Reference List for Social Comparison in Physical Activity Apps (Arigo et al., 2018; UConn mHealth Conference)


Arigo, D., Pasko, K., Plantier, N., & Montalbano, M. (2018, May.) Social Comparison Opportunities in Mobile Apps for Increasing Physical Activity: A Systematic Review. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media, Storrs, CT.

1. Yang, C. H., Maher, J. P., & Conroy, D. E. (2015). Implementation of behavior change techniques in mobile applications for physical activity. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 48, 452-455.

2. Elaheebocus, S. M. R. A., Weal, M., Morrison, L., & Yardley, L. (2018). Peer-based social media features in behavior change interventions: systematic review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 20 (open access).

3. Arigo, D., Suls, J., & Smyth, J.M. (2014). Social comparisons and chronic illness: Literature synthesis and clinical implications. Health Psychology Review, 8, 154-214.

4. Gerber, J. P., Wheeler, L., & Suls, J. (2018). A social comparison theory meta-analysis 60+ years on. Psychological Bulletin, 144 (online first).

5. Anderson, I., Maitland, J., Sherwood, S., Barkhuus, L., Chalmers, M., Hall, M., . . . Muller, H. (2007). Shakra: Tracking and sharing daily activity levels with unaugmented mobile
phones. Mobile Networks and Applications, 12, 185-199.

6.  Cafazzo, J. A., Casselman, M., Hamming, N., Katzman, D. K., & Palmert, M. R. (2012).
Design of an mHealth app for the self-management of adolescent type 1 diabetes: A
pilot study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 14 (open access)

7. Colón-Semenza, C., Latham, N. K., Quintiliani, L. M., & Ellis, T. D. (2018). Peer coaching
through mHealth targeting physical activity in people with Parkinson disease:
Feasibility Study. JMIR MHealth and UHealth, 6 (open access).

8.  Consolvo, S., Everitt, K., Smith, I., & Landay, J. A. (2006). Design requirements for
technologies that encourage physical activity. Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on
Human Factors in Computing Systems – CHI 06, 457-466.

9. Edney, S., Plotnikoff, R., Vandelanotte, C., Olds, T., Bourdeaudhuij, I. D., Ryan, J., & Maher, C. (2017). “Active Team” a social and gamified app-based physical activity intervention: Randomised controlled trial study protocol. BMC Public Health, 17 (open access).

10. Fanning, J., Roberts, S., Hillman, C. H., Mullen, S. P., Ritterband, L., & McAuley, E. (2017). A smartphone “app”-delivered randomized factorial trial targeting physical activity in adults. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 40, 712-729.

11. Glynn, L. G., Hayes, P. S., Casey, M., Glynn, F., Alvarez-Iglesias, A., Newell, J., . . . Murphy, A. W. (2013). SMART MOVE – a smartphone-based intervention to promote physical activity in primary care: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. BMC Trials, 14, 157-164.

12. Griffiths, F., Lindenmeyer, A., Powell, J., Lowe, P., & Thorogood, M. (2006). Why are health care interventions delivered over the internet? A systematic review of the published literature. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 8 (open access).

13.  Harries, T., Eslambolchilar, P., Rettie, R., Stride, C., Walton, S., & Woerden, H. C. (2016).
Effectiveness of a smartphone app in increasing physical activity amongst male adults: A
randomised controlled trial. BMC Public Health,16 (open access).

14. Hebden, L., Cook, A., Ploeg, H. P., & Allman-Farinelli, M. (2012). Development of
smartphone applications for nutrition and physical activity behavior change. JMIR
Research Protocols, 1 (open access).

15.  Hurling, R., Catt, M., Boni, M. D., Fairley, B. W., Hurst, T., Murray, P., . . . Sodhi, J. S.
(2007). Using Internet and mobile phone technology to deliver an automated physical
activity program: randomized controlled trial. Journal of Medical Internet
Research, 9 (open access).

16. Kouliev, F., Durst, C., & Wickramasinghe, N. (2015). CarepariZn: Translating social
comparison elements into a mobile solution to support weight loss. Proceedings of the 48th Hawaii  International Conference on System Sciences, 3207-3216

17. Laranjo, L., Lau, A. Y., Martin, P., Tong, H. L., & Coiera, E. (2017). Use of a mobile social
networking intervention for weight management: A mixed-methods study protocol. BMJ
Open, 7 (open access).

