Professor of Psychology in Nursing; Professor of Psychology, Peabody College; Professor of Psychology, College of Arts and Science
Wallston is one of the developers of the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control (MHLC) Scales, a set of measures assessing beliefs about control over a person's health status (http://www.vanderbilt.edu/nursing/kwallston/mhlcscales.htm). With colleagues in psychology and nursing, he also has developed and validated a number of other measures of individual differences -- e.g., the Perceived Health Competence Scale, the Vanderbilt Multidimensional Pain Coping Inventory, the Perceived Vulnerability Scale, and the Brief Resilient Coping Scale. All of these measures are in the public domain and are available at no cost to health researchers by contacting Wallston. His latest instruments include the Cognitive Adaptability Index and the Perceived Medical Condition Self-Management Scales. In the early 1980s, Wallston began studying adjustment to rheumatoid arthritis. Wallston's current research revolve around examining the psychological, behavioral, and physiological effects of having individuals disclose their thoughts and feelings in writing about particularly stressful or traumatic events that they have experienced. Subject populations include patients with HIV/AIDS or diabetes and cigarette smokers. He also is involved as a co-investigator in two other diabetes studies, one examining diabetes numeracy, another looking at ways of using the Internet to educate adolescents with type 1 diabetes. In addition, he is investigating the effects of public service messages on individuals' attitudes toward air pollution and their driving behaviors.