Health Psychology

As a member of the health psychology concentration area, I have active interests in health services and health disparities research.  As mentioned on the Judgment and Decision Making page I have interests in exploring the use of decision aids in cancer screening decisions.  These decision aids have not been evaluated in targeted populations and I wish to explore their feasibility in such populations. I have also been involved in community-based, self-help smoking cessation interventions geared for female smokers.  While males still outnumber female smokers, the disparity is shrinking and the demographics of smokers are quickly changing.  InChicago, we assessed the effectiveness of such a campaign geared at female smokers with no more than a high school education.  In El Paso, we developed a website geared for female college students.

Representative publications (underlined authors represent student authors)
  • Orona, J.A., Blume, A.W., Morera, O.F. & Perez, S. (2007). Examining drinking consequences and reasons for drinking in a bilingual college sample.  Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 29, 83-100.
  • Chun, K.M., Morera, O.F., Andal, J. & Skewes, M.C. (2006).  Conducting Research with Diverse Asian American Groups.  In F. Leung, A. Inman, A. Ebreo, L.Yang, L. Kinoshita, & M. Fiu (Eds.) Handbook of Asian American Psychology, Volume 2. (pp. 47-65).  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Blume, A.W., Morera, O.F. & Garcia, B (2005).  Assessment of Addictive Behaviors in Ethnic Minority Cultures. In D. Donovan & G. A, Marlatt (Eds).  Assessment of Addictive Behaviors 2nd edition (pp. 49-70).  New York: Guilford Press.
  • Warnecke, R.B., Morera, O.F., Turner, L., Johnson, T.P., Freels, S., Parsons, J., Crittenden, K.S. Mermelstein, R., & Flay, B. (2001).  Changes in Self-Efficacy and Readiness for Smoking Cessation among Women with High School Education or Less.  Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 42, 97-110.
  • Turner, L., Morera, O. F., Johnson, T. J., Freels, S., Parsons, J., Warnecke, R. B., Crittenden, K.S. & Flay, B. (2001).  Examining the Effectiveness of a Community-Based Self-Help Program to Increase Women’s Readiness for Smoking Cessation.  American Journal of Community Psychology, 29, 465-491.
  • Freels, S. A., Warnecke, R. B., Parsons, J. A., Johnson, T. P., Flay, B. R. &  Morera, O. F. (1999).  Characteristics Associated with Exposure to and Participation in a Televised Smoking Cessation Intervention for Women with High School Education or Less.  Preventive Medicine, 28, 579-588.
  • Morera, O. F., Johnson, T. J., Freels, S., Parsons, J., Crittenden, K.S., Flay, B. R. & Warnecke, R. B.  (1998). The Measure of Stage of Readiness to Change: Some Psychometric Considerations.  Psychological Assessment, 10(2), 182-186.
Ongoing Research Support
  • BUILDing SCHOLARS:  09/01/14-08/31/19 |  The goal of this grant is to train undergraduates for careers as biomedical research scientists. Dr. Morera's role: PI (team of 8 PI’s).
  • Culturally Adapted Brief Motivational Intervention to Reduce Heavy Drinking among Heavy Latinos: 6/1/14-5/31/16 |  The goal of this grant proposal is to evaluate a brief motivational interviewing program. Dr. Morera's role: Co-Investigator/Statistician (PI: Craig Field).
Completed Research Support
  • BUILDing SCHOLARS Planning Grant: 9/25/13-3/25/14 | The goal of this project was to assess undergraduate training at the University and prepare for the BUILDing SCHOLARS proposal. Dr. Morera's role: Co-PI (team of 8 PI’s).
  • Hispanic Health Disparities Research Center: 10/1/08-6/30/13 | The goal of the HHDRC was to provide research infrastructure and support for Hispanic health and Hispanic health disparities. Dr. Morera's role:  Co-Investigator.
External Proposals Funded
  • “Physical Activity, Nutrition & Built Environment in a Bi-national Border Setting.”  1R21 ES014206-0. Funding Organization: National Institutes of Health.  Author: de Castro, J.  Role: Co-Investigator/Statistician.  Amount: $399,946.  Funding period: September 2005- August 2007.
  • “Promoting Health Parity among Mexican-American Women.”  5 R24MD00520-02. Funding Organization: National Institutes of Health/National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities.  Role: Principal Investigator.  Amount: $1,146,689.  Funding period: October 2003 – September 2006.  Original PI: Karen Schmaling.
  • “Decision Aids and Colorectal Cancer Screening Decisions in a Hispanic Population.”  2 R24 MH47167-11 Funding Organization: National Institutes of Mental Health/Minority Research Infrastructure and Support Program. Author:  Morera, O.F and Kim, L.  Role: Project Director.  Amount: $282,128.  Funding period: July 2003- June 2006.
  • “Web-Based Smoking Intervention for College Aged Hispanic Women.” 1R24MD00520-03 Author: Morera, O.F., Funding Organization: National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities/National Institutes of Health.  Role: Project Director. Amount: $106,114.  Funding period: October 2004-September 2006.