Academic Work

Before, during, and after her tenures of leadership, Dr. Rodin had a long and impactful academic career.

She first studied psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, working in the research laboratory of Dr. Richard Solomon, and went on to earn her Ph.D. from Columbia University (1971), where she concentrated on experimental social psychology working with Dr. Stanley Schachter.

She taught briefly at New York University before joining the faculty at Yale, where she quickly earned an international reputation for her contributions to the literature on control and self-efficacy, women’s health, and on the interactions between biological, psychological, and social factors that cause obesity and eating disorders. Dr. Rodin’s work significantly advanced our understanding of the aging process, revealing that elderly individuals who have control over their environment are more active, healthier, and live longer than those who don’t—demonstrating the importance of agency and autonomy when it comes to one’s personal health and biological processes. In her two decades at Yale, Dr. Rodin was awarded some 20 grants, totaling nearly $30 million.

From 1983 to 1993, Dr. Rodin chaired a research network that studied health-promoting and health-damaging behavior for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. This groundbreaking network brought together collaborators from around the world, ranging in disciplines from biochemistry to medical anthropology.

Today Dr. Rodin is recognized as a pioneer in both the behavioral medicine and health psychology movements. Her academic legacy includes research and training opportunities for a large number of graduate and postdoctoral students at Yale. In recognition of her scientific achievements, she was asked to serve on President Clinton’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Dr. Rodin was also elected to several leading academic societies, including the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Academy of Medicine, and was awarded both the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology (1977) and the Lifetime Career Achievement Award (2005) by the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Rodin has authored more than 200 academic articles and chapters, and either written or co-written 15 books. Selected articles and chapters on obesity and eating disorders, aging, control and efficacy, and women’s health are listed below:

Obesity and eating disorders
Control and efficacy
Women’s Health


See Dr. Rodin’s curriculum vitae for a full bibliography of her work.