Lynn M. Tepper, EdD

  • Clinical Professor of Behavioral Sciences (in Dentistry and in Sociomedical Sciences)
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Dr. Tepper is Clinical Professor of Behavioral Science at both Columbia's College of Dental Medicine and the School of Public Health, and Director of the Behavioral Science Department at CDM. She has published extensively in the areas of minority health issues, tobacco cessation interventions and outcomes, long term care, and family relationships in later life. Dr. Tepper has been awarded research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Aging, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, the National Cancer Institute, the Arthur Ashe Foundation, the Samuels Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education, supporting projects which focus on health promotion and disease prevention in later life, tobacco cessation interventions, and service learning in the health professions.

Important products of Dr. Tepper's research have been the development of multidisciplinary health behavior assessment instruments, in both English and Spanish, for people with behavioral concerns related to the maintenance of health and the prevention of disease, as well as the testing of interventional protocols which have been proven successful with older patients. Her most current research activities focus on fear and anxiety in medical and dental environments, and their effects on quality of life.

Dr. Tepper has authored three textbooks: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Aging (2006), Respite Care: Programs, Problems, and Solutions (1994), and Long Term Care: Management, Scope and Practical Issues (1994), as well as 30+ articles and chapters in professional journals and textbooks concerning health promotion and disease prevention in later life. Dr. Tepper is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, and was a delegate to the last White House Conference on Aging.

Academic Appointments

  • Clinical Professor of Behavioral Sciences (in Dentistry and in Sociomedical Sciences)

Administrative Titles

  • Director, Behavioral Science Department


  • Female

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • MA, Psychology, Wayne State University
  • MS, Developmental Psychology, Columbia University
  • BS, Education/Psychology, SUNY - Buffalo
  • EdD, 1979 Gerontology, Columbia University
  • PhD, 1980 Developmenetal Psychology, Columbia University

Committees, Societies, Councils

Editorial Boards: Journal of Gerontology, Journal of Dental Education,, International Journal of Behavior and Health

Honor Societies: Psi Chi (Psychology), Sigma Phi Omega (Gerontology), Pi Gamma Mu (Social Science). Sigma Xi (Research), Omicron Kappa (Dentistry)

Committees: Diversity Affairs Committee, Sexual Misconduct Panel, Admissions Committee

Memberships: Gerontological Society of America, American Psychological Association, Aging in America (Board of Directors), Kendall Life Care (Board of Directors)

Editorial Boards

Editoral Board, Journal of Thanatology

Editorial Board, Journal of Gerontology

Editoral Board, Journal of Dental Education

Honors & Awards

Fellow, Gerontological Society of America

Whos Who in Gerontology (1988-present)

Whos Who in America (2000-present)

Fellow, Brookdale Center on Aging, Columbia University

Delegate, White House Conference on Aging, 1980, 1990, 2000

Heft Scholar, Teachers College, Columbia University (1976-1980)


Recruitment of minorities into geriatrics research, efficacy of tobacco intervention on people over 60 years of age, development of learning-on-line course in health psychology/health promotion.

Research Interests

  • Aging
  • Chronic disease
  • Community Health
  • Public Health Education
  • Substance Use

Selected Publications

Tepper L, Cassidy T Perspectives on Aging Springer Publishing Co New York 2004

Tepper L, Toner J Respite Care Charles Press Philadelphia, PA 1993

Tepper L, Toner J Long Term Care Charles Press Phhiladelphia, PA 1993

Tepper L, Seidman D, Albert D Serving the Underserved and Hard-core Smokers Journal of Dental Education 66 443-439 2002

Tepper L Older Americans: Paying Attention to Oral Health Journal of City Health 20 7-9 2001

Global Health Activities

Lifelong Health and Aging: The collaboration between US and United Kingdom educators and researchers on lifelong health and aging, with an emphasis on addressing the mental health issues of older adults, based on longitudinal research in both the US and the UK.

European Conferences on Developmental Psychology: European and American developmental psychologists collaborating on developmental research on children, adults, and the elderly. Dr. Tepper's focus is on "Indicators of Mental Health in Later Life."

Urban Health Activities

Medical and Dental Fear and Anxiety Project: Dr. Tepper is examining the origins, diagnosis, and treatment of anxiety related to medical and dental treatment. She heads up a multidisciplinary team of faculty and students investigating this major barrier to health promotion and disease prevention, specifically within the NYC Hispanic Population. health

Tobacco Cessation Program: Dr. Tepper is a clinician and the director of research for the Tobacco Cessation Clinical Program, Columbia University Medical Center, which specializes in tobacco cessation intervention for adults and the elderly. She also provides training for students, faculty, and practitioners regarding the delivery of tobacco cessation interventions for their patients who use tobacco products.

Colorectal Health Attitudes, Knowledge and Behaviors: Colorectal cancer incidences and mortality rates are the highest among older African Americans. Dr. Tepper is currently heading-up a research team that seeks to identify the barriers to colorectal cancer screening among African-Americans residing in Brooklyn, New York. Future plans include the development of a curriculum guide for training a naturally-occuring resource for social support (hairstylists) to deliver colorectal health promotion information to their customers, thereby increasing screening rates and decreasing mortality.