18.  Muntaner-Mas, A., Vidal-Conti, J., Borras, P. A., Ortega, F. B., Palou, P. (2017). Effects of a Whatsapp-delivered physical activity intervention to enhance health-related physical fitness components and cardiovascular disease risk factors in older adults. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 57, 90-102.

19. Paul, L., Brewster, S., Wyke, S., McFadyen, A. K., Sattar, N., Gill, J. M., … & Gray, C. M. (2017). Increasing physical activity in older adults using STARFISH, an interactive smartphone application (app): A pilot study. Journal of Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies Engineering, 4 (open access).

20. Rovniak, L. S., Hovell, M. F., Wojcik, J. R., Winett, R. A., & Martinez-Donate, A. P. (2005).
Enhancing theoretical fidelity: An e-mail—based walking program demonstration.
American Journal of Health Promotion, 20, 85-95.

21. Tong, X., Gromala, D., Shaw, C. D., & Choo, A. (2016). A field study: Evaluating gamification approaches for promoting physical activity with motivational models of behavior changes. Proceedings of the 2016. International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction.

22. Toscos, T., Faber, A., Connelly, K., & Upoma, A. M. (2008). Encouraging physical activity
in teens: Can technology help reduce barriers to physical activity in adolescent girls?
Proceedings of the Second ICST International Conference on Pervasive Computing
Technologies for Healthcare.

23. Turner-Mcgrievy, G., & Tate, D. (2011). Tweets, apps, and pods: Results of the 6-month
mobile pounds off digitally (Mobile POD) randomized weight-loss intervention
among adults. Journal of Medical Internet Research,13 (open access).

24. U Ayubi, S. ., Parmanto, B., Branch, R., & Ding, D. (2014). A persuasive and social mHealth application for physical activity: A usability and feasibility study. JMIR MHealth and uHealth, 2 (open access).

25. van Dantzig, S., Geleijnse, G., & Halteren, A. T. (2012). Toward a persuasive mobile
application to reduce sedentary behavior. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing,17,

26. Van den Berg, M. H., Ronday, H. K., Peeters, A. J., Cessie, S. L., Giesen, F. J., Breedveld, F. C., & Vlieland, T. P. (2006). Using internet technology to deliver a home-based physical
activity intervention for patients with rheumatoid arthritis: A randomized controlled trial. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 55, 935-945.

27.  Harvey-Berino, J., Pintauro, S., Buzzell, P., Digiulio, M., Gold, B. C., Moldovan, C., &
Ramirez, E. (2002). Does using the Internet facilitate the maintenance of weight
loss? International Journal of Obesity, 26, 1254-1260.

28. Harvey-Berino, J., Pintauro, S. J., & Gold, E. C. (2002). The feasibility of using Internet
support for the maintenance of weight loss. Behavior Modification, 26, 103-116.

29. Mckay, H. G., King, D., Eakin, E. G., Seeley, J. R., & Glasgow, R. E. (2001). The diabetes
network Internet-based physical activity intervention: A randomized pilot study.
Diabetes Care, 24, 1328-1334.

30. Pyky, R., Koivumaa-Honkanen, H., Leinonen, A. M., Ahola, R., Hirvonen, N., Enwald, H., … & Mäntysaari, M. (2017). Effect of tailored, gamified, mobile physical activity intervention on life satisfaction and self-rated health in young adolescent men: a population-based, randomized controlled trial (MOPO study). Computers in Human Behavior, 72, 13-22.

31. Webb, T. L., Joseph, J., Yardley, L., & Michie, S. (2010). Using the Internet to promote
health behavior change: A systematic review and meta-analysis of the impact of
theoretical basis, use of behavior change techniques, and mode of delivery on
Efficacy. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 12 (open access).

32. Breton, E. R., Fuemmeler, B. F., & Abroms, L. C. (2011). Weight loss-there is an app for that! But does it adhere to evidence-informed practices? Translational Behavioral Medicine, 1, 523-529.

33. Cowan, L. T., Wagenen, S. A., Brown, B. A., Hedin, R. J., Seino-Stephan, Y., Hall, P. C., &
West, J. H. (2012). Apps of steel: Are exercise apps providing consumers with
realistic expectations? Health Education & Behavior, 40, 133-139.

