Kenneth D. Ward, PhD

Professor and Director, Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences

201 Robison Hall
Office Hours
By appointment only
Ken Ward

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. 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 holds a National Certificate in Tobacco Treatment Practice. Other interests include behavioral and community approaches to improve chronic conditions such as such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and obesity.

Dr. Ward is a Research Laureate and Fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior and a fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. He was recently a Fulbright Scholar at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and at the University of Memphis 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 promotion

Courses Taught

  • PUBH 7160: Social and Behavioral Science Principles
  • PUBH 7450/8450: Randomized Clinical Trials (syllabus)
  • PUBH 8720: Grant Writing in Health Science
  • PUBH 8901: Doctoral Professional Development Seminar (syllabus)

Recent Publications

(student authors are underlined)

• Asfar, T. Schmidt, M., Kalan, M.E., Wu, W., Ward, K.D., Nakkash, R., Thrasher, J., Eissenberg, T., & Maziak. W. An international Delphi study to reach consensus on a set of potential waterpipe-specific health warning labels. In press, Tobacco Control.
• Kedia, S., Ward, K.D., Collins, A.C., Jackson, B.M., Stewart, F.R., Faris, N., Roark, K.S., & Osarogiagbon, R.U. "All boats will rise": physicians' perspectives on multidisciplinary lung cancer care in a community-based hospital setting. In press, Supportive Care in Cancer.
• Kedia, S., Ward, K.D., Digney, S.A., Jackson, B.M., Rugless, F., Faris, N., Roark, K.S., & Osarogiagbon, R.U. A qualitative assessment of organizational barriers to optimal lung cancer care, In press, Journal of Community and Supportive Oncology.
Alexander, A.C., & Ward, K.D., Forde, D.R., & Stockton, M. (2019). Are posttraumatic stress and depressive symptoms pathways to smoking relapse after a natural disaster? Findings from Hurricane Katrina. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 195, 178-185.
Alexander, A.C., Ward, K.D., Forde, D.R., Stockton, M., & Read, M.C. (2019). Do smokers use more cigarettes and become more dependent on nicotine because of psychological distress after a natural disaster? Addictive Behaviors, 93, 129-134.
• Allen, A.M., Jung, A.M., Lemieux, A., Alexander, A.C., Allen, S.S., Ward, K.D., & Al'Absi, M. Stressful life events are associated with perinatal cigarette smoking. (2019). Preventive Medicine, 118, 264-271.
• Asfar, T., Ben Taleb, Z., Osibogunm O., Ward, K.D., Sallou, R.G., & Maziak, W. (2019). How do waterpipe smoking establishments attract smokers? Implications for policy. Substance Use and Misuse, 54, 560-571.
• Asfar, T., McClure, L.A., Arheart, K.L., Ruano-Herreeria, E.C., Gilford Jr., C.G. Xuan, Y., Moore, K., Caban-Martinez, A.J., Dietz, N.A., Ward, K.D., & Lee, D.J. (2019). Targeting Hispanic/Latino construction workers for worksite smoking cessation intervention: workers' smoking profile and organizational challenges. Health Education & Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1090198119866900, p. 1-11.
• Bahelah, R., Ben Taleb, Z. Jaber, R., DiFranza, J.R., Ward, K.D., Osibogun, O., Eissenberg, T, & Maziak. W. (2019). Determinants of progression of nicotine dependence symptoms in adolescent waterpipe smokers. Tobacco Control, 28, 254-260.
• Bhatnagar, A., Maziak, W., Eissenberg, T., Ward, K.D., Thurston, G., King, B.A., Sutfin, E.L., Cobb, C., Griffiths, M., Goldstein, L.B., & Rezk-Hanna, M. (2019). Waterpipe and cardiovascular disease risk: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 139, e917-e936.
Collins, A.C., Ward, K.D., McClanahan, B.M., Slawson, D.L., Vukadinovich, C.M., Mays, K.E., Wilson, N., & Relyea, G. (2019). Bone accrual in child and adolescent non-elite swimmers: a two-year longitudinal study. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 29, 43-48.
Ward, K.D.. & Chen, W. (In press). Cessation of waterpipe smoking. Chapter in: Handbook of Healthcare in the Arab World, Ishmail Laher, editor. Springer Nature.
Ward, K.D., Kumar, J., Khan, Z., & Jiang, Y. (2019). Characteristics of waterpipe health warning labels in the United States. American Journal of Health Behavior, 43, 858-865.

Full list of publications: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/18eyvrnaKw5km/bibliography/public/