David E. Conroy

 David Conroy

Professor of Kinesiology and Human Development & Family Studies

Contact Information

268U Recreation Building
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park PA 16802


(fax) 814-865-1275





Ph.D., 2000, Exercise and Sport Science, University of Utah

Research Interests

My research focuses on motivation. In ongoing research, we seek to understand the factors that motivate peoples’ physical activity and sedentary behavior, how that motivation changes over time (naturally as well as in response to interventions), and the consequences of (in)activity for well-being. Our interests in motivation span both controlled (e.g., beliefs, intentions) and automatic processes (e.g., habits, evaluations, goals). Our methods emphasize studying people in the context of their everyday lives and modeling changes in each person’s motivation, behavior, and well-being over time.


  • Motivation for competence and health, with particular emphasis on physical activity and sedentary behavior
  • Daily processes in motivation, health behavior, and quality of life/well-being
  • Behavioral interventions to modify automatic motivational processes and health behavior

Selected Publications

Conroy, D.E. (2017). Ecological momentary assessment methods and the science of behavior change. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, 45, 1-3. doi: 10.1249/JES.0000000000000091

Conroy, D.E., Dubansky, A., Remillard, J., Murray, R., Pellegrini, C.A., Phillips, S.M., & Streeper, N. (2017). Evaluation of behavior change techniques in commercially-available mobile applications to promote fluid consumption in patients with urolithiasis. Urology, 99, 33-37. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2016.09.015

Conroy, D.E., Hedeker, D., McFadden, H.G., Pellegrini, C.A., Pfammatter, A.F., Phillips, S.M., Siddique, J., & Spring, B. (in press). Lifestyle intervention effects on the frequency and duration of daily moderate-vigorous physical activity and leisure screen time. Health Psychology.

Conroy, D.E., Ram, N., Pincus, A.L., Coffman, D.L., Lorek, A.E., Rebar, A.L., & Roche, M.J. (2015). Daily physical activity and alcohol use across the adult lifespan. Health Psychology, 34, 653-660. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/hea0000157. PMCID: PMC4362843.

Conroy, D.E., Wolin, K.Y., & Carnethon, M.R. (2016). Overweight and obesity among Major League Baseball players: 1871-2015. Obesity Research and Clinical Practice, 10, 610-612. doi: 10.1016/j.orcp.2016.09.003 (accompanying op-ed essay in USAToday: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/10/04/baseball-mlb-playoffs-obesity-fat-column/91479384/)

Conroy, D.E., Yang, C.-H., & Maher, J.P. (2014). Behavior change techniques in top-ranked mobile apps for physical activity. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 46, 649-652. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2014.01.010. PMID: 24842742 (Note: Essential Science Indicators/Web of Science recognized this paper as a Highly-Cited Paper because it was in the top 1% of cited social science publications)

Maher, J.P., Sliwinski, M. & Conroy, D.E. (in press). Feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a brief intervention to reduce older adults’ sedentary behavior. Translational Behavioral Medicine. doi:10.1007/s13142-016-0394-8

Strategic Themes

  • Domains of Health and Behavior
  • Contexts and Social Institutions