Photo of Kirsten Davison,  PhD

Kirsten Davison, PhD

Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health

Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health
Phone: (617) 432-1898


kdavison@hsph.harvard.edu

Kirsten Davison, PhD

Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health

EDUCATIONAL TITLES

  • Donald and Sue Pritzker Associate Professor of Nutrition, Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health

DF/HCC PROGRAM AFFILIATION

Research Abstract

My research primarily focuses on family- and community-level factors that influence children’s lifestyle behaviors (diet, physical activity, screen-based activities) linked with obesity and cancer risk. Key topics that I have researched to date include familial clustering of risk behaviors linked with accelerated weight gain in children, psychosocial consequences of obesity in children, parenting strategies that promote active lifestyles in children, and developmental and contextual factors that explain declines in adolescent girls’ physical activity. More recently, my work has focused on the development and evaluation of family-centered interventions for obesity prevention in low-income children, including children enrolled in WIC and Head Start. A primary emphasis of these programs is the need to consider the family unit as a whole and address factors beyond the family (e.g., community resources, media factors) that impact on intrafamilial interactions around healthy lifestyles. A secondary focus of my work is the development and application of conceptual models that foster a stronger understanding of the contextual, developmental and behavioral origins of obesity in children and adolescents. Examples include the Ecological Model of Childhood Obesity (Davison & Birch 2001), the Family Ecological Model (Davison & Campell, 2005) and the Family Action-based Model of Intervention Layout and Implementation (FAMILI)) (Davison, Lawson, & Coatsworth, 2012).

