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Jody S Nicholson

Associate Professor

Psychology | College of Arts & Sciences

Areas of Expertise

Psychology, Developmental Psychology


Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Pediatric Psychology

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital


Ph.D., M.A., Developmental Psychology

University of Notre Dame


B.S. Human Development and Family Sciences

University of Texas at Austin



I am a preventionist with my research being at the intersection of health and developmental psychology. I aim to contribute to our understanding of barriers and bridges for parents’ abilities to optimize their children’s physical health. Models of health behavior change strongly influence my work, but do not properly account for how parents have more challenge in creating health behavior change for their children. Currently, popular models focus on individuals’ approach to creating change for their personal health, and do not include mechanisms for how parents could influence the health of another individual (i.e., their children). I hope to contribute to my field by filling this gap, and focus my applied work on studies that could provide more insight to a theoretical model of health behavior change specific to parents. I focus my work in early childhood and am drawn to how families in poverty may have different challenges and risk in creating health behavior change for their children. My research is community-based, and I aspire to community-based research to improve the ecological validity of my work.


  • University of North Florida, Outstanding Faculty Community-Engaged Scholarship Award, 2018
  • University of North Florida, Community-Engaged Research Scholar, 2017
  • University of North Florida, Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, 2016
  • University of North Florida, Engagment Scholar, Spring, 2015 
  • University of North Florida, Community Scholar, 2012

Grants and Contracts Awarded

  • University of North Florida, Florida Foundation Board Grant, 2017
  • University of North Florida, Faculty Development Teaching Grant, 2016
  • University of North Florida, Faculty Development Scholarship Grant, Summer, 2014
  • University of North Florida, Environmental Seed Grant, Spring, 2013
  • University of North Florida Community Scholar, Fall, 2012
  • Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Fellow: American Psychological Foundation, 2008-2009
  • The New York Community Trust’s Fahs-Beck Fund for Research, 2008-2009
  • University of Notre Dame, Ganey Community-Based Research Grant, 2006, 2008
  • Ruth L. Kirschstein Institutional Research Award, NIH Predoctoral Training Grant in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 2006-2008

Publications & Presentations

Winterbottom, C. Nicholson, J. S., & Richard, F. D. (in press). Community-based transformational learning: An interdisciplinary inquiry into its benefits and challenges. Under contract at Bloomsbury Press, London.


Winterbottom, C., Richard, F. D., & Nicholson, J. S. (in press). Student-centered learning: Investigating the impact of community-based transformational learning experiences on university students. In The Routledge Handbook of Student-Centered learning and Instruction in Higher Education (S. Hoidn & M. Klemenčič, Eds.). Routledge.


Barton, J.M., Nicholson, J. S., Truelove, H. B. (in press). Investigating the effectiveness of community-based activity on community service attitudes. In C. Winterbottom, J. Nicholson, & D. Richard (Eds). Community-based transformational learning: An interdisciplinary inquiry into its benefits and challenges. Under contract at Bloomsbury Press, London.


Nicholson, J. S., Barton, J.*, & Simons, A. (2018). Ability to categorize food predicts food choices in Head Start preschoolers. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 50, 238-246. doi. 10.1016/j.jneb.2017.09.026


Fuglestad, P. T., Nicholson, J. S., & James, L*. (2018). Health behavior change. Entry in K. Sweeney & M. Robbins (Eds.), The Wiley Encyclopedia of Health Psychology, Wiley.


