Researcher Profile

Researcher Profile

David E. Conroy, PhD

David E. Conroy, PhD

Professor, Kinesiology
Scientific Program:Cancer Control

Research Interests

Dr. David E. Conroy's research focuses on validating and engaging motivational processes in support of health behavior change. The goal of his work is to make behavior change less effortful and more enjoyable through creative design, context-sensitivity and learning models. He has developed behavioral interventions for promoting physical activity, reducing sedentary behavior and increasing fluid consumption, and collaborated on stress management interventions.

Dr. Conroy and his team use technology to monitor and intervene with people in the natural context of their daily lives. Their research is currently funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute on Aging, the National Science Foundation and Penn State Cancer Institute.

Dr. Conroy consulted to the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee and serves on multiple editorial boards.

  • Exercise
  • Fear
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Health
  • Sports
  • Mentoring
  • Students
  • Emotions
  • Ecological Momentary Assessment
  • Motivation
  • Athletes
  • Equipment and Supplies

Recent Publications


Upham, K, Auer, BJ, Sciamanna, CN, Mowen, AJ, Smyth, JM, Conroy, DE, Silvis, M, Kraschnewski, JL, Rovniak, LS, Lehman, E, Kearcher, K, Vizzini, M & Cesarone, L 2020, 'Adults want to play too: Feasibility of an adult physical activity program designed to maximize enjoyment', Journal of Physical Activity and Health, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 230-235.
Kim, J, Conroy, DE & Smyth, JM 2020, 'Bidirectional Associations of Momentary Affect with Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviors in Working Adults', Annals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, vol. 54, no. 4, pp. 268-279.
Henderson, CE, Manning, JM, Davis, CM, Conroy, DE, Van Horn, ML, Henry, K, Long, T, Ryan, L, Boland, J, Yenne, E, Schiafo, M, Waldo, J & Sze, C 2020, 'Daily physical activity and alcohol use among young adults', Journal of Behavioral Medicine.
Almeida, DM, Marcusson-Clavertz, D, Conroy, DE, Kim, J, Zawadzki, MJ, Sliwinski, MJ & Smyth, JM 2020, 'Everyday stress components and physical activity: examining reactivity, recovery and pileup', Journal of Behavioral Medicine, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 108-120.
Gilchrist, JD, Morris, KL, Dwyer, LA & Conroy, DE 2020, 'Patterns of sun safety behaviors in parents: Associations with physical activity, sedentary behavior, and access to neighborhood physical activity resources', Preventive Medicine, vol. 132, 105976.
Conroy, DE, Yang, CH, Lanza, ST, Smyth, JM & Lagoa, CM 2020, 'Temporal dynamics of treatment receipt in a text message intervention for physical activity: Single-group, within-person trial', JMIR mHealth and uHealth, vol. 8, no. 4, e14270.


