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Kenneth Beck

Kenneth H. Beck

Professor Emeritus, Behavioral and Community Health

Dr. Beck’s interests include the determinants of threat perception and risk-taking, including alcohol misuse and traffic injury prevention. His research has dealt with adolescents, parents, as well as multiple alcohol offenders.  He conducted the first randomized trial of alcohol ignition interlocks.

His research helped form Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration policy concerning how DUI offenders are reinstated for licensure. He has also investigated the social contexts of drinking among adolescents and young adults and helped define a consistent relationship between a unique set of social and motivational factors (contexts) of drinking and different patterns of alcohol abuse. 


(301) 405-2527

Areas of Interest


He has worked with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Maryland Highway Safety Office to evaluate their current drunk driving prevention campaign entitled “Checkpoint Strikeforce.”  He has also collaborated with the Prevention Research Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development on parent-adolescent health research. 

His research has been funded by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the Maryland Department of Transportation, and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.  He has published widely in health and safety journals and made numerous presentations nationally and internationally.

BS, Psychology, 1972

Pennsylvania State University

MA, Social Psychology, 1975

Syracuse University

PhD, Social Psychology, 1977

Syracuse University

Postdoctoral, Health Behavior, 1979

University of Connecticut Health Science Center 

HLTH106 Drug Use and Abuse

HLTH230 Health Behavior

HLTH371 Communicating Safety and Health

HLTH374 Drugged, Drowsy and Distracted Driving: Traffics Safety Issues for the New Millennium

HLTH710 Methods and Techniques of Research

HLTH688D Advanced Topics in Impaired Driving Research

HLTH775 Health Education Program Planning and Evaluation

Beck-Feldman Research Award, 2011   

AAHB Conference Outstanding Research Poster, 2009    

Maryland Highway Safety Office, Impaired Driving Award, 2005    

Who’s Who in Health Science Education, 2003    

Elected Fellow, the American Academy of Health Behavior, 2000             

Elected Member, the International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety, 1995    

Beck, K.H., Lee, C, & Weiner, T. (2018). Motivational Factors Associated with Drowsy Driving Behavior: A Qualitative Investigation of College Students. Sleep Health, 4, 116 – 121.

Gleason, J.L., & Beck, K.H. (2017). Examining associations between relocation, continuity of care and patient satisfaction in military spouses. Military Medicine, 182, e1657 – e1664.

Beck, K.H. & Watters, S E. (2017). How do significant others influence our driving? A descriptive study of ego-alter dyads in a college population. Traffic Injury Prevention. 18, 381-386. DOI: 10.1080/15389588.2016.1207761.

Liu, A., Soneja,S, Jiang C, Huang, C, Kerns, T., Beck K, Mitchel, C. & Sapkota, A. (2016). Frequency of extreme weather events and increased motor vehicle collision risk in Maryland. Science of the Total Environment.

Brooks, A.T., Krumlauf, M., Fryer, C., Beck, K., H. Yang, L., Ramchandani, V.A., & Wallen, G.R. (2016). Critical transitions: a mixed methods examination of sleep from inpatient alcohol rehabilitation treatment to the community. PLoS ONE. 11(8) e0161725. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0161725.