Ken Ward

Kenneth D. Ward, PhD

Professor and Director, Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences

201 Robison Hall
Office Hours
By appointment only

About Kenneth D. Ward

Kenneth D. Ward, PhD is Professor and Director of the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences. He also serves as Adjunct Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, and Intervention Director of the Syrian Center for Tobacco Studies. Trained as a clinical health psychologist, Dr. Ward's research focuses on community-, healthcare system-, and population-level approaches to reduce the burden of tobacco use. He is especially interested in improving methods to help smokers quit and is a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist. Other interests include behavioral and community approaches to improve chronic conditions such as such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and obesity.

Dr. Ward is a fellow of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, American Academy of Health Behavior, and the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and was recently a Fulbright Scholar at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. At the University of Memphis, he is the recipient of the Faudree Professorship and the Willard R. Sparks Eminent Faculty Award.

Current research projects include: (1) Epidemiology, prevention, and treatment of waterpipe ("hookah") and cigarette smoking in the U.S. and Middle East; (2) improving delivery of lung cancer treatment services, including smoking cessation (with Baptist Cancer Center); (3) effects of stress and tobacco use on birth outcomes; (4) use of tobacco and other substances in the aftermath of a disaster; and (5) mHealth interventions to improve children's health.


• Residency, Clinical Psychology Residency Training Consortium, University of Mississippi Medical Center/GV "Sonny" Montgomery Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Jackson, MS
• PhD, Clinical Psychology, University of Memphis
• MS, Clinical Psychology, University of Memphis
• AB, Psychology, Brown University

 Research Interests

 • Tobacco use epidemiology and intervention
• Behavioral and community-based prevention of chronic disease
• Global health

Courses Taught

• PUBH 7130/8130: Social Determinants of Health (syllabus)
• PUBH 7161/8161: Health Behavior Theories (syllabus)
• PUBH 7343/8343: Tobacco Use: Causes, Consequences and Control
• PUBH 7450/8450: Randomized Clinical Trials (syllabus)
• PUBH 8901: Doctoral Professional Development Seminar (syllabus

Recent Publications

* indicates a student author

(1) Ahn, S., Lee, J., Carson, L., Bartlett-Prescott, J., Post, L.*, & Ward, K.D. Evaluation of a behavioral intervention with multiple components among low-income and uninsured adults with obesity and diabetes. In press, American Journal of Health Promotion.

(2) Alexander, A.C.*, Ali, J.*, McDevitt-Murphy, M.E., Forde, D.R., Stockton, M., Read, M., & Ward, K.D. (2017). Racial differences in posttraumatic stress disorder vulnerability following Hurricane Katrina among a sample of adult smokers from New Orleans. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, 4, 94-103.

(3) Alexander, A.C.*, Obong'o, C.O.*, Chavan, P.*, Vander Weg, M.W., & Ward, K.D. Applying the Problem Behavior Theory to childhood drug use: findings from a cross-sectional sample of young boys participating in a community-based youth organization. In Press, Substance Use and Misuse.

(4) Ali, J.,* Farrell, A.S.*, Alexander, A.*, Forde, D.R., Stockton, M., Ward, K.D. (2017). Race differences in depression vulnerability following Hurricane Katrina. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 9, 317-324.

(5) Bahelah, R., DiFranza, J.R., Ward, K.D., Fouad, F.M., Eissenberg, T., Taleb, Z.B., Jaber, R., & Maziak, W. (2017). Waterpipe smoking patterns and symptoms of nicotine dependence: The Waterpipe Dependence in Lebanese Youth Study. (2017). Addictive Behaviors, 74, 127-133.

(6) Ben Taleb, Z.*, Ward, K.D., Asfar, T., Auf, R., Jaber, R., McKelvey, K., Bahelah, R., & Maziak, W. (2017). Smoking cessation and changes in body mass index: findings from the first randomized cessation trial in a low-income country setting. Nicotine & Tobacco Research 19, 351-356.

(7) Collins, A.C.*, Ward, K.D., McClanahan, B.M., Slawson, D.L., Vukadinovich, C.M., Mays, K.E.*, Wilson, N., & Relyea, G. Bone accrual in child and adolescent non-elite swimmers: a two-year longitudinal study. In press, Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine.

(8) Kheirallah, K.A., Alzyoud, S., Veeranki, S.P., Khader, Y., & Ward, K.D. Collision of youth waterpipe use and cigarette smoking epidemics in the Arab nations. In press, Journal of Substance Use.

(9) Maziak, W., Jawad, M., Afifi, R., Nakkash, R., Akl, E., Ward, K.D., Salloum, R.G., Barnett, T.E., Primack B.A., Eissenberg, T., & Ben Taleb, Z. (2017). Consensus statement on waterpipe assessment in epidemiological studies. Tobacco Control, 26, 338-343.


Full list of publications: