Jessica Berntson

LD 112

I am a fifth year Ph.D. student in the Clinical Psychology program, emphasizing in Health Psychology. I completed my Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology with Honors at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Research Area(s): 
Research Interests: 

I have begun to develop a program of transdisciplinary research investigating emotional risk factors (e.g., depressive and anxiety disorders) of cardiometabolic conditions. Some key questions I have begun to investigate include: (a) How do emotional factors co-occur (e.g., comorbidity), overlap (e.g., similar symptoms), and ultimately, work together to influence cardiometabolic states? (b) How do these relationships differ across various patient populations? and (c) What biobehavioral mechanisms account for these emotional factor-cardiometabolic relationships? Through this research I aim to specify which components of emotional factors elevate cardiometabolic risk and to identify subgroups in greatest need of tailored primary prevention efforts. To clinically apply this research program, I aim to develop and test interventions that effectively target emotional risk factors in order to prevent the onset of cardiometabolic diseases in populations at increased risk. 

Graduate Scholarships and Awards:

  • American Psychosomatic Society Young Scholar Award, 2016 ($500)
  • IUPUI Education Enhancement Grant, 2015 ($500)
  • IUPUI Department of Psychology Travel Award, 2015 ($650)
  • IUPUI Department of Psychology Travel Award, 2014 ($750)
  • IUPUI Educational Enhancement Grant, 2013 ($500)
  • IUPUI School of Science Graduate Student Council Travel Award, 2013 ($600)
  • CIHR Masters Award: Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships 2012-2013 Academic Year ($17,500 - Declined to attend graduate program outside Canada)

Selected Manuscripts:

Berntson, J., Stewart, K. R., Vrany, E.A., Khambaty, T., & Stewart, J. C. (2015). Depressive Symptoms and Self-Reported Adherence to Medical Recommendations to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease: NHANES 2005-2010. Social Science and Medicine. 138, 74-81.

Selected Conference Presentations:

Berntson, J., Vrany, E.A., Patel, J.S., Hsueh, L., & Stewart, J.C. (2016, March). Anxiety Disorders and Stressful Life Events are Stronger Predictors of Incident CVD at Younger versus Older Adult Ages: Data from the NESARC Study. Paper to be presented at the 74rd Annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society, Denver, CO.

Berntson, J., Miller, D.K., Carney, R.M, de las Fuentes, L., Dávila-Román, V.G., & Stewart, J. C. (2015, March). Anxiety Symptom Severity Moderates the Relationship between Stressful Life Events and Carotid Intima-Media Thickness: Data from the St. Louis African American Health-Heart Study. Paper presented at the 73rd Annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society, Savanna, GA. 

Berntson, J., & Stewart, J. C. (2014, March). Number of Stressful Life Events is a Stronger Predictor of Incident Cardiovascular Disease among Adults with versus without a Lifetime Depressive Disorder: National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). Paper presented at the 72nd Annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society, San Francisco, CA. 

Berntson, J., Stewart, K.R., Vrany, E.A., Khambaty, T., & Stewart, J.C. (2013, March). Depressive symptoms are associated with poor adherence to some lifestyle but not medication recommendations to prevent cardiovascular disease: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005-2010. Poster presented at the 71st Annual Meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society, Miami, FL.

Professional Memberships:

American Psychosomatic Society, 2012-Present

Faculty Advisor: