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Amy Gorin, Ph.D. - University of Connecticut. Storrs, CT, US

Amy Gorin, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Psychological Sciences | University of Connecticut


Professor focused on long-term weight loss.


Dr. Amy Gorin is a Professor of Psychological Sciences and Director of the Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP) at the University of Connecticut. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Stony Brook University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Brown Medical School’s Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center. At UConn, Dr. Gorin founded the multidisciplinary Obesity Research Interest Group, which now includes over 170 members, all of whom share a common interest in understanding, preventing, and treating obesity. Her own research focuses on developing innovative treatment strategies to improve long-term weight loss and maintenance with an emphasis on motivational and environmental processes that impact weight management. She actively collaborates across disciplinary divides and has research partnerships with national leaders in obesity management. Dr. Gorin has published over 80 peer-reviewed articles, many focusing on the role of the home environment in weight management. She has established that behavioral weight management programs can have a positive ripple effect on untreated family members and that weight loss can spread within a household. In addition to her own research, Dr. Gorin invests significant time in mentoring her graduate trainees and in supporting faculty development and team science initiatives at UConn, including directing the Training and Development Core at InCHIP.

Areas of Expertise (4)

Weight Loss Maintenance

Behavioral Weight Management


Social Support

Education (3)

Stony Brook University: Ph.D., Clinical Psychology 2000

Stony Brook University: M.A. 1996

College of the Holy Cross: B.A. 1994






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Media Appearances (7)

Colleges Prepare to Test Thousands of Students for Covid-19

Wired  online


We all know how that’s gone. Six months into the pandemic, few places in the US have the virus under control, with the Northeast (for now) one of the major exceptions. But next month, hundreds of thousands of college students will return to campus all the same, often in places where outbreaks are actively raging, or could soon spark. Universities must keep the pandemic at bay, all while trying to maintain for students some of the benefits of being physically on campus: to socialize, to work in labs, to participate in events and activities. All the things that classes via Zoom don’t permit. “We cannot keep them locked up in their dorms. There’s no point,” says Amy Gorin, a behavioral psychologist at the University of Connecticut involved in reopening efforts there. “So how do we approximate the normal experience without compromising on safety?”

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Your partner could help you lose weight — or be your worst enemy, according to new research

Business Insider  online


Enlisting a significant other in your weight loss plans could be a great way to help ensure your success, but only if your partner is just as committed as you are, recent research suggests. Conversely, if they struggle to lose weight, your performance may take a similar dive. Amy Gorin, a professor of behavioral psychology at the University of Connecticut and the lead author of a new study on these impacts, calls this the "ripple effect."

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Trying to Lose Weight? Your Partner May Reap the Benefits, Too

Health magazine  print


Lead author Amy Gorin, PhD, a professor of psychological sciences at the University of Connecticut, said in a press release that when one person changes their behavior, it’s not unusual for the people around them to change, as well. When one partner starts counting calories, weighing themselves regularly, or making healthier food choices, for example, their partners might emulate them.

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Dieter's Weight Loss May Have 'Ripple Effect' on Partner

U.S. News & World Report  print


According to the study's lead investigator, Amy Gorin, the bottom line is that "when one person changes their behavior, the people around them change." Gorin is a professor of psychological sciences and a weight-loss expert at the University of Connecticut. "Whether the patient works with their health care provider, joins a community-based, lifestyle approach like Weight Watchers, or tries to lose weight on their own, their new healthy behaviors can benefit others in their lives," she explained

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'The ripple effect': having a partner on a diet boosts weightloss chances

The Telegraph  print


The study's lead investigator, UConn Professor Amy Gorin, from the University of Connecticut called it a "ripple effect." The behavioural psychologist said: "When one person changes their behavior, the people around them change."

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How Online Food Delivery Services Make It Easier For You To Eat Healthy



"We found by using the online service people were really able to cut back on the amount of high fat foods they had in their home, reduced it by up to 40 percent," lead study author Amy Gorin told NBC Connecticut. "We also found the more times people used the ordering service the better their weight losses were, so there was an association there."...

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5 Ways to Prevent Relationship Weight Gain

Fox News  


"When we get comfortable in a relationship, we establish new habits together that aren't always the best for our weight," says Amy Gorin, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Connecticut...

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Articles (5)

The Childcare Center: an Untapped Opportunity to Engage and Educate Families in Healthy Behaviors

Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

Michelle M. Cloutier, James F. Wiley, Christine Trapp, Jennifer Haile, Amy A. Gorin

2017 Obesity rates in preschool children are high and disproportionately affect low-income children of color in the USA. Since 80% of preschool children spend ∼40 h/week in out-of-the home childcare, childcare centers are promising sites for obesity prevention interventions. Mixed methods were used to develop, implement, and assess the feasibility of an obesity prevention program for children 2–5 years. The intervention which consisted of brief (1–3 min), interactive, educational modules was developed by content experts and parents (n = 20) and targeted four areas (milk, sugar sweetened beverages, screen time, and physical activity). The modules were delivered by community health workers in the childcare center during pick-up and drop-off times, in small groups and home visits upon request. Focus groups with childcare center staff (n = 28) assessed satisfaction and interest in incorporating the intervention into care.

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Facilitating Partner Support for Lifestyle Change Among Adults with Serious Mental Illness: A Feasibility Pilot Study

Community Mental Health Journal

Aschbrenner, K.A., Mueser, K.T., Naslund, J.A., Gorin, A.A., Zawacki, S.A., Pratt, S.I., Kinney, A., Bartels, S.

2017 The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the feasibility of an intervention designed to facilitate partner support for lifestyle change among overweight and obese adults with serious mental illness (SMI). Fifteen adults with SMI enrolled in a lifestyle intervention at community mental health centers participated with a self-selected partner in an additional 12-week intervention component designed to facilitate social support for health behavior change. Participants reported that the program was useful, convenient, and helped them reach their goals.

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Executive Function in Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance: a Conceptual Review and Novel Neuropsychological Model of Weight Control

Journal of Behavioral Medicine

Gettens, K.M., Gorin, A.A.

2017 Weight loss maintenance is a complex, multifaceted process that presents a significant challenge for most individuals who lose weight. A growing body of literature indicates a strong relationship between cognitive dysfunction and excessive body weight, and suggests that a subset of high-order cognitive processes known as executive functions (EF) likely play an important role in weight management.

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Perceived Self-efficacy and Financial Incentives: Factors Affecting Health Behaviors and Weight Loss in a Workplace Weight Loss Intervention

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Faghri, P.D., Simon, J., Huedo-Medina, T., Gorin, A.

2017 To evaluate if self-efficacy (SE) and financial incentives (FI) mediate the effect of health behavior on weight loss in a group of overweight and obese nursing-home employees participating in a 16-week weight-loss intervention with 12-week follow-up.

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Dyadic Dynamics in a Randomized Weight Loss Intervention

Annals of Behavioral Medicine

Cornelius, T., Gettens, K., Gorin, A.A.

2016 Through a reanalysis of data from a randomized weight loss intervention, this study compared dyadic dynamics in intervention participants and in-home partners.

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