Publications

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  • Taveras EM, Perkins M, Anand S, Woo Baidal JA, Nelson CC, Kamdar N, Kwass JA, Gortmaker SL, Barrett JL, Davison KK, Land T. Clinical effectiveness of the massachusetts childhood obesity research demonstration initiative among low-income children. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2017; 25:1159-1166. PubMed
  • Woo Baidal JA, Nelson CC, Perkins M, Colchamiro R, Leung-Strle P, Kwass JA, Gortmaker SL, Davison KK, Taveras EM. Childhood obesity prevention in the women, infants, and children program: Outcomes of the MA-CORD study. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2017; 25:1167-1174. PubMed
  • Franckle RL, Falbe J, Gortmaker S, Barrett JL, Giles C, Ganter C, Blaine RE, Buszkiewicz J, Taveras EM, Kwass JA, Land T, Davison KK. Student obesity prevalence and behavioral outcomes for the massachusetts childhood obesity research demonstration project. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2017; 25:1175-1182. PubMed
  • Ganter C, Aftosmes-Tobio A, Chuang E, Kwass JA, Land T, Davison KK, . Lessons Learned by Community Stakeholders in the Massachusetts Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration (MA-CORD) Project, 2013-2014. Preventing Chronic Disease 2017; 14:E08. PubMed
  • Blaine RE, Franckle RL, Ganter C, Falbe J, Giles C, Criss S, Kwass JA, Land T, Gortmaker SL, Chuang E, Davison KK, . Using School Staff Members to Implement a Childhood Obesity Prevention Intervention in Low-Income School Districts: the Massachusetts Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration (MA-CORD Project), 2012-2014. Preventing Chronic Disease 2017; 14:E03. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Gicevic S, Aftosmes-Tobio A, Ganter C, Simon CL, Newlan S, Manganello JA. Fathers' Representation in Observational Studies on Parenting and Childhood Obesity: A Systematic Review and Content Analysis. Am J Public Health 2016; 106:1980. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Gicevic S, Aftosmes-Tobio A, Ganter C, Simon CL, Newlan S, Manganello JA. Fathers' Representation in Observational Studies on Parenting and Childhood Obesity: A Systematic Review and Content Analysis. Am J Public Health 2016; 106:e14-e21. PubMed
  • Khandpur N, Charles J, Davison KK. Fathers' Perspectives on Coparenting in the Context of Child Feeding. Child Obes 2016. PubMed
  • Blaine RE, Fisher JO, Blake CE, Orloski A, Younginer N, Bruton Y, Ganter C, Rimm EB, Geller AC, Davison KK. Conditioned to eat while watching television? Low-income caregivers' perspectives on the role of snacking and television viewing among pre-schoolers. Public Health Nutr 2016. PubMed
  • Criss S, Cheung L, Giles C, Gortmaker S, Viswanath K, Kwass JA, Davison K. Media Competition Implementation for the Massachusetts Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration Study (MA-CORD): Adoption and Reach. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2016. PubMed
  • Criss S, Tran A, Ganter C, Aftosmes-Tobio A, Gortmaker S, Viswanath K, Kwass JA, Davison KK. A Cascade of Champions: A Qualitative Study about the MA-CORD Media Competition Implementation. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2016. PubMed
  • Aftosmes-Tobio A, Ganter C, Gicevic S, Newlan S, Simon CL, Davison KK, Manganello JA. A systematic review of media parenting in the context of childhood obesity research. BMC Public Health 2016; 16:320. PubMed
  • Lampard AM, Maclehose RF, Eisenberg ME, Larson NI, Davison KK, Neumark-Sztainer D. Adolescents who engage exclusively in healthy weight control behaviors: Who are they? Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 2016; 13:5. PubMed
  • Younginer NA, Blake CE, Davison KK, Blaine RE, Ganter C, Orloski A, Fisher JO. "What Do You Think of When I Say the Word 'Snack'?" Towards a Cohesive Definition among Low-Income Caregivers of Preschool-Age Children. 2015. PubMed
  • Taveras EM, Davison KK, Perkins ME, Gortmaker S, Land T. In Reply to Dr. Anchondo and the Ellyn Satter Institute RE: MA-CORD. Child Obes 2015; 11:733-4. PubMed
  • Ganter C, Aftosmes-Tobio A, Chuang E, Blaine RE, Land T, Davison KK. Community Stakeholders' Perceptions of Major Factors Influencing Childhood Obesity, the Feasibility of Programs Addressing Childhood Obesity, and Persisting Gaps. J Community Health 2015. PubMed
  • Blaine RE, Fisher JO, Taveras EM, Geller AC, Rimm EB, Land T, Perkins M, Davison KK. Reasons Low-Income Parents Offer Snacks to Children: How Feeding Rationale Influences Snack Frequency and Adherence to Dietary Recommendations. Nutrients 2015; 7:5982-99. PubMed
  • Blake CE, Fisher JO, Ganter C, Younginer N, Orloski A, Blaine RE, Bruton Y, Davison KK. A qualitative study of parents' perceptions and use of portion size strategies for preschool children's snacks. 2015; 88:17-23. PubMed
  • Franckle RL, Falbe J, Gortmaker S, Ganter C, Taveras EM, Land T, Davison KK. Insufficient sleep among elementary and middle school students is linked with elevated soda consumption and other unhealthy dietary behaviors. Prev Med 2015; 74:36-41. PubMed
  • Kenney EL, Davison KK, Austin SB, Giles CM, Cradock AL, Lee RM, Gortmaker SL. Validity and Reliability of a Simple, Low-Cost Measure to Quantify Children's Dietary Intake in Afterschool Settings. J Acad Nutr Diet 2015; 115:426-32. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Falbe J, Taveras EM, Gortmaker S, Kulldorff M, Perkins M, Blaine RE, Franckle RL, Ganter C, Baidal JW, Kwass JA, Buszkiewicz J, Smith L, Land T, . Evaluation overview for the Massachusetts Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration (MA-CORD) project. Child Obes 2015; 11:23-36. PubMed