Streeper, NM & Conroy, DE 2019, 'AUTHOR REPLY', Urology, vol. 133.
Benson, L, English, T, Conroy, DE, Pincus, AL, Gerstorf, D & Ram, N 2019, 'Age differences in emotion regulation strategy use, variability, and flexibility: An experience sampling approach', Developmental psychology, vol. 55, no. 9, pp. 1951-1964.
Pagoto, SL, Conroy, DE, Arroyo, K, Goetz, J, West, AB, Mulcahy, S & Waring, ME 2019, 'Assessment of Tanning Beds in 3 Popular Gym Chains', JAMA network open, vol. 2, no. 12, pp. e1918058.
Gilchrist, JD, Conroy, DE & Sabiston, CM 2020, 'Associations between alcohol consumption and physical activity in breast cancer survivors', Journal of Behavioral Medicine, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 166-173.
Mullen, SP & Conroy, DE 2019, 'Editorial: Innovative Applications of Technology for the Assessment and Promotion of Physical Activity', Psychology of Sport and Exercise, vol. 41, pp. 144-145.
Yang, CH & Conroy, DE 2019, 'Feasibility of an outdoor mindful walking program for reducing negative affect in older adults', Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 18-27.
Mueller, S, Ram, N, Conroy, DE, Pincus, AL, Gerstorf, D & Wagner, J 2019, 'Happy Like a Fish in Water? The Role of Personality–Situation Fit for Momentary Happiness in Social Interactions across the Adult Lifespan', European Journal of Personality, vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 298-316.
Streeper, NM, Dubnansky, A, Sanders, AB, Lehman, K, Thomaz, E & Conroy, DE 2019, 'Improving Fluid Intake Behavior Among Patients With Kidney Stones: Understanding Patients’ Experiences and Acceptability of Digital Health Technology', Urology, vol. 133, pp. 57-66.
Erickson, KI, Hillman, C, Stillman, CM, Ballard, RM, Bloodgood, B, Conroy, DE, Macko, R, Marquez, DX, Petruzzello, SJ & Powell, KE 2019, 'Physical Activity, Cognition, and Brain Outcomes: A Review of the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines', Medicine and science in sports and exercise, vol. 51, no. 6, pp. 1242-1251.
Gavin, KL, Welch, WA, Conroy, DE, Kozey-Keadle, S, Pellegrini, C, Cottrell, A, Nielsen, A, Solk, P, Siddique, J & Phillips, SM 2019, 'Sedentary behavior after breast cancer: motivational, demographic, disease, and health status correlates of sitting time in breast cancer survivors', Cancer Causes and Control.
Koffer, R, Drewelies, J, Almeida, DM, Conroy, DE, Pincus, AL, Gerstorf, D & Ram, N 2019, 'The Role of General and Daily Control Beliefs for Affective Stressor-Reactivity Across Adulthood and Old Age', Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, vol. 74, no. 2, pp. 242-253.
Chun, KS, Streeper, N, Sanders, AB, Conroy, DE, Adaimi, R & Thomaz, E 2019, 'Towards a generalizable method for detecting fluid intake with wrist-mounted sensors and adaptive segmentation', Paper presented at 24th ACM International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, IUI 2019, Marina del Ray, United States, 3/17/19 - 3/20/19 pp. 80-85.
Zawadzki, MJ, Scott, SB, Almeida, DM, Lanza, ST, Conroy, DE, Sliwinski, MJ, Kim, J, Marcusson-Clavertz, D, Stawski, RS, Green, PM, Sciamanna, CN, Johnson, JA & Smyth, JM 2019, 'Understanding stress reports in daily life: a coordinated analysis of factors associated with the frequency of reporting stress', Journal of Behavioral Medicine, vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 545-560.


for the LIFE Study 2018, 'A Comparison of Self-report Indices of Major Mobility Disability to Failure on the 400-m Walk Test: The LIFE Study', Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, vol. 73, no. 4, pp. 513-518.
