Elizabeth Cotter

Elizabeth Cotter

Elizabeth Cotter

Assistant Professor

Dr. Cotter is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Studies at American University. She is a licensed psychologist with clinical and research interests broadly related to 1) the prevention of eating and weight-related concerns and 2) mindfulness-based approaches to improving health.

Her most recent project focused on the development and evaluation of a community-based obesity prevention program called Vivir Sano. This study examined the efficacy of a culturally-relevant program including nutrition education, parental stress management, and community gardening components on the health behaviors and diet of families living in affordable housing communities.

Dr. Cotter earned her PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and received her BA in Psychology from Michigan State University.

Recent Book Chapters:
Cotter, E. W. & Kelly, N. R. (2015). The Binge Eating Scale. In T. Wade (Ed.). Encyclopedia of Eating and Feeding Disorders. Springer.

Lydecker, J. A., Cotter, E. W., Kelly, N. R., Gow, R. W., & Mazzeo, S. E. (2013). Preventing childhood obesity. In L. H. Choate (Ed.). Eating Disorders and Obesity: A Counselors Guide to Prevention and Treatment. Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association Press.

Recent Publications:
Cotter, E. W.; Bera, V.; Elsemore, J.; & Snelling, A. (In press, accepted October 3, 2017). Vivir Sano: Examining the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of a community-based obesity prevention program. American Journal of Health Education. 

Cotter, E. W., Teixeira, C., Bontrager, A., Horton, K., & Soriano, D. (2017). Low-income adults' perceptions of farmers' markets and community supported agriculture programs. Public Health Nutrition, 20, 1452 – 1460. 

Lydecker, J. A., Cotter, E. W., Palmberg, A. A., Simpson, C., Kwitowski, M., White, K., & Mazzeo, S. E. (2016). Does this Tweet make me look fat? A content analysis of fat stigma on Twitter. Eating and Weight Disorders - Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity, 21, 229 – 235.

Cotter, E. W., Hamilton, N., Kelly, N. R., Harney, M. B., Greene, L., White, K. & Mazzeo, S. E. (2016). A qualitative examination of health barriers and facilitators among African American mothers in a subsidized housing community. Health Promotion Practice, 17, 682 - 692.

Kelly, N. R., Cotter, E. W., Tanofsky-Kraff, M., & Mazzeo, S. E. (2015). Racial variations in binge eating, body image concerns, and excessive exercise among men. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 16, 326 - 336

Mazzeo, S.E., Kelly, N. R., Stern, M., Gow, R. W., Cotter, E. W., Thornton, L. M., Evans, R. K., & Bulik, C. M. (2014). Parent skills training to enhance weight loss in overweight children: Evaluation of NOURISH. Eating Behaviors, 15, 225 - 229.


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