Mihalopoulos, C., Gardiner, R. A., Galvao, D., Occhipinti, S. (2011). Living with Prostate Cancer: Randomized controlled trial of a multimodal supportive care intervention for men with prostate cancer. BMC: Cancer, 11, 317-325.

Chambers, S. K., Pinnock, C., Lepore, S. J., Hughes, S., & O’Connell, D. L. (2011; e-pub).  A systematic review of psychosocial interventions for men with prostate cancer and their partners. Patient Education & Counseling. PMID: 21334159

Kaynak, Ö., Lepore, S.J., & Kliewer, W. (2011) Social moderation of the relation between community violence exposure and depressive symptoms in an urban adolescent sample. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 30, 250-269.

Lepore, S. J. Shejwal, B., Kim, B. H., Evans, G. W. (2010). Associations between chronic community noise exposure and blood pressure at rest and during acute noise and non-noise stressors among urban school children in India. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 7, 3457-3466.

Roberts, K. J., Lepore, S. J., Hanlon, A., & Helgeson, V. (2010). Genitourinary functioning and depressive symptoms over time in younger versus older men treated for prostate cancer. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 40, 275-283.

Godino, J. G., Lepore, S. J., & Rassnick, S. (2009). Relation of misperception of healthy weight to obesity and health behaviors in urban black men. Obesity, 18, 1318-1322.

Wolf, R., Lepore, S. J., Vandergrift, J. L., Basch, C. E., & Yaroch, A. L. (2009). Tailored telephone education to promote awareness and adoption of fruit and vegetable recommendations among urban and mostly immigrant black men: A randomized controlled trial. Preventive Medicine, 48, 32-38.

Kernan, W. & Lepore, S. J. (2009). Searching for and making meaning after breast cancer: Prevalence, patterns, and negative affect. Social Science & Medicine, 68, 1176-1182.

Lepore, S. J., Glaser, D., & Roberts, K. (2008). On the positive relation between received social support and negative affect: A test of the triage and self-esteem threat models in women with breast cancer. Psycho-Oncology, 17, 1210-1215. .

Collins, B. N., & Lepore, S. J. (2008). Association between anxiety and smoking in sample of urban black men. Journal of Immigrant & Minority Health, 11, 29-34.

Roberts, K. J., Lepore, S. J., & Urken, M. (2008). Quality of life after thyroid cancer: An assessment of patient needs and preferences for information and support. Journal of Cancer Education, 23, 186-191.

Wolf, R. L., Lepore, S. J., Vandergrift, J. L., Wetmore-Arkader, M. A., McGinty, E., Pietrzak, G., & Yaroch, A. L. (2008). Knowledge, barriers, and stage of change as correlates of fruit and vegetable consumption among urban and mostly immigrant black men. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 108, 1315-1322.

Lepore, S. J., & Revenson, T. A. (2007). Social constraints on disclosure and adjustment to cancer. Social & Personality Psychology Compass: Health, 1, 313-333.

Weston, R. E., Weston, P. J., Futterman, R. F., Lepore, S. J., Carolina, D. S., Pinto, J. T., Lang, M. A., Thomas, R. I., Cardwell, J. J., & Gordon, A. P. (2007). Effectiveness of a modified computer assisted instructional tool in the dissemination of prostate cancer information to men of African descent through black churches. Journal of African American Studies, 11, 1081-1753.

Weston, R. E., Weston, P. J., Carolina, D., Lepore, S. J., & Pinto, J. (2007). Evaluation of a prostate cancer computer assisted instructional model for communities of African descent. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 15, 45-68.

Lepore, S. J. & Coyne, J. C. (2006). Psychological interventions for distress in cancer patients: A review of reviews. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 32, 85-92.

Coyne, J. C., Lepore, S. J., & Palmer, S. C. (2006). Efficacy of psychosocial interventions in cancer care: The evidence is weaker than it first looks. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 32, 104-110.

Coyne, J. C. & Lepore, S. J. (2006). Rebuttal: The black swan fallacy in evaluating psychological interventions for distress in cancer patients. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 32, 115-118.

Lepore, S. J., Revenson, T. A., Weinberger, S. L., Weston, P., Frisina, P. G. Robertson, R., Mentor Portillo, M., Jones, H., & Cross, W. (2006). Effects of social stressors on cardiovascular reactivity in Black and White women. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 31, 120-127.

Helgeson, V. S., Lepore, S. J., & Eton, D. T. (2006). Moderators of the benefits of psychoeducational interventions for men with prostate cancer. Health Psychology, 25, 348-354.

Roberts, K. J., Lepore, S. J., & Helgeson, V. (2006). Social-cognitive correlates of adjustment to prostate cancer. Psycho-0ncology, 14, 1-10.

Eton, D. T., Lepore, S. J., & Helgeson, V. S. (2005). Psychological distress in spouses of men treated for early-stage prostate carcinoma. Cancer, 103, 2412-2418.

Lepore, S. J., Fernandez-Berrocal, P., Ragan, J., & Ramos, N. (2004). It’s not that bad: Social challenges to emotional disclosure enhance adjustment to stress. Anxiety, Stress & Coping: An International Journal, 17, 341-261.

Helgeson, V. S., & Lepore, S. J. (2004). Quality of life following prostate cancer: The role of agency and unmitigated agency. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34, 2559-2585.

Frisina, P. G., Borod, J., & Lepore, S. J. (2004). A meta-analysis of the effects of written emotional disclosure on health outcomes of clinical populations. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 192, 629-634.

Helgeson, V. S., Novak, S. A., Lepore, S. J., & Eton, D. T. (2004). Spouse social control efforts: Relations to health behavior and well-being among men with prostate cancer. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 21, 53-68.

Feldman, P., Cohen, S., Hamrick, N., & Lepore, S. J. (2004). Psychological stress, appraisal, emotion and cardiovascular response in a public speaking task. Psychology & Health, 19, 353-368.

Lepore, S. J., Helgeson, V. S., Eton, D., & Schulz, R. (2003). Improving quality of life in men with prostate cancer: A randomized controlled trial of group education interventions. Health Psychology, 22, 443-452.

Grants & Contracts

  • PI, (with B. Collins, Multi-PI), Multilevel tobacco intervention in community clinics for underserved families. National Institutes of Health, NCI
  • PI, (with B. Collins, Multi-PI), Pediatrician advice, family counseling & secondhand smoke reduction for underserved children, National Institutes of Health, NCI
  • PI, A novel prosocial online support group for distressed breast cancer survivors, National Institutes of Health, NCI
  • PI, Prostate cancer education in African-American men, National Institutes of Health, NCI
  • PI, Expressive writing & adjustment to colorectal cancer, National Institutes of Health. NCI
  • PI, Adjustment to thyroid cancer: Needs assessment, THANC Foundation
  • PI, Training Minorities in Bio-behavioral Cancer Research, National Institutes of Health, NCI
  • Co-PI (with W. Kliewer), School-based expressive writing intervention trial to youth exposed to community violence, National Institutes of Health, NIMH
  • Co-PI, (with W. Kliewer). Community violence, expressive writing, and adjustment, CDC
  • Co-I (C. Basch, PI), Evaluating alternative retinopathy screening approaches, National Institutes of Health, NEI


  • Cancer prevention, control and survivorship
  • Stress, social relationships, coping, and health
  • Social and behavioral clinical trials methodology and interventions
  • Social disparities in health

Clinical Interests

Improving quality of life in cancer survivors via live and online social support interventions.

Cancer prevention and control through health services and community-based interventions.