Paul R. Duberstein, Ph.D.

Paul R. Duberstein, Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box PSYCH
Rochester, NY 14642

Office: (585) 275-6742
Fax: (585) 273-1082

Research Bio

My research aims to improve clinical care by deepening understanding of how each patient's developmental history, personality, beliefs, and attitudes can influence their
• susceptibility to disease
• experience of illness
• willingness to report symptoms
• interactions with clinicians and the healthcare system
• ability to