John P Allegrante, PhD, MS

  • Adjunct Professor of Sociomedical Sciences
  • Charles Irwin Lambert Professor of Health Behavior and Education
Profile Headshot


Dr. John Allegrante is an applied behavioral scientist whose research focuses on behavioral self-management and health outcomes in chronic disease and predictors of healthy child and adolescent development. He has conducted programs of NIH-funded research to investigate new approaches to understanding, predicting, and intervening on the barriers and facilitators of behavioral self-management of chronic disease. His scholarship has produced a transdisciplinary understanding of adherence and approaches to behavioral intervention that have informed evidence-based behavioral self-management of chronic disease and improved health outcomes in patient-centered care. He is currently the senior co-investigator on a longitudinal lifecourse study that is supported by grants from the European Research Council and Icelandic Research Fund whose aim is to improve understanding of the influence of stress and role of early inflammatory biomarkers on a range of behavioral outcomes among adolescents. Dr. Allegrante also has been in the vanguard of professional preparation and workforce development and has written extensively about epistemological, theoretical, and methodological issues in the science of health promotion research, as well as research-to-practice translation in health promotion. He played a pivotal role in leading efforts to establish a unified system of accreditation for professional preparation programs in the United States and to develop consensus on domains of core competencies, standards, and quality assurance in global health promotion that have been implemented across the United States, Europe, and elsewhere.


Academic Appointments

  • Adjunct Professor of Sociomedical Sciences
  • Charles Irwin Lambert Professor of Health Behavior and Education

Administrative Titles

  • Scientist, Columbia Center for Injury Science and Prevention

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BS, 1974 State University of New York at Cortland
  • MS, 1976 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • PhD, 1979 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Editorial Boards

Health Education & Behavior (Editor-in-Chief Emeritus)

Honors & Awards

Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award, CDC Foundation, 2017

Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Germany, 2016, 2019

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, State University of New York, 2015

APHA Mayhew Derryberry Award, Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section, 2015

APHA Distinguished Career Award, Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section, 2003


Selected Publications

Layman, H.M., Thorisdottir, I.E., Halldorsdottir, T., Sigfusdottir, I.D., Allegrante, J.P., & Kristjansson, A.L. Substance use among youth during the COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic review. Current Psychiatry Reports, 2022.

Albanese, N., Lin, I., Friedberg, J.P., Lipsitz, S.R., Rundle, A., Quinn, J. W., Neckerman, K.M., Nicholson, A., Allegrante, J.P., Wylie-Rosett, J., & Natarajan, S. Association of the built environment and neighborhood resources with obesity-related health behaviors in older veterans with hypertension. Health Psychology, 2022. Advance online publication.

Thorisdottir, I.E., Asgeirsdottir, B.B., Kristjansson, A.L., Valdimarsdottir, H.B., Jonsdottir Tolgyes, E.M., Sigfusson, J., Allegrante, J.P., Sigfusdottir, I.D., & Halldorsdottir, T. Depressive symptoms, mental wellbeing, and substance use among adolescents before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Iceland: A longitudinal, population-based study. The Lancet Psychiatry, 8(8), 663-672, 2021.

Zhao, M., Rodriguez, M.A., Wang, B., Santa Ana, E.J., Friedberg, J., Fang, Y., Allegrante, J.P., & Natarajan, S. Validity and reliability of a short self-efficacy instrument for hypertension treatment adherence among adults with uncontrolled hypertension. Patient Education and Counseling, 104(7), 1781–1788, 2021.

Green, L.W., & Allegrante, J.P. Practice-based evidence and the need for more diverse methods and sources in epidemiology, public health and health promotion. American Journal of Health Promotion, 34, 946-948, 2020.

Allegrante, J.P., Auld, M.E., & Natarajan, S. Preventing COVID-19 and its sequela: "There is no magic bullet . . . It's just behaviors." American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 59, 288-292, 2020.

Abroms, L.C, Allegrante, J.P., Auld M.E., Gold, R.S., Riley, W.T., & Smyser, J. Toward a common agenda for the public and private sectors to advance digital health communication. American Journal of Public Health, 109, 221-223, 2019.

