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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

University at Buffalo Student Wins Outstanding Abstract Award for Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Meeting

An abstract submitted by a University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions student for the 37th Annual Meeting and Scientific Session of the Society of Behavioral Medicine has been chosen to receive a 2016 Award for Outstanding Trainee Abstract from the Health Decision Making Special Interest Group.


[Photo: Ms. Caitlin Biddle]

Ms. Caitlin Biddle, a current PhD student in the department of community health and health behavior, won the award for her abstract titled, “Illness information avoidance is associated with lower need for cognition and intuitive risk beliefs.”

Ms. Biddle’s research interests are in how people make decisions regarding their health and, in particular, how people’s beliefs about or mental models of disease influence these decisions.

“For this particular abstract, I wanted to examine possible correlates of health information avoidance to better understand why an individual might avoid health information, for example, about diabetes risk” says Ms. Biddle.  “This can help us better present information or communicate information in a way that will deter individuals from avoiding health information.”

Ms. Biddle is the second student from the department of community health and health behavior at the University of Buffalo to win this award.  Dr. Erin Ellis, a 2014 PhD graduate, won the award in the same program track in 2012 before joining the National Institutes of Health to complete a postdoctoral fellowship in Cancer Prevention.

“We are really proud of Caitlin and Erin and the recognition they have received for their work which has the potential for significant impact on how we do health promotion,” says Dr. Heather Orom, associate professor and director of PhD and MS programs in the department of community health and health behavior. “We are also appreciative of the Health Decision Making Special Interest Group at the Society of Behavioral Medicine, which has been such a great supporter of our students’ work.”

Biddle will present her award winning abstract at the annual meeting held March 30 through April 2, in Washington, DC.