Scott, SB, Sliwinski, MJ, Zawadzki, M, Stawski, RS, Kim, J, Marcusson-Clavertz, D, Lanza, ST, Conroy, DE, Buxton, O, Almeida, DM & Smyth, JM 2018, 'A Coordinated Analysis of Variance in Affect in Daily Life', Assessment.
Pagoto, SL, Nahar, VK, Frisard, C, Conroy, DE, Lemon, SC, Oleski, J & Hillhouse, J 2018, 'A comparison of tanning habits among gym tanners and other tanners', JAMA Dermatology, vol. 154, no. 9, pp. 1090-1091.
Streeper, NM, Lehman, K & Conroy, DE 2018, 'Acceptability of Mobile Health Technology for Promoting Fluid Consumption in Patients With Nephrolithiasis', Urology, vol. 122, pp. 64-69.
Gilchrist, JD, Sabiston, CM, Conroy, DE & Atkinson, M 2018, 'Authentic pride regulates runners’ training progress', Psychology of Sport and Exercise, vol. 38, pp. 10-16.
Pellegrini, CA, Chang, RW, Dunlop, DD, Conroy, DE, Lee, J, Van Horn, L, Spring, B & Cameron, KA 2018, 'Comparison of a Patient-Centered Weight Loss Program starting before versus after knee replacement: A pilot study', Obesity Research and Clinical Practice, vol. 12, no. 5, pp. 472-478.
Pellegrini, CA, Conroy, DE, Phillips, SM, Pfammatter, AF, McFadden, HG & Spring, B 2018, 'Daily and Seasonal Influences on Dietary Self-monitoring Using a Smartphone Application', Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, vol. 50, no. 1, pp. 56-61.e1.
Wood, J, Oravecz, Z, Vogel, N, Benson, L, Chow, SM, Cole, P, Conroy, DE, Pincus, AL & Ram, N 2018, 'Modeling intraindividual dynamics using stochastic differential equations:age differences inaffect regulation', Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, vol. 73, no. 1, pp. 171-184.
Yang, CH & Conroy, DE 2018, 'Momentary negative affect is lower during mindful movement than while sitting: An experience sampling study', Psychology of Sport and Exercise, vol. 37, pp. 109-116.
Conroy, DE, Hojjatinia, S, Lagoa, CM, Yang, CH, Lanza, ST & Smyth, JM 2019, 'Personalized models of physical activity responses to text message micro-interventions: A proof-of-concept application of control systems engineering methods', Psychology of Sport and Exercise, vol. 41, pp. 172-180.
Sanders, AB, Conroy, DE, Schmitz, KH & Gusani, N 2019, 'Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior in Older Gastrointestinal Cancer Survivors: Need and Acceptability of Digital Health Interventions', Journal of Gastrointestinal Cancer, vol. 50, no. 4, pp. 703-708.
Cope, K, Vandelanotte, C, Short, CE, Conroy, DE, Rhodes, RE, Jackson, B, Dimmock, JA & Rebar, AL 2018, 'Reflective and non-conscious responses to exercise images', Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 8, no. JAN, 2272.
Yang, X, Ram, N, Gest, SD, Lydon-Staley, DM, Conroy, DE, Pincus, AL & Molenaar, PCM 2018, 'Socioemotional Dynamics of Emotion Regulation and Depressive Symptoms: A Person-Specific Network Approach', Complexity, vol. 2018, 5094179.
Conroy, DE, Pincus, AL, Ram, N & Al'Absi, M 2018, 'Thirsting to understand the temporal dynamics of physical activity and alcohol use', British journal of sports medicine, vol. 52, no. 18, pp. 1158-1159.
Luo, Y, Lee, B, Yvettewohn, D, Rebar, AL, Conroy, DE & Choe, EK 2018, Time for break: Understanding information workers' sedentary behavior through a break prompting system. in CHI 2018 - Extended Abstracts of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: Engage with CHI. Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings, vol. 2018-April, Association for Computing Machinery, 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2018, Montreal, Canada, 4/21/18.


