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Morris Okun

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Research Interests: 

Research Interests

My research interests involve applications of social psychological theories and concepts to several domains including volunteering, performance and persistence in college, and health and well-being.

Research projects with current and former graduate students.

  • Barbara Huff Socio-emotional classroom climate and institutional commitment among freshmen.
  • John Pugliese The influence of parental versus peer social control on exercise behavior.
  • Kathryn Johnson Beliefs about God and secular Volunteering.
  • Julia Steinberg Stereotype threat, Math identity and test performance of woman persisting in math-related fields.
Publications: 
  • *Finan, P., Okun, M. A., Kruszewski, D., Davis, M., Zautra, A., & Tennen, H. The interplay of positive and negative interpersonal events in the prediction of daily negative affect and fatigue for rheumatoid arthritis patients. Health Psychology (2010).
  • Davis, M. C., Okun, M. A., Kruszewski, D., Zautra, A. J., & Tennen, H. Sex differences in the relations of positive and negative daily events and fatigue in adults with rheumatoid arthritis. Journal of Pain (2010).
  • Johnson, K. A., Okun, M. A., Benallie, M., & Pennak, S. American Indian students’ difficulties in Introduction to Psychology. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education (2010).
  • Okun, M. A., August, K. J., Rook, K. S., & Newsom, J. T. Does volunteering moderate the relation between functional limitations and mortality?. Social Science & Medicine (2010).
  • Morris Okun, Paul Karoly, Jessi Martin, Annja Benshoff. Distinguishing between exogenous and endogenous intent-to-transfer students. Journal of College Student Retention: Theory, Research, and Practice (2009).
  • Okun, M. A., *Goegan, B., & *Mitric, N. (2009). Quality of alternatives, institutional preference, and institutional commitment among first-year college students. Educational Psychology (2009).
  • Okun, M. A., Levy, R., Karoly, P., & Ruehlman, L. S. Dispositional happiness and college students GPA: Unpacking a null relation. Journal of Research in Personality (2009).
  • *Huff, B. P., Okun, M. A., *Kemper, J., & *Gruber, E. Support of basic psychological needs in classrooms: Relationship to first-year college persistence. American Educational Research Association (2009).
  • *Johnson, K. A., Okun, M. A., & Pennak, S. Archival predictors of American Indian Students' Psychology 101 Grades. Association for Psychological Science (2009).
  • Okun, M. A., August, K. Rook, K. S., & Newsome, J. T. Hours volunteered as a moderator of the relation between functional limitations and mortality among older adults. Association of Psychological Science (2009).
  • Paul Karoly, Morris Okun, L Ruehlman, J Pugliese. The impact of goal cognition and pain severity on disability and depression in adults with chronic pain: An examination of direct paths and mediated effects via pain-induced fear. Cognitive Therapy and Research (2008).
  • Rafer Lutz, Paul Karoly, Morris Okun. The why and the how of goal pursuit: Self-determination, goal process cognition, and particiation in physical exercise. Psychology of Sport and Exercise (2008).
  • Okun, Morris A, Reich, John. Control. Encylopedia on health and aging (2007).
  • Morris Okun, B Huff, K August, K Rook. The effects of social control on affect and health behavior in dating relationships. Basic and Applied Social Psychology (2007).
  • Morris Okun, J Pugliese, K Rook. Unpacking the relation between extraversion and volunteering in later life. Personality and Individual Differences (2007).
  • Morris Okun, P Karoly. Perceived goal ownership, regulatory goal cognition, and health behavior change. American Journal of Health Behavior (2007).
  • Morris Okun, C Fairholme, P Karoly, L Ruehlman, C Newton. Academic goals, goal process cognition, and exam performance among college students. Learning and Individual Differences (2006).
  • Morris Okun, J Dittenburner, B Huff. Perceived changes in well-being: The role of chronological age, target age, and type of measure. International Journal of Aging & Human Development (2006).
  • Morris Okun, J Michel. Sense of community and being a volunteer among the young-old. Journal of Applied Gerontology (2006).
  • G Carlo, Morris Okun, G Knight, M de Guzman. The interplay of traits and motives on volunteering: Agreeableness, extraversion, and prosocial value motivation. Personality and Individual Differences (2005).
  • Paul Karoly, Linda Ruehlman, Morris Okun, Rafer Lutz, Craig Newton, Chris Fairholme. Perceived self-regulation of exercise goals and interfering goals among regular and irregular exercisers: A life space analysis. Psychology of Sport and Exercise (2005).
  • J Weiss, Morris Okun, N Quay. Predicting bicycle helmet stage-of-change among middle school, high school, and college cyclists from demographic, cognitive, and motivational variables. The Journal of Pediatrics (2004).
  • Morris Okun, A Schultz. Age and motives for volunteering: A test of hypotheses derived from socioemotional selectivity theory. Psychology and Aging (2003).
  • Morris Okun, C Lockwood. Does level of assessment moderate the relation between social support and social negativity?: A meta-analysis. Basic and Applied Social Psychology (2003).
  • Morris Okun, L Ruehlman, P Karoly, R Lutz, C Fairholme, R Schuab. Social support and social norms: Do both contribute to predicting leisure-time exercise?. American Journal of Health Behavior (2003).
  • Khalil, S L, Okun, Morris A. Subjective well-being. Encyclopedia of aging (2002).
