Robert DeVellis, PhD

Professor Emeritus
Department of Health Behavior


Bob DeVellis is a social/health psychologist whose general interests center on how social variables and individual differences influence health behavior and adaptation to illness. His research interests include the role of interpersonal skills in social support and cognitive/emotional factors in adjustment to chronic illness, specifically arthritis. He is also interested in the development of scales to measure health-related variables. Dr. DeVellis retired from full-time work with the Department of Health Behavior in 2012, but has remained active; the fourth edition of his highly-cited text, "Scale Development: Theory and Applications," is in press and will be published by Sage in 2017.

Research Activities

Arthritis management, health behavior change, health communication, social support for chronic disease management

Key Publications

Gist and verbatim communication concerning medication risks/benefits. Blalock SJ, DeVellis RF, Chewning B, Sleath BL, Reyna VF (2016). Patient Education and Counseling, 99(6), 988-994.

The relationship between peer support, medication adherence, and quality of life among patients with vasculitis. Alexander DS, Hogan SL, Jordan JM, DeVellis RF, Carpenter DM. (2015). Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, 33(2 (Suppl 89)), S-185-86.

The impact of co-morbidity on health-related quality of life in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis patients. Geryk LL, Carpenter DM, Blalock SJ, DeVellis RF, Jordan JM.  (2015). Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, 33(3), 366-374.

Automated Internet-based pain coping skills training to manage osteoarthritis pain: a randomized controlled trial. Rini C, Porter LS, Somers TJ, McKee DC, DeVellis RF, Smith M, Winkel G, Ahern DK, Goldman R, Stiller JL, Mariani C, Patterson C, Jordan JM, Caldwell DS, Keefe FJ. Pain. (2015).


  • PhD, Social Psychology, George Peabody College, 1977
  • MA, Clinical Psychological Research, Connecticut College, 1973