Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Ronnesia Gaskins, PhD, MSPH
Dr. Gaskins' clinical and research interests are in reducing health disparities, including obesity prevention and physical activity promotion within the context of socioecological paradigms. In particular, her work focuses on children, families and disadvantaged populations at risk for poor health and associated burden. She has over 12 years of cumulative experience in implementing and conducting research in these areas. Reflecting these interests, her research has included NIH funded-projects and publications examining prenatal drug exposure and youth obesity risk, preschooler and teen parent obesity prevention, acculturation and health, and yoga and smoking cessation. She is currently the principal investigator of an National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute grant aimed at adapting parent training/obesity prevention programs for ethnically diverse teen moms and their young children (R21-HL114083). Clinically, she has worked with diverse child and adult populations in general psychiatry and comorbid developmental (e.g., disruptive behavioral disorders) and behavioral medicine presenting concerns (e.g., obesity/prevention). She established the only obesity prevention clinic for preschoolers in Rhode Island. Dr. Gaskins completed her doctorate in Medical Psychology and a Master of Science in Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She completed predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at Brown Alpert Medical School. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School; and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences in the School of Public Health at Brown University. She is a 2013 recipient of the prestigious Fulbright award for teaching (in research).
At the completion of this session, the participant will be able to:
1. Describe differential trends in childhood obesity by age, socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity and
2. Describe established modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors for childhood obesity across
developmental age group.
3. Discuss implications for obesity treatment development and treatment planning based on presenting