Moller, AC, Merchant, G, Conroy, DE, West, R, Hekler, E, Kugler, KC & Michie, S 2017, 'Applying and advancing behavior change theories and techniques in the context of a digital health revolution: proposals for more effectively realizing untapped potential', Journal of Behavioral Medicine, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 85-98.
Conroy, DE & Berry, TR 2017, 'Automatic Affective Evaluations of Physical Activity', Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, vol. 45, no. 4, pp. 230-237.
Phillips, SM, Conroy, DE, Keadle, SK, Pellegrini, CA, Lloyd, GR, Penedo, FJ & Spring, B 2017, 'Breast cancer survivors’ preferences for technology-supported exercise interventions', Supportive Care in Cancer, vol. 25, no. 10, pp. 3243-3252.
Maher, JP & Conroy, DE 2017, 'Daily Life Satisfaction in Older Adults as a Function of (In)Activity', Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, vol. 72, no. 4, pp. 593-602.
Mankowski, RT, Anton, SD, Axtell, R, Chen, SH, Fielding, RA, Glynn, NW, Hsu, FC, King, AC, Layne, AS, Leeuwenburgh, C, Manini, TM, Marsh, AP, Pahor, M, Tudor-Locke, C, Conroy, DE & Buford, TW 2017, 'Device-Measured Physical Activity As a Predictor of Disability in Mobility-Limited Older Adults', Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, vol. 65, no. 10, pp. 2251-2256.
Conroy, DE 2017, 'Ecological Momentary Assessments and the Science of Behavior Change', Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, vol. 45, no. 1.
Smyth, JM, Sliwinski, MJ, Zawadzki, MJ, Scott, SB, Conroy, DE, Lanza, ST, Marcusson-Clavertz, D, Kim, J, Stawski, RS, Stoney, CM, Buxton, OM, Sciamanna, CN, Green, PM & Almeida, DM 2018, 'Everyday stress response targets in the science of behavior change', Behaviour Research and Therapy, vol. 101, pp. 20-29.
Gilchrist, JD, Conroy, DE & Sabiston, CM 2017, 'Experienced and anticipated pride and shame as predictors of goal-directed behavior', Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, vol. 39, no. 6, pp. 438-442.
Danilovich, MK, Conroy, DE & Hornby, TG 2017, 'Feasibility and impact of high-intensity walking training in frail older adults', Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 533-538.
Maher, JP, Sliwinski, MJ & Conroy, DE 2017, 'Feasibility and preliminary efficacy of an intervention to reduce older adults’ sedentary behavior', Translational behavioral medicine, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 52-61.
Conroy, DE, Wolin, KY, Blair, CK & Demark-Wahnefried, W 2017, 'Gender-varying associations between physical activity intensity and mental quality of life in older cancer survivors', Supportive Care in Cancer, vol. 25, no. 11, pp. 3465-3473.
Tuarob, S, Tucker, CS, Kumara, S, Giles, CL, Pincus, AL, Conroy, DE & Ram, N 2017, 'How are you feeling? A personalized methodology for predicting mental states from temporally observable physical and behavioral information', Journal of Biomedical Informatics, vol. 68, pp. 1-19.
Singh, H & Conroy, DE 2017, 'Systematic review of stress-related injury vulnerability in athletic and occupational contexts', Psychology of Sport and Exercise, vol. 33, pp. 37-44.
Keadle, SK, Conroy, DE, Buman, MP, Dunstan, DW & Matthews, CE 2017, 'Targeting reductions in sitting time to increase physical activity and improve health', Medicine and science in sports and exercise, vol. 49, no. 8, pp. 1572-1582.
Ram, N, Brinberg, M, Pincus, AL & Conroy, DE 2017, 'The Questionable Ecological Validity of Ecological Momentary Assessment: Considerations for Design and Analysis', Research in Human Development, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 253-270.
Conroy, DE, Dubansky, A, Remillard, J, Murray, R, Pellegrini, CA, Phillips, SM & Streeper, NM 2017, 'Using Behavior Change Techniques to Guide Selections of Mobile Applications to Promote Fluid Consumption', Urology, vol. 99, pp. 33-37.
Sciamanna, CN, Mowen, AJ, Kraschnewski, JL, Smyth, JM, Rovniak, LS, Conroy, DE, Kearcher, K, Redman, C, Silvis, M, Auer, BJ, Wang, M, Lehman, E & Messina, D 2017, 'Why just exercise if you can play? Interest in a modified sports program to enhance physical activity among primary care patients', Preventive Medicine Reports, vol. 8, pp. 273-278.