34. Chou, W. Y. S., Prestin, A., Lyons, C., & Wen, K. Y. (2013). Web 2.0 for health promotion: Reviewing the current evidence. American Journal of Public Health, 103, e9-e18.

35. Lyzwinski, L. N. (2014). A systematic review and meta-analysis of mobile devices and weight loss with an intervention content analysis. Journal of Personalized Medicine, 4, 311-385.

36. Direito, A., Dale, L. P., Shields, E., Dobson, R., Whittaker, R., & Maddison, R. (2014). Do physical activity and dietary smartphone applications incorporate evidence-based behaviour change techniques?. BMC Public Health, 14, 646 (open access).

37. Conroy, D. E., Yang, C. H., & Maher, J. P. (2014). Behavior change techniques in top-ranked mobile apps for physical activity. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 46, 649-652.

38. Bort-Roig, J., Gilson, N. D., Puig-Ribera, A., Contreras, R. S., & Trost, S. G. (2014).
Measuring and influencing physical activity with smartphone technology: A
systematic review. Sports Medicine, 44, 671-686.

39. Middelweerd, A., Mollee, J. S., van der Wal, C. N., Brug, J., & Te Velde, S. J. (2014). Apps to promote physical activity among adults: a review and content analysis. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 11, 97 (open access).

40. Payne, H. E., Lister, C., West, J. H., & Bernhardt, J. M. (2015). Behavioral functionality of mobile apps in health interventions: a systematic review of the literature. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 3 (open access).

41. Dute, D. J., Bemelmans, W. J. E., & Breda, J. (2016). Using mobile apps to promote a healthy lifestyle among adolescents and students: a review of the theoretical basis and lessons learned. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 4, (open access)

42. Schoeppe, S., Alley, S., Rebar, A. L., Hayman, M., Bray, N. A., Van Lippevelde, W., … & Vandelanotte, C. (2017). Apps to improve diet, physical activity and sedentary behaviour in children and adolescents: a review of quality, features and behaviour change techniques. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 14, 83 (open access).

43. Schoeppe, S., Alley, S., Van Lippevelde, W., Bray, N. A., Williams, S. L., Duncan, M. J., & Vandelanotte, C. (2016). Efficacy of interventions that use apps to improve diet, physical activity and sedentary behaviour: a systematic review. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 13, 127 (open access).

44. Arigo, D., Schumacher, L.M., Pinkasavage, E., & Butryn, M.L. (2015). Addressing barriers to physical activity among women: A feasibility study using social networking-enabled technology. Digital Health, 1, 1-12.


UofSHealth Psych on the Road: Trainee Reflections on the Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Meeting (New Orleans, April 2018)


Post by Kristen Pasko, B.S. (research coordinator) and Sabrina DiBisceglie (senior undergraduate student). This was their first opportunity to attend a professional conference. 

SBM 2018 Logo


The 2018 Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) conference was a learning opportunity distinct from any of my prior professional development experiences. Specifically, I was able to disseminate my original findings, discover cutting-edge research in health psychology, connect with pioneers in the field of similar interest, and experience growth as a budding clinical psychologist.

As someone who is about to enter graduate school, SBM provided me KP SBM 2018 2with an opportunity to grow as an independent researcher. This experience was a chance to build my network of potential collaborators, train my eye to qualities of impactful posters and presentations, and gain a deeper understanding of topics of particular interest. One observation was how specific the research projects were, which got me thinking about how generalizable these findings are, beyond the particular context of each study. From these lines of consideration, I was able to make connections across findings and develop new research questions.

I also realized that I am now a member of this professional organization, in the same learning environment among fellow beginners, intermediate and advanced individuals alike. The continued educational aspect of this field excited me. Likewise, experiencing many collaborative efforts in action was helpful, as members of SBM include healthcare professionals from a variety of disciplines besides psychology. These differences between fields provoked interactive conversation within almost every presentation to work across disciplines and perspectives for the common goal of creating research for the best healthcare outcomes.

Social Divides and Health Divides – Keynote: Sandro Galea
In a seamless narrative that led with data, this keynote addressed the connection between social and health disparities across the United States. The speaker demonstrated the extent to which life expectancy can range at the levels of country, state, and even county. For example, an individual could receive the same treatment in two different countries for a chronic illness and still have a large gap in life expectancy depending on where they reside. Furthermore, when we compare healthcare costs by country, the United States prioritizes treatment over prevention, as opposed to most other countries. Overall, the speaker acknowledged that health behaviors don’t exist in a vacuum and proposed getting social and economic forces into the healthcare conversation.

