Frederick X. Gibbons

Degree: Ph.D., 1976, University of Texas at Austin
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Research Interests:
Health and clinical applications of social psychology, social comparison, and health-risk behaviors
Research Synopsis: Applies social psychology to the study of health (e.g., substance use, risky sex, cancer-risk behavior), with a particular focus on the effects of racial prejudice. Other interests include health decision-making among adolescents and young adults (from a dual-processing perspective), long-term health effects of interpersonal stress during adolescence, and the effects of gene by environment interactions on health.
Recent News:
  • Began appointment as Professor of Psychology at the University of Connecticut, August 2012
  • Third NIDA R01 research grant focusing on factors influencing health behavior of young African American adults (link)
Representative Publications: Publications since 2010, indexed on Google Scholar
Recent Publications (since 2015):

    Kingsbury, J.H. Gibbons, F.X., & Gerrard, M. (2015). The effects of social and health consequence framing on heavy drinking intentions among college students. British Journal of Health Psychology, 20(1), 212-220.

    Beach, S.R.H., Gerrard, M., Gibbons, F.X., Brody, G.H., & Philibert, R.A. (2015). A role for epigenetics in broadening the scope of pediatric care in the prevention of adolescent smoking. Epigenetic Diagnosis & Therapy, 1(2), 91-97.

    Kogan, S.M., Cho, J., Simons, L.G., Allen, K.A., Beach, S.R.H., Simons, R.L., & Gibbons, F.X. (2015). Pubertal timing and risky sex among rural African American male youth: Testing a model based on life history theory. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 44(3), 609-618.

    McCabe, S., Arndt, J., Goldenberg, J.L., Vess, M., Vail III, K.E., Gibbons, F.X., & Rogers, R. (2015). The effect of visualizing healthy eaters and mortality salience on nutritious grocery purchases: An integrative terror management and prototype willingness analysis. Health Psychology, 34(3), 279-282

    Landers-Potts, M., Wickrama, K.A.S., Simons, L.G., Chen, Y., Gibbons, F.X., Cutrona, C., Simons, R.L., & Conger, R. (2015). An extension and moderational analysis of the family stress model focusing on African American adolescents. Journal of Family Relations, 64(2), 233-248.

    Philibert, R.A., Hollenbeck, N., Andersen, E., Osborn, T., Gerrard, M., Gibbons, F.X. & Wang, K.A (2015). A quantitative epigenetic approach for the assessment of cigarette consumption. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1-8.

    Stock, M. L., Gibbons, F. X., Beekman, J. B., & Gerrard, M. (2015). It only takes once: The absent-exempt heuristic and reactions to comparison-based sexual risk information. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 109(1), 35-52.

    Cutrona, C. E., Abraham, W. T., Russel, D. W.,Beach, S. R. H., Gibbons, F. X., Gerrard, M., Monik, M., & Philibert, R. A. (2015).  Financial strain, inflammatory factors, and hemoglobin A1C levels in African-American women.  British Journal of Health Psychology, 20, 662-679.

    Litt, D., Stock, M.L., & Gibbons, F.X. Adolescent alcohol use: Social comparison orientation moderates the impact of friend and sibling behavior (2015). British Journal of Health Psychology, 20(3), 514-533.

    Roberts, M. E., Gibbons, F. X., Gerrard, M., & Klein, W. M. P. (2015). Individual differences in situation awareness: Validation of the situationism scale. Journal of Social Psychology, 155(2), 143-162.

    Beach, S.R.H., Dogan, M. V., Lei, M-K., Cutrona, C. E., Gerrard, M., Gibbons, F.X., Simons, R. L., Brody, G. H., & Philibert, R. A. (2015). Methylomic Aging as a Window on Lifestyle Impact: Tobacco and alcohol alter rate of biological aging. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 63 (12), 2519-2525. 