  • Chuang E, Ayala GX, Schmied E, Ganter C, Gittelsohn J, Davison KK. Evaluation protocol to assess an integrated framework for the implementation of the Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration project at the California (CA-CORD) and Massachusetts (MA-CORD) sites. Child Obes 2015; 11:48-57. PubMed
  • Taveras EM, Blaine RE, Davison KK, Gortmaker S, Anand S, Falbe J, Kwass JA, Perkins M, Giles C, Criss S, Colchamiro R, Baidal JW, Land T, Smith L, . Design of the Massachusetts Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration (MA-CORD) study. Child Obes 2015; 11:11-22. PubMed
  • Falbe J, Davison KK, Franckle RL, Ganter C, Gortmaker SL, Smith L, Land T, Taveras EM. Sleep duration, restfulness, and screens in the sleep environment. Pediatrics 2015; 135:e367-75. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Blake CE, Blaine RE, Younginer NA, Orloski A, Hamtil HA, Ganter C, Bruton YP, Vaughn AE, Fisher JO. Parenting around child snacking: development of a theoretically-guided, empirically informed conceptual model. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 2015; 12:109. PubMed
  • Ganter C, Chuang E, Aftosmes-Tobio A, Blaine RE, Giannetti M, Land T, Davison KK. Community stakeholders' perceptions of barriers to childhood obesity prevention in low-income families, Massachusetts 2012-2013. Preventing Chronic Disease 2015; 12:E42. PubMed
  • Lampard AM, Nishi A, Baskin ML, Carson TL, Davison KK. The Activity Support Scale for Multiple Groups (ACTS-MG): Child-reported Physical Activity Parenting in African American and Non-Hispanic White Families. Behav Med 2015. PubMed
  • Lampard AM, MacLehose RF, Eisenberg ME, Neumark-Sztainer D, Davison KK. Weight-related teasing in the school environment: associations with psychosocial health and weight control practices among adolescent boys and girls. J Youth Adolesc 2014; 43:1770-80. PubMed
  • Khandpur N, Blaine RE, Fisher JO, Davison KK. Fathers' child feeding practices: a review of the evidence. 2014; 78:110-21. PubMed
  • Edmunds LS, Sekhobo JP, Dennison BA, Chiasson MA, Stratton HH, Davison KK. Association of prenatal participation in a public health nutrition program with healthy infant weight gain. Am J Public Health 2014; 104 Suppl 1:S35-42. PubMed
  • Lampard AM, Franckle RL, Davison KK. Maternal depression and childhood obesity: a systematic review. Prev Med 2014; 59:60-7. PubMed
  • Franckle R, Adler R, Davison K. Accelerated weight gain among children during summer versus school year and related racial/ethnic disparities: a systematic review. Preventing Chronic Disease 2014; 11:E101. PubMed
  • Lampard AM, Jurkowski JM, Davison KK. The family context of low-income parents who restrict child screen time. Child Obes 2013; 9:386-92. PubMed
  • Lampard AM, Jurkowski JM, Davison KK. Social-cognitive predictors of low-income parents' restriction of screen time among preschool-aged children. Health Educ Behav 2013; 40:526-30. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Jurkowski JM, Lawson HA. Reframing family-centred obesity prevention using the Family Ecological Model. Public Health Nutr 2013; 16:1861-9. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Mâsse LC, Timperio A, Frenn MD, Saunders J, Mendoza JA, Gobbi E, Hanson P, Trost SG. Physical activity parenting measurement and research: challenges, explanations, and solutions. Child Obes 2013; 9 Suppl:S103-9. PubMed
  • Jurkowski JM, Green Mills LL, Lawson HA, Bovenzi MC, Quartimon R, Davison KK. Engaging low-income parents in childhood obesity prevention from start to finish: a case study. J Community Health 2013; 38:1-11. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Jurkowski JM, Li K, Kranz S, Lawson HA. A childhood obesity intervention developed by families for families: results from a pilot study. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 2013; 10:3. PubMed
  • Lampard AM, Jurkowski JM, Lawson HA, Davison KK. Family ecological predictors of physical activity parenting in low-income families. Behav Med 2013; 39:97-103. PubMed
  • GreenMills LL, Davison KK, Gordon KE, Li K, Jurkowski JM. Evaluation of a childhood obesity awareness campaign targeting head start families: designed by parents for parents. J Health Care Poor Underserved 2013; 24:25-33. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Nishi A, Kranz S, Wyckoff L, May JJ, Earle-Richardson GB, Strogatz DS, Jenkins PL. Associations among social capital, parenting for active lifestyles, and youth physical activity in rural families living in upstate New York. Soc Sci Med 2012; 75:1488-96. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Lawson HA, Coatsworth JD. The Family-centered Action Model of Intervention Layout and Implementation (FAMILI): the example of childhood obesity. Health Promot Pract 2012; 13:454-61. PubMed
  • Li K, Davison KK, Jurkowski JM. Mental health and family functioning as correlates of a sedentary lifestyle among low-income women with young children. Women Health 2012; 52:606-19. PubMed
  • Jago R, Davison KK, Thompson JL, Page AS, Brockman R, Fox KR. Parental sedentary restriction, maternal parenting style, and television viewing among 10- to 11-year-olds. Pediatrics 2012; 128:e572-8. PubMed
  • Maniccia DM, Davison KK, Marshall SJ, Manganello JA, Dennison BA. A meta-analysis of interventions that target children's screen time for reduction. Pediatrics 2011; 128:e193-210. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Edmunds LS, Wyker BA, Young LM, Sarfoh VS, Sekhobo JP. Feasibility of increasing childhood outdoor play and decreasing television viewing through a family-based intervention in WIC, New York State, 2007-2008. Preventing Chronic Disease 2011; 8:A54. PubMed
  • Baker BL, Davison KK. I know I can: a longitudinal examination of precursors and outcomes of perceived athletic competence among adolescent girls. J Phys Act Health 2011; 8:192-9. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Li K, Baskin ML, Cox T, Affuso O. Measuring parental support for children's physical activity in white and African American parents: the Activity Support Scale for Multiple Groups (ACTS-MG). Prev Med 2011; 52:39-43. PubMed