Acceptance-Based Approaches to Behavior Changes; Application to Weight Control and Physical Activity Interventions – Symposium: Jocelyn Remmert, Leah Schumacher, Courtney Stevens, Meghan Butryn
This symposium centered around the affective barriers before, during, and after engaging in physical activity. It was suggested that acceptance-based therapy (ACT) could mitigate barriers that stem from the associated uncomfortable feelings (fatigue, sweat) as many aspects of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity are not subject to change. Taken together, these findings are intuitive as ACT and psychological flexibility go hand-in-hand and are associated with the greatest long-term outcomes for physical activity. Individuals could benefit from being flexible with guidelines for physical activity for a more tailored approach to their ability and goals.     


SD SBM 2018SBM was a stimulating experience that bolstered my interest in pursuing a career in the behavioral medicine field. Sandro Galea’s opening keynote provided an eye opening presentation on social divides and health divides. His enthusiasm and fascinating findings set the tone for the following days of the conference. As this was my first professional conference, this was a great learning experiences as to how conferences work as well as an experience to be exposed to thought provoking research.

Not only did I gain knowledge on interesting topics and research, I also gained professional knowledge in terms of sharing and presenting research. Attending poster sessions as well as paper sessions allowed me to observe different ways people shared knowledge. It was exciting as a beginner to be introduced to new information alongside experts in this field. My favorite portion of the conference was the poster sessions. These sessions allowed close and personalized interaction with investigators. I was amazed by the breadth of topics that were covered throughout these sessions.

This experience has allowed me to not only gain knowledge on topics new to me, but it has also allowed me to reflect on my individual research and to reevaluate as well as add components to support and further my research. I look forward to continuing my membership with SBM and to continue to use this society to further my research interests.


Research Coordinator Position at Rowan University



Research Coordinator
Clinical Health And Social Experiences (CHASE) Lab
Rowan University

Application deadline: May 11, 2018

Start Date: September 1, 2018

Are you looking for an exciting opportunity to hone your skills in behavioral science research? Come work with the new Clinical Health And Social Experiences (CHASE) Lab at Rowan University! The CHASE Lab is hiring a full-time research coordinator. This position will provide opportunities to interact with research participants, collaborate with graduate and undergraduate students in clinical/health psychology, and receive mentoring to prepare for future graduate study in clinical/health psychology or a related field.

The research coordinator position will be under the direction of Danielle Arigo, Ph.D., who is joining Rowan from The University of Scranton in Pennsylvania ( Dr. Arigo’s research investigates social influences on health and health behavior, physical activity promotion, and weight control, particularly in the area of women’s health. This research emphasizes the development and optimization of digital health tools, including mobile health apps, wearable physical activity trackers, and social media platforms.

The coordinator’s primary responsibilities will be related to project management for an NIH-funded clinical trial (e.g., budget management; preparing and updating reports for NIH and IRB; managing participant recruitment, enrollment, and scheduling). Additional activities will include data management, training and supervision of research assistants, and contributing to the preparation of manuscripts and conference presentations. Previous experience with these tasks in the context of physical activity, weight control, women’s health, and/or digital health is desirable, and the coordinator will have the opportunity to improve skills in each of these areas.

Candidates should have a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related area; coursework and/or work experience related to clinical research is preferred. Experience with using social media (particularly Twitter) in a professional or organizational capacity is desirable. Reliable transportation and some early morning/evening hours are required.

To apply, submit a CV and a one-page cover letter describing your preparation for this position to by May 11, 2018. Questions about the position can be directed to this email address.


Meet @UofSHealthPsych: Interview with Madison Montalbano


MadisonMadison Montalbano is a junior psychology major. She was interviewed by senior Nicole Plantier.

UofSHealthPsych: Where are you from, and what drew you to the University of Scranton?

MM: I’m from Rockaway, NY a small beach town. Like many of our lab members, I came to visit the University of Scranton as a junior in high school and automatically felt a sense of community. I wanted a small school where I would receive individual attention and opportunities to grow as a person, making Scranton the perfect place.