    Dogan, M.V., Xiang, J., Beach, S.R.H., Cutrona, C.E., Gibbons, F.X., Simons, R.L., Brody, G.H., Stapleton, J. & Philibert, R.A. (2015). Ethnicity and smoking-associated DNA methylation changes at HIV co-receptor GPR15. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 6, 132.

    Wills, T.A. Simons, J.S., & Gibbons, F.X. (2015). Self-control and substance use prevention: A translational analysis. In L.M. Scheier (Ed.) Handbook of Adolescent Drug Use  Prevention: Research, Intervention Strategies, and Practice (pp. 121-139).New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

    Gibbons, F.X., Stock, M.L., Gerrard, M., & Finneran, S. (2015). The Prototype – Willingness Model. In. M Conner & P. Norman (Eds.) Predicting  and changing health behaviour: Research and practice with social cognition models. (3rd Ed.; pp. 189 – 224). Berkshire, UK: Open University Press.

    Hampson, S. E., Andrews, J. A., Barckley, M., Gerrard, M, & Gibbons, F. X. (2016). Harsh environments, life history strategies, and adjustment: A longitudinal study of Oregon youth. Personality and Individual Differences, 88, 120-124.

    Simons, L.G., Sutton, T.E., Simons, R.L., & Gibbons, F.X. (2016). Mechanisms that link parenting practices to adolescents’ risky sexual behavior: A test of six competing theories. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42(2), 255-270.

    Simons, R.L., Lei, M.K., Beach, S.R.H., Philibert, R.A., Cutrona, C.E., Gibbons, F.X., & Barr, A. (2016). Economic Hardship and Biological Weathering: The Epigenetics of Aging in a U.S. Sample of Black Women. Social Science and Medicine, 150, 192-200.

    Gibbons, F.X. & Gerrard, M. (2016). Reactions to the meta-analyses of the Prototype-Willingness Model. Health Psychology Review (10), 44-46.

    Wills, T.A. Sargent, J.D., Knight, R., Pagano, I., & Gibbons, F.X. (2016). E-cigarette use and willingness to smoke: A sample of adolescent nonsmokers. Tobacco Control, 25, e52 – e59.

    Philibert, R.A., Hollenbeck, N., Andersen, E., McElroy, S., Wilson, S., Vercande, K., Beach, S.R.H., Osborn, T., Gerrard, M., Gibbons, F.X., & Wang, K. (2016). Reversion of AHRR Demethylation is a Quantitative Biomarker of Smoking Cessation. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 7 (article # 55).

    Saleem, F.T., English, D., Busby, D.R., Lambert, S.L. Harrison, A., Stock, M.L. & Gibbons, F.X. (2016). The Impact of African American Parents’ Racial Discrimination Experiences and Perceived Neighborhood Cohesion on their Racial Socialization Practices. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 45, 1338-1349.

    Gibbons, F.X., Kingsbury, J.H., Wills, T.A., Finneran, S.D., Dal Cin, S., Gerrard, M. (2016). Impulsivity Moderates the Effects of Movie Alcohol Portrayals on Adolescents’ Willingness to Drink. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 30 (3), 325-334. 

    Wills, T.A., Gibbons, F.X., Sargent, J.D., & Williams, R.J. (2016). How Is the Effect of Adolescent E-cigarette Use on Smoking Onset Mediated: A Longitudinal Analysis. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 30, 876-886.

    Gibbons, F.X., Stock, M.L., O’Hara, R.E., & Gerrard, M.  (2016). Prospecting prejudice: An examination of the long-term effects of perceived racial discrimination on the health behavior and health status of African Americans (pp. 199 – 232). In Y. Thomas, L. Price & A. V. Lybrand (Eds.) Trajectories of Drug Use among African Americans. New York: Springer.

    Stock, M.L., Gibbons, F.X., & Beekman, J.B. (2016). Social exclusion and risky health decisions: Substance use cognitions and behaviors. In C. Kopetz & C. Lejuez (Eds.), Frontiers in Social Psychology: Addiction (pp. 191 – 212). London, U.K.: Psychology Press.