Maher, JP & Conroy, DE 2016, 'A dual-process model of older adults' sedentary behavior', Health Psychology, vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 262-272.
Rebar, AL, Schoeppe, S, Alley, SJ, Short, CE, Dimmock, JA, Jackson, B, Conroy, DE, Rhodes, RE & Vandelanotte, C 2016, 'Automatic evaluation stimuli - The most frequently used words to describe physical activity and the pleasantness of physical activity', Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 7, no. AUG, 01277.
Aubertin-Leheudre, M, Anton, S, Beavers, DP, Manini, TM, Fielding, R, Newman, A, Church, T, Kritchevsky, SB, Conroy, D, McDermott, MM, Botoseneanu, A, Hauser, ME, Pahor, M, Gill, T, Fragoso, C, Fielding, R, Hauser, ME, Pahor, M, Guralnik, JM, Leeuwenburgh, C, Caudle, C, Crump, L, Holmes, L, Lee, J, Lu, CJ, Miller, ME, Espeland, MA, Ambrosius, WT, Applegate, W, Beavers, DP, Byington, RP, Cook, D, Furberg, CD, Harvin, LN, Henkin, L, Hepler, MJ, Hsu, FC, Lovato, L, Roberson, W, Rushing, J, Rushing, S, Stowe, CL, Walkup, MP, Hire, D, Rejeski, WJ, Katula, JA, Brubaker, PH, Mihalko, SL, Jennings, JM, Hadley, EC, Romashkan, S, Patel, KV, Bonds, D, McDermott, MM, Spring, B, Hauser, J, Kerwin, D, Domanchuk, K, Graff, R, Rego, A, Church, TS, Blair, SN, Myers, VH, Monce, R, Britt, NE, Harris, MN, McGucken, AP, Rodarte, R, Millet, HK, Tudor-Locke, C, Butitta, BP, Donatto, SG, Cocreham, SH, King, AC, Castro, CM, Haskell, WL, Stafford, RS, Pruitt, LA, Berra, K, Yank, V, Fielding, RA, Nelson, ME, Folta, SC, Phillips, EM, Liu, CK, McDavitt, EC, Reid, KF, Kirn, DR, Pasha, EP, Kim, WS, Beard, VE, Tsiroyannis, EX, Hau, C, Manini, TM, Pahor, M, Anton, SD, Nayfield, S, Buford, TW, Marsiske, M, Sandesara, BD, Knaggs, JD, Lorow, MS, Marena, WC, Korytov, I, Morris, HL, Fitch, M, Singletary, FF, Causer, J, Radcliff, KA, Newman, AB, Studenski, SA, Goodpaster, BH, Glynn, NW, Lopez, O, Nadkarni, NK, Williams, K, Newman, MA, Grove, G, Bonk, JT, Rush, J, Kost, P, Ives, DG, Kritchevsky, SB, Marsh, AP, Brinkley, TE, Demons, JS, Sink, KM, Kennedy, K, Shertzer-Skinner, R, Wrights, A, Fries, R, Barr, D, Gill, TM, Axtell, RS, Kashaf, SS, de Rekeneire, N, McGloin, JM, Wu, KC, Shepard, DM, Fennelly, B, Iannone, LP, Mautner, R, Barnett, TS, Halpin, SN, Brennan, MJ, Bugaj, JA, Zenoni, MA, Mignosa, BM, Williamson, J, Sink, KM, Hendrie, HC, Rapp, SR, Verghese, J, Woolard, N, Espeland, M, Jennings, J, Wilson, VK, Pepine, CJ, Ariet, M, Handberg, E, Deluca, D, Hill, J, Szady, A, Chupp, GL, Flynn, GM, Gill, TM, Hankinson, JL, Vaz Fragoso, CA, Groessl, EJ & Kaplan, RM 2017, 'Dynapenia and Metabolic Health in Obese and Nonobese Adults Aged 70 Years and Older: The LIFE Study', Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 312-319.
Vogel, N, Ram, N, Conroy, DE, Pincus, AL & Gerstorf, D 2017, 'How the social ecology and social situation shape individuals' affect valence and arousal', Emotion, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 509-527.
Rebar, AL, Maher, JP, Doerksen, SE, Elavsky, S & Conroy, DE 2016, 'Intention-behavior gap is wider for walking and moderate physical activity than for vigorous physical activity in university students', Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 130-134.
Conroy, DE, Hedeker, D, McFadden, HG, Pellegrini, CA, Pfammatter, AF, Phillips, SM, Siddique, J & Spring, B 2017, 'Lifestyle intervention effects on the frequency and duration of daily moderate-vigorous physical activity and leisure screen time', Health Psychology, vol. 36, no. 4, pp. 299-308.
Mailey, EL, Phillips, SM, Dlugonski, D & Conroy, DE 2016, 'Overcoming barriers to exercise among parents: a social cognitive theory perspective', Journal of Behavioral Medicine, vol. 39, no. 4, pp. 599-609.
Conroy, DE, Wolin, KY & Carnethon, MR 2016, 'Overweight and obesity among Major League Baseball players: 1871–2015', Obesity Research and Clinical Practice, vol. 10, no. 5, pp. 610-612.
Koffer, RE, Ram, N, Conroy, DE, Pincus, AL & Almeida, DM 2016, 'Stressor diversity: Introduction and empirical integration into the daily stress model', Psychology and aging, vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 301-320.
On behalf of the DEDIPAC consortium, expert working group and consensus panel 2016, 'The SOS-framework (Systems of Sedentary behaviours): An international transdisciplinary consensus framework for the study of determinants, research priorities and policy on sedentary behaviour across the life course: A DEDIPAC-study', International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, vol. 13, no. 1, 83.
Lydon, DM, Ram, N, Conroy, DE, Pincus, AL, Geier, CF & Maggs, JL 2016, 'The within-person association between alcohol use and sleep duration and quality in situ: An experience sampling study', Addictive Behaviors, vol. 61, pp. 68-73.
Huisingh-Scheetz, M, Kocherginsky, M, Dugas, L, Payne, C, Dale, W, Conroy, DE & Waite, L 2016, 'Wrist Accelerometry in the Health, Functional, and Social Assessment of Older Adults', Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, vol. 64, no. 4, pp. 889-891.

Clinical Trials Search

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Adults (age >= 18 years)