UofSHealthPsych: Why did you choose to be a psychology major?

MM: I have been interested in how people cope with difficult life challenges for a long time, and I hope to one day be a professional and be able to facilitate understanding and growth in clients.

UofSHealthPsych: What activities are you involved with on campus, besides research?

MM: I have served as a teaching assistant in past semesters and will again in my senior year. I have recently been elected secretary of Psi Chi. Additionally, this semester I have been interning as a part of a practicum course.

UofSHealthPsych: How did you decide to join the Clinical Health Psychology Research Team?

MM: I decided to join after taking Dr. Arigo’s Health Psychology course. The class sparked my interest in health psychology and spurred me to ask Dr. Arigo if I could get involved.

UofSHealthPsych: Can you tell us a little bit more about your individual research interests/projects?

MM: I am interested in chronic illnesses both how the ill person and their families cope with them. Currently I am working on a study looking at how college students cope with family member’s chronic illness. Specifically how, or if, it had affected their adjustment to college.

UofSHealthPsych: What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from doing research with the team?

MM: I have learned so many things from working on the research team. First, I learned about the importance of attention to detail for all tasks is essential to successfully completing a research project. Second, I learned how to work collaboratively with other lab members to complete larger projects. As I continued in the lab and took on more responsibilities, I learned how to develop my own research project and write an IRB application.

UofSHealthPsych: What have you enjoyed most about working on a research team?

MM: I’ve enjoyed learning from both Dr. Arigo and other lab members about their research interests and seeing their working styles. It is nice to work with people who have similar interests as I do as well as those with different interests I got to learn more about.

UofSHealthPsych: I know you still have a year, but what are your plans after graduation?

MM: After graduation, I am planning on attending a graduate program in clinical psychology, possibly for a PsyD.

UofSHealthPsych: Is there any advice you would give an underclassmen interested in psychology research?

MM: I would say to learn as much as you can about what types of research professors in the psychology department are doing and ask to sit in on a few lab meetings before you choose what really interests you.

Research News, April 2018



It’s an exciting time for @UofSHealthPsych! We have several announcements to share, all related to our clinical health psychology research:

1) If you follow us, then you know that we have multiple active lines of research related to promoting healthy behavior. Our goals are to understand the psychological and social experiences that influence health behaviors in the natural environment, and use this information to improve health behavior interventions. We have multiple papers coming out in 2018 that pursue these goals: two related to Type 2 Diabetes outcomes, one on the role of calorie labeling of restaurant-type foods in grocery stores, one on recommendations for using social media in health research, and several on the role of social comparisons in behavioral weight loss treatment. Each of these topics will get some air time on this site in the coming months, so stay tuned!

2) In March 2018, our research on determinants and interventions to promote midlife women’s physical activity received a prestigious grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (National Institutes of Health). This funding will allow us to hire team members, recruit participants, work with state-of-the-art assessment technology, and develop a digital health tool tailored to the needs of midlife women. We’re off to a great start with related projects, and the whole team has been involved in activities such as coding literature and preparing abstracts for conferences. Read more about the grant here.

3) We’ll be at the Society of Behavioral Medicine annual meeting (SBM, April 11-14) and the UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media conference (May 18) sharing our recent and developing findings. At SBM, you can find us at #SBM2018 and:

  • Thursday’s Behavioral Informatics and Technology SIG “Tech Madness” and Middday Business meetings – 7:00am and 10:45am, respectively
  • Thursday’s evening poster session, presenting on relations between social media use and health behaviors (Kristen Pasko) and perceptions of the #fitspiration trend on Instagram (Sabrina DiBisceglie) – 6:15pm
  • Friday’s Women’s Health SIG morning panel on science communication (Dr. Arigo) – 7:00am
  • Friday’s morning paper session on Social Media and Broadcast Messaging for Health (Dr. Arigo) – 10:45am
  • Friday’s afternoon symposium on Understanding and Harnessing Social Influences on Women’s Health Behaviors: Social Perceptions, Stigma, and Social Modeling (Dr. Arigo) – 2:00pm

4) This summer, @UofSHealthPsych is moving to Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. We’re taking our website, Twitter account, and research along for the ride, so please check for updates as we transition to our new home.

Thanks for following our progress and exciting news! We’ll be back with an SBM 2018 review post in two weeks.