Nicholson, J.S. (2018). A community-based intervention for low-income families to reduce children’s blood lead levels between 3-9.9 µg/dL. Children’s Health Care, 47(4), pg. 379-396. doi. 10.1080/02739615.2017.1370673


Nicholson, J. S., Deboeck, P., & Howard, W. (2017). Attrition in developmental psychology: A review of modern missing data reporting and practices. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 41(1), 143-153. doi. 10.1177/0165025415618275


Nicholson, J.S., & James, L*. (2017). Parental self-efficacy: The development of a measure to prevent children’s environmental contaminant exposure. Journal of Behavioral Health, 6(1), 36-42. doi. 10.5455/jbh.20160914121117


Nicholson, J.S., Truelove, H., Barton, J.*, & Moulder, R.* (2016). Measuring college students’ community service attitudes validly and efficiently: Development of a short version of the Community Service Attitudes Scale. Journal of Community Engagement and Higher Education, 8(4), 18-28.


Nicholson, J.S., & Cleeton, M. (2016). Sensitivity and specificity of pediatric lead screener questions for detecting lower levels of lead exposure and environmental risk. Clinical Pediatrics, 55(2), 129-136. doi. 10.1177/0009922815584944.


Nicholson, J. S. (2016). Reflections on a graduate student’s dissertation experience using community data for research and mentoring. In M. Beckman & J. F. Long (Eds.) The teaching and practice of community-based research for community impact (pp. 219 – 227). Herndon, VA: Stylus.


Deboeck, P., Nicholson, J.S., Kouros, C. D., Little, T. (2015). Interfacing theory and methodology: Using derivatives to articulate change theories, models, and inferences. Applied Development Science, (ahead-of-print), 1-15.


Nicholson, J.S., McDermott, M., Huang, Q., Zhang, H., & Tyc, V.L. (2014). Full and home smoking ban adoption after a randomized controlled trial targeting secondhand smoke exposure reduction. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 1-5. doi. 10.1093/ntr/ntu201


Weed, K., Nicholson, J. S, & Farris, J. R. (2014). Teen pregnancy and parenting: Rethinking the myths and misperceptions. Taylor & Francis Group


Weed, K., & Nicholson, J.S. (2014). Differential social evaluation of pregnant teens, teen mothers, and teen fathers by university students. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 1–16. doi. 10.1080/02673843.2014.963630


Hum, A. M., Nicholson, J. S., McDermott, M., Klosky, J. L., & Tyc, V. L. (2014). Tobacco use and exposure among youth undergoing cancer treatment. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 29(1), 80-87 doi. 10.1016/j.pedhc.2014.07.004


McDermott, M.*, Nicholson, J. S., & Tyc, V.L. (2013). Accuracy and concordance in reporting secondhand smoke exposure among adolescents undergoing treatment for cancer and their parents. Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology, 2(3), 125-129. doi. 10.1089/jayao.2012.0026.


Deboeck, P. R., Nicholson, J. S., Bergeman, C. S., & Preacher, K. J. (2013). From modeling long–term growth to short–term fluctuations: Differential equation modeling is the language of change. In R.E Millsap, L.A. van der Ark, D.M. Bolt, & C.M. Woods (Eds.) New Developments in Quantitative Psychology, New York: Springer, 427-448.


Tyc, V. L., Huang, Q., Nicholson, J. S., Hovell, M. F., Lensing, S., …Schultz, B. (2013). Intervention to reduce secondhand smoke among children with cancer: A controlled trial. Psycho-Oncology, 22, 1104-1111. doi. 10.1002/pon.3117


Nicholson, J. S., Tyc, V. L, & Lensing, S. (2012). Parental psychosocial predictors of secondhand smoke exposure for children with cancer. Journal of Child Health Care, 16(3), 211-223. doi. 10.1177/1367493511426422


Nicholson, J. S., Deboeck, P., Farris, J. R., Boker, S. M., & Borkowski, J. G. (2011). Maternal depressive symptomatology and child behavior: Transactional relationship with simultaneous bidirectional coupling. Developmental Psychology, 47(5), 1312-1323. doi: 10.1037/a0023912

Nicholson, J. S., Howard, K. S., & Borkowski, J. G. (2008). Paternal childhood experiences, role models, and metaparenting knowledge. Fathering, 6, 29 – 61.

Contact Information

(904) 620-2807