Allegrante, J.P., Wells, M.T., & Peterson, J.C. Interventions to support behavioral self-management of chronc diseases. Annual Review of Public Health, 40, 127-146, 2019.

Allegrante, J.P. Advancing the science of behavioral self-management of chronic disease. The arc of a research trajectory. Health Education & Behavior, 45, 6-13, 2018.

Rajan, S., Branas, C.C., Hargarten, S., & Allegrante, J.P. Funding for gun violence research is key to the health and safety of the nation. American Journal of Public Health, 108, 194-195, 2018.

Global Health Activities

Multilevel Analysis on the Effects of Stress on Biology, Emotions and Behaviour throughout Childhood (Inga Dora Sigfusdottir, PhD, PI), Iceland: This activity extends an ongoing program of observational and intervention research with Icelandic behavioral and social scientists, the overall goal of which has been to investigate risk and protective factors in childhood and adolescent health. In a series of studies that have been conducted with support from the U.S. Fulbright Program and the Icelandic Research Fund, we have analyzed population-based data from the Youth in Iceland surveys to investigate various health behaviors and their relationship to health status and health outcomes. The work has informed population-wide policy, translation, and scaling of community-based approaches to improving child and adolescent health in Iceland, Nordic Europe and other countries, as well as new methodological innovations. Grants from the European Research Council and Icelandic Research fund currently support LIFECOURSE (Longitudinal Investigation For Epidemiologic Causes and OUtcomes RiSing in Early Childhood and Adolescence), an ongoing prospective study whose aim is to to improve our understanding of the interplay between biological, environmental, and social factors that influence the development of harmful behaviors in adolescents.

Anxiety Culture (John P. Allegrante, PhD, and Ulrich Hoinkes, PhD, PIs), Multiple European countries and the United States: This interdisciplinary activity brings together a broad range of global scholars in the humanities, sciences, and behavioral and social sciences to understand how cultural anxiety can be better understood in the context of the pressing planetary challenges of climate change, population health, migration, and technological change. The NIMH estimates that 31 percent of adults will experience an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. We know a lot about the term "anxiety" as a medical idiom at the individual, clinical level. What we do not know much about is what anxiety looks like and what its effects are at cultural and social levels. Thus, the challenge is to recognize the contours of this kind of anxiety as heuristic and the extent to which it is a mixture of both public discourse and social action. The project seeks to develop the conceptual language and middle-range theoretical framework with which to understand anxiety culture.

Coronavirus: Impact on Adolescent Mental Health Problems and Harmful Behaviors (Thorhildur Halldorsdottir, PhD, PI), Iceland: The coronavirus 2019 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic intersects with rising adolescent mental health problems and harmful behaviors, such as depressed mood, anxiety, and self-harm, and suicidal behavior. Addressing this pressing public health concern, the overarching objective of this project is to determine what psychological, environmental and genetic factors contribute to adolescent mental health and behaviors during COVID-19. The goals are to: 1) Examine the short- and long-term effect of COVID-19 on adolescent mental health and behavior; 2) Identify risk and protective factors associated with short- and long-term adolescent mental health problems and harmful behaviors during COVID-19; and 3) Determine the genetic contribution towards mental health problems and harmful behaviors in adolescents following COVID-19. Participants comprise 2,378 adolescents (61% of youth born in Iceland in 2004) in the one-of-a-kind longitudinal population-based LIFECOURSE cohort in which extensive social survey data, including four-waves of survey data collected during the pandemic, are coupled with genotypes and official data from the unique Icelandic health and developmental registries.

Urban Health Activities

School Violence Exposure as an Adverse Childhood Experience: A Nationwide Study of K-12 School Responses to Violence and their Impact on Youth Mental Health and Educational Outcomes (Sonali Rajan, EdD, and Charles Branas, PhD, Co-PIs): The goal of this project is to fill critical gaps in knowledge by collecting cross-sectional survey data from a national sample of students, teachers, and principals from twelve K-12 schools across the U.S. with varying degrees of exposure to school shootings by examining if the strength of the association between exposure to school safety interventions and mental health outcomes in particular varies as a function of the burden of trauma experienced within a school. Results will have specific implications for schools, as they consider the best ways to support the mental health, safety, and learning needs of their school communities.