  • Barry Leshowitz, K DiCerbo, Morris Okun. Effects of Instruction in Methodological Reasoning on Information Evaluation. Teaching of Psychology (2002).
  • L Allison, Morris Okun, K Dutridge. Assessing volunteer motives: A comparison of an open-ended probe and Likert rating scales. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology (2002).
  • Morris Okun, E Sloane. Application of planned behavior theory to predicting volunteer enrollment by college students at a campus-based program. Social Behavior and Personality (2002).
  • Morris Okun, P Karoly, R Lutz. Clarifying the contribution of subjectivenorm to predicting leisure time exercise. American Journal of Health Behavior (2002).
  • Okun, Morris A. Subjective well-being. Encyclopedia of aging (2001).
  • Morris Okun, G Rice. The effects of personal relevance of topic and information type on older adults= accurate recall of written medical passages about osteoarthritis. Journal of Aging and Health (2001).
  • Morris Okun, J Finch, W Kasje. Does age moderate the relation between social negativity and psychological distress?: A meta-analytic investigation. Journal of Clinical Geropsychology (2000).
  • Morris Okun, S Shepard, N Eisenberg. The relations of emotionality and regulation to dispositional empathy-related responding among volunteers-in-training. Personality and Individual Differences (2000).
  • John Pugliese and Morris Okun. Moderated mediation of exercise-related social control: Parents versus peers. Paper presented as part of an APA symposium on Health-Related Social Control: Models, Measures, and Targets (0).
  • Morris A. Okun and Kristin. August (symposium organizers). Health-Related Social Control: Models, Measures, and Targets. American Psychological Association (0).
Research Activity: 
Presentations: 
  • Gitelson, R, Pugliese, J, Okun, Morris. Cohort Differences in Onset of Sports Participation across the Life Span. Gerontological Society of American (Nov 2006).
  • Okun, Morris. Unpacking the relation between extraversion and volunteering by older adults: A multivariate mediational model. Real World Helping and Social Action (Jun 2006).
Service: 
  • Psi Chi, faculty advisor (2010 - Present)
  • Department Colloquia, Coordinator (2010 - Present)
  • Department newsletter, Editor (2010 - Present)
  • Lecture/Instructor Evaluation Committee, Evaluate lecturers and instructors (2009 - Present)
  • Committee for the Responsible Conduct in Research Planning, Member (2009 - Present)
  • Work Study Hire for Web-Site Development, Committee member (2009 - Present)
  • Associate Chair, Assist the Department Chair (2008 - Present)
  • Associate Chair, Assist the Department Chair (2008 - Present)
  • Department of Psychology, Associate Chair (2008 - Present)
  • Undergraduate Awards, Member (2007 - Present)
  • Planning Committee, Member (2004 - Present)
  • Planning Committee, Member (2004 - Present)
  • Planning Committee, Member (2004 - Present)
  • Tenure review of department faculty member, Member (2004 - Present)
  • Tenure review of department faculty member, Member (2004 - Present)
  • Tenure review of department faculty member, Member (2004 - Present)
  • Undergraduate Studies, Director (2004 - Present)
  • third year review of department faculty member, Member (2004 - Present)
  • third year review of department faculty member, Member (2004 - Present)
  • International Journal of Aging and Human Development, Editorial Board Member (2000 - Present)
  • International Journal of Aging and Human Development, Editorial (2000 - Present)
  • International Journal of Aging and Human Development, Editorial Board (2000 - Present)
  • review of associate professor going up for promotion to full professor, Member (2010 - 2010)
  • Final Revisions of Faculty Evaluation Guidelines, Chair (2010 - 2010)
  • Revision of Department Guidelines for Research Participation in PGS 101, Chair (2010 - 2010)
  • Brain Fair, Faculty participant (2010 - 2010)
  • Academic Program Report, Liason to external visitors (2010 - 2010)
  • Department Displaced Faculty Committee, Member (2010 - 2010)
  • University Responsible Conduct of Research Committee, Faculty advisor (2009 - 2009)
  • Interfaith Community Services, Workshop Facilitator (2009 - 2009)
  • Department Self-Study Committee, Member (2007 - 2009)
  • Sabbatical Review Committee, Member (2003 - 2009)
  • Interfaith Community Care, Workshop Presentor (2008 - 2008)
  • Department Self-Study Committee, Member (2007 - 2008)
  • Sub-Committee on P&T, Member (2007 - 2007)
  • St. Lukes Health Initiative, Committee Chair (Resources and Resilience) (2006 - 2007)
  • Search for Lecturers, Committee member (2004 - 2007)
  • Gerontology Program, Member of advisory committee (2006 - 2007)
  • Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure, Member (2006 - 2007)
  • Task Force on University Retention, Conduct research to help the Task Force identify strategies for enhancing the retention rate (2005 - 2006)
  • Search for Director of Academic Articulation, Committee member (2004 - 2005)
  • Awards Committee, Member (2003 - 2004)
  • Appeal by Department faculty member of faculty evaluation ratings, Chair (2004)
  • Executive Committee, Member (2004)
  • Fourth year review of department faculty member, Chair (2004)
  • Dean's Circle Award, Co-Chair (2004 - 2004)
  • Dean's Circle Award, Committee member (2004 - 2004)
  • Search for Behavioral Neuroscience faculty member, Committee member (2003 - 2004)
  • Graduate Studies, Acting Director (2003)
  • President's Community Enrichment Program, Presenter (2003)
  • Space Committee, Member (2003)
  • CLAS, College Senator (1999 - 2000)
  • Member Committee on Committees, Faculty Senate (1999 - 2000)