  • Jago R, Davison KK, Brockman R, Page AS, Thompson JL, Fox KR. Parenting styles, parenting practices, and physical activity in 10- to 11-year olds. Prev Med 2011; 52:44-7. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Schmalz DL, Downs DS. Hop, skip... no! Explaining adolescent girls' disinclination for physical activity. Ann Behav Med 2010; 39:290-302. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Deane GD. The consequence of encouraging girls to be active for weight loss. Soc Sci Med 2010; 70:518-25. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Jago R. Change in parent and peer support across ages 9 to 15 yr and adolescent girls' physical activity. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2009; 41:1816-25. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Schmalz DL, Young LM, Birch LL. Overweight girls who internalize fat stereotypes report low psychosocial well-being. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2008; 16 Suppl 2:S30-8. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Werder JL, Lawson CT. Children's active commuting to school: current knowledge and future directions. Preventing Chronic Disease 2008; 5:A100. PubMed
  • Schmalz DL, Deane GD, Birch LL, Davison KK. A longitudinal assessment of the links between physical activity and self-esteem in early adolescent non-Hispanic females. J Adolesc Health 2007; 41:559-65. PubMed
  • Baker BL, Birch LL, Trost SG, Davison KK. Advanced pubertal status at age 11 and lower physical activity in adolescent girls. J Pediatr 2007; 151:488-93. PubMed
  • Downs DS, DiNallo JM, Savage JS, Davison KK. Determinants of eating attitudes among overweight and non-overweight adolescents. J Adolesc Health 2007; 41:138-45. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Werder JL, Trost SG, Baker BL, Birch LL. Why are early maturing girls less active? Links between pubertal development, psychological well-being, and physical activity among girls at ages 11 and 13. Soc Sci Med 2007; 64:2391-404. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Marshall SJ, Birch LL. Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between TV viewing and girls' body mass index, overweight status, and percentage of body fat. J Pediatr 2006; 149:32-7. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Downs DS, Birch LL. Pathways linking perceived athletic competence and parental support at age 9 years to girls' physical activity at age 11 years. Res Q Exerc Sport 2006; 77:23-31. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Schmalz DL. Youth at risk of physical inactivity may benefit more from activity-related support than youth not at risk. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 2006; 3:5. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Lawson CT. Do attributes in the physical environment influence children's physical activity? A review of the literature. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 2006; 3:19. PubMed
  • Haverly K, Davison KK. Personal fulfillment motivates adolescents to be physically active. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2005; 159:1115-20. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Francis LA, Birch LL. Links between parents' and girls' television viewing behaviors: a longitudinal examination. J Pediatr 2005; 147:436-42. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Birch LL. Lean and weight stable: behavioral predictors and psychological correlates. Obes. Res. 2004; 12:1085-93. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Birch LL. Predictors of fat stereotypes among 9-year-old girls and their parents. Obes. Res. 2004; 12:86-94. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Cutting TM, Birch LL. Parents' activity-related parenting practices predict girls' physical activity. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2003; 35:1589-95. PubMed
  • Birch LL, Fisher JO, Davison KK. Learning to overeat: maternal use of restrictive feeding practices promotes girls' eating in the absence of hunger. Am J Clin Nutr 2003; 78:215-20. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Markey CN, Birch LL. A longitudinal examination of patterns in girls' weight concerns and body dissatisfaction from ages 5 to 9 years. Int J Eat Disord 2003; 33:320-32. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Susman EJ, Birch LL. Percent body fat at age 5 predicts earlier pubertal development among girls at age 9. Pediatrics 2003; 111:815-21. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Ford ES, Cogswell ME, Dietz WH. Percentage of body fat and body mass index are associated with mobility limitations in people aged 70 and older from NHANES III. J Am Geriatr Soc 2002; 50:1802-9. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Birch LL. Processes linking weight status and self-concept among girls from ages 5 to 7 years. Dev Psychol 2002; 38:735-48. PubMed
  • Davison KK, Earnest MB, Birch LL. Participation in aesthetic sports and girls' weight concerns at ages 5 and 7 years. Int J Eat Disord 2002; 31:312-7. PubMed
  • Jurkowski JM, Lawson HA, Green Mills LL, Wilner PG, Davison KK. The empowerment of low-income parents engaged in a childhood obesity intervention. Fam Community Health 2014; 37:104-18. PubMed
  • Wyker BA, Davison KK. Behavioral change theories can inform the prediction of young adults' adoption of a plant-based diet. J Nutr Educ Behav 2010; 42:168-77. PubMed
  • Davison KK. School performance, lack of facilities, and safety concerns: barriers to parents' support of their children's physical activity. Am J Health Promot 2009; 23:315-9. PubMed
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