    Walker, R.L., Francis, D., Brody, G.H., Simons, R.L., Cutrona, C., & Gibbons, F.X. (2017). A longitudinal study of racial discrimination and risk for death ideation in African American youth. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 47, 86-102

    Wills, T.A., Knight, R., Sargent, J.D., Gibbons, F.X., Pagano, I. & Williams, R.J. (2017).  Longitudinal study of e-cigarette use and onset of cigarette smoking among high school students in Hawaii. Tobacco Control. 26(1), 34 – 39.

    Wills, T.A., Sargent, J.D., Gibbons, F.X., Pagano, I. & Schweitzer, R. (2017). E-cigarette use is differentially related to smoking onset among lower risk adolescents. Tobacco Control, 26(5), 534 – 539.

    Simons, R.L., Lei, M-K., Beach, S.R.H., Cutrona, C.E., Gibbons, F.X., & Philibert, R.A. (2017). An index of the ratio of inflammatory to antiviral cell types mediates the effects of social adversity and age on chronic illness. Social Science and Medicine, 185, 158–165.

    Andersen, A., Philibert, R.A., Gibbons, F.X., Simons, R.L., & Long, J. (2017). Accuracy and utility of an epigenetic biomarker for smoking in populations with varying rates of false self-report. American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 174(6), 641-650.

    Windsor, L.C., Bennett, K., Smith, D.C. & Gibbons, F.X. (2017). Substance use disorder treatments: Addressing the needs of emerging adults from marginalized groups. In D.C. Smith (Ed.) Emerging Adults in Substance Use Disorder Treatment: Developmental Considerations and Innovative Treatments.

    Gerrard, M., Gibbons, F.X., Fleischli, M., Cutrona, C.E., & Stock, M.L. (2018). Moderation of the effects of discrimination-induced affective responses on health outcomes. Psychology and Health, 33, 193-212.

    Stock, M.L., Gibbons, F.X., Beekman, J., Williams, K.D., Richman, L.S., & Gerrard, M. (2018). Racial (versus Self) Affirmation as a Protective Mechanism against the Effects of Racial Exclusion on Negative Affect and Substance Use Vulnerability among African American Young Adults. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 41, 195-207.

    Beach, S.R.H., ManKit Lei, K., Simons, R.L., Dogan, M.J., Gibbons, F.X., & Philibert, R.A. (2018). MTHFR regulatory effects on methylation of CG05575921 in response to smoking: Effects are also discernible using MTHFR expression. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 177, 529-534.

    Simons, L.G., Sutton, T.E., Shannon, S., Simons, R.L., & Gibbons, F.X. (2018). The cost of being cool: How adolescent pseudomature behavior maps onto adult adjustment. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 47(5), 1007-1021.

    Cleveland, M.J., Turrisi, R., Gibbons, F.X., Gerrard, M., & Marzell, M. (2018). The effects of mothers’ protective parenting and alcohol use on emerging adults’ alcohol use: Testing indirect effects through prototype favorability among African American youth. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 42(7), 1291-1303.

    Assari, S., Gibbons, F.X., & Simons, R.L. (2018). Depression among Black youth; interaction of class and place. Brain Sciences, 8(6), 108–115.

    Gibbons, F.X., Fleischli, M.E., Gerrard, M., & Simons, R.L. (2018). Reports of Perceived Racial Discrimination among Black Children Predict Negative Affect and Smoking Behavior in Adulthood: A Sensitive Period Hypothesis.  Development and Psychopathology (special issue), 30, 1629 – 1647.

    Simons, R.L., Lei, M-K., Barr, A., Simons, L.G., Gibbons, F.X., & Philibert, R.A. (2018). Discrimination, Segregation, and Chronic Inflammation: Testing the Weathering Explanation for the Poor Health of Black Americans. Developmental Psychology, 54(10), 1993-2006.

    Gibbons, F.X., & Stock, M.L. (2018) Perceived racial discrimination and health behavior: Mediation and Moderation. In B. Major, J.F. Dovidio, & B.G. Link (Eds.), pp. 355 – 378). The Oxford Handbook of Stigma, Discrimination, and Health. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

    Simons, R. L., Woodring, D., Simons, L.G., Sutton, T.E., Lei, M-K., Beach, S.R.H., Barr, A.B., & Gibbons, F.X. (2019) Youth Adversities Amplify the Association between Adult Stressors and Chronic Inflammation in a Domain Specific Manner: Nuancing the Early Life Sensitivity Model. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 48, 1 – 16.

    Mills, J. A., Beach, S. R. H., Dogan, M., Simons, R. L., Gibbons, F. X.,Long, J. D., & Philibert, R.A. (2019). A direct comparison of epigenetic aging and epigenetic substance consumption markers to mortality in the Framingham Heart Study. Genes, 10(1), 51 – 60.

    Sutton, T.E., Simons, L.G., Martin, B.T., Klopack, E.T., Gibbons, F.X., Beach, S.R.H., & Simons, R.L. (2019). Racial Discrimination as a Risk Factor for African American Men’s Physical Partner Violence: A Longitudinal Test of Mediators and Moderators. Violence Against Women, (online)

    Simons, R.L., Lei, M-K, Carter, S., Beach, S.R.H., Gibbons, F.X., Gerrard, M., & Philibert, R.A. (2019). Inflammation mediates the effect of discrimination, religiosity, and friendship network on expression of the TP53 cancer suppressor gene. Social Science and Medicine: Population Health (online, 4-29-19).

    Simons, R.L., Lei, M.K., Beach, S.R.H., Simons, L.G., Barr, A.B, Gibbons, F.X. & Philibert, R.A. (2019). Testing lifecourse models whereby juvenile and adult adversity combine to influence speed of biological aging. Journal of Health and Social Behavior (online 8-14-19).

    Dawes, K., Andersen, A.,A., Vercande, K., Papworth, E., Philibert, W., Beach, S.R.H, Gibbons, F.X., Gerrard, M., & Philibert, R.A. (2019). Saliva DNA Methylation Detects Nascent Smoking in Adolescents. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 29(7), 535-544.

    Assari, S. Gibbons, F.X., & Simons, R.L. (in press). Perceived Discrimination among Black Youth: An 18-year Longitudinal Study. Behavioral Sciences.

    Carter, S.E., Ong, M.L., Simons, R.L., Gibbons, F.X. Lei, M._K. & Beach, S.R.H., (in press). The effect of early discrimination on accelerated aging among African Americans. Health Psychology.

    Saleem, F., Lambert, S.F., Stock, M.L., & Gibbons, F.X. (in press). Examining changes in African American mothers’ racial socialization patterns during adolescence: Racial discrimination as a predictor. Developmental Psychology.

    Gibbons, F.X., Fleischli, M.E., Gerrard, M., Simons, R.L., Weng, C-Y., & Gibson, L.P. (in press). The impact of early discrimination on illegal behavior, arrest and incarceration among African Americans. American Psychologist.

    Gibbons, F.X., Stock, M.L., & Gerrard, M. (in press). Reason, reaction and health: The prototype willingness model. In K. Sweeney & M. Robbins (Eds.), Wiley Encyclopedia of Health Psychology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

    Buunk, A. P.,Gibbons, F.X., Dijkstra, P., & Krizan, Z. (in press). Individual Differences in Social Comparison. In J Suls, R. L. Collins & L. Wheeler (Eds.) Social Comparison in Judgment and Behavior. London: Oxford University Press.

    Gibbons, F. X. & Gerrard, M. (in press). The Prototype Willingness Model and the Media. In J. Van den Bulck  (Es.). The International Encyclopedia of Media Psychology, John Wiley: Hoboken, NJ

    * Graduate student first author