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Elizabeth Cotter Associate Professor Health Studies

Post-Doc, Health Psychology Focus, Virginia Commonwealth University; Ph.D., Counseling Psychology, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee; B.A., Psychology, Michigan State University

Dr. Elizabeth Cotter is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Studies at American University and the Director of the Health, Well-being, and Mindfulness Lab. She is a licensed psychologist with research interests related to: 1) the prevention and treatment of disordered eating; and 2) mindfulness-based approaches to improving health behaviors. She has published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals in the areas of disordered eating and mindfulness. Dr. Cotter is currently examining how parent mindfulness might influence parents' stress, eating and feeding behaviors through a K23 grant awarded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Her research lab is also examining factors associated with disordered eating in young men. In addition, Dr. Cotter is a collaborator on several community-based, chronic disease prevention studies.
See Also
Health, Well-being, and Mindfulness Lab
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.


Spring 2024

  • HLTH-350 Health Research Methods

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications

Essel, K., Fotang, F., Deyton, L., & Cotter, E. W. (2022). Discovering the roots: A qualitative analysis of medical students exploring their unconscious obesity bias. Teaching and Learning in Medicine. doi:10.1080/10401334.2022.2041421

Cotter, E. W., Hawthorne, D. J, Gerker, C., Norman, M. & Fotang, J. (2021). A pilot mindfulness intervention to reduce heavy episodic drinking. Journal of College Counseling, 24, 178-192.

Lydecker, J. A., Cotter, E. W., & Grilo, C. M. (2021). Distinctiveness and significance of body dissatisfaction and overvaluation among Latinx/Hispanic and White men and women. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 54, 354–364. 

Kelly, N. R., Cotter, E. W., Guidinger, C., & Williams, G. (2020). Perceived discrimination, emotion dysregulation and loss of control eating in young men. Eating Behaviors, 37, 101387.

Cotter, E. W., Hornack, S. E., Fotang, J. P., Pettit, E., & Mirza, N. M. (2020). A pilot open-label feasibility trial examining an adjunctive mindfulness intervention for adolescents with obesity. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 6(1), 1-11.

Cotter, E. W. & Jones, N. (2020). A review of mindfulness interventions with Latinx participants. Mindfulness, 11, 529 – 553.

Lydecker, J. A.; Cotter, E. W.; & Grilo, C. M. Associations of Weight Bias with Disordered Eating among Latino and White Men. Obesity.  

Kelly, N. R.; Cotter, E. W.; & Guidinger, C. (2018). Men who engage in both Objective and Subjective Binge Eating Have the Highest Psychological and Medical Comorbidities. Eating Behaviors, 30, 115 - 119.

Cotter, E. W. & Kelly, N. R. (2018). Stress-related eating, mindfulness, and obesity. Health Psychology, 37, 516 - 525. 

Cotter, E. W.; Bera, V.; Elsemore, J.; & Snelling, A. (2018). Vivir Sano: Enhancing community access and skills for healthy eating. American Journal of Health Promotion, 49, 94-104.  

Lydecker, J. A., Cotter, E. W., Palmberg, A. A., Simpson, C., Kwitowski, M., White, K., & Mazzeo, S. E. (In press, accepted March 16, 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.

Cotter, E. W. & Kelly, N. R. (2015). The Binge Eating Scale. Encyclopedia of Eating and Feeding Disorders.

Cotter, E. W., Kelly, N. R., Mitchell, K. S., & Mazzeo, S. E. (2015). An investigation of body appreciation, ethnic identity and eating disorder symptoms in black women. Journal of Black Psychology, 41, 3 – 25.

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.

Kelly, N. R., Cotter, E. W., & Mazzeo, S. E. (2014). Examining the role of distress tolerance and negative urgency in binge eating behavior among women. Eating Behaviors, 15, 483 - 489.

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.

 Lydecker, J. A.; Cotter, E. W.; & Mazzeo, S. E. (2014). Body checking and body image avoidance: Construct validity and norms for college women. Eating Behaviors, 15, 429 - 432.

Jeffers, A. J., Cotter, E. W., Snipes, D. J. & Benotsch, E. G. (2013). BMI and depressive symptoms: The role of media pressures. Eating Behaviors, 14, 13 - 16.

Kelly, N. R.; Cotter, E. W., Mitchell, K. S., & Mazzeo, S. E. (2012). Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q): Norms for African American women. Eating Behaviors, 13, 429 - 432.

Grants and Sponsored Research

Reducing Maternal Stress to Improve Obesity-related Parenting Practices, K23AT011049. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 2020 - 2025, Principal Investigator. 

Faithfully Fit. Multicomponent Obesity Prevention in Targeted Settings Grant. DC Department of Health, 2019, Co-Investigator (PI: Stacey Snelling).

DC Residents’ Perspectives on Facilitators and Barriers to Healthy Eating. Community Insight Grant. Common Threads, 2018 – 2019, Principal Investigator.

Vivir Sano: Enhancing Community Access and Skills for Healthy Eating. Cultivating Healthy Communities Regional Grant. The Aetna Foundation Grant, 2015 – 2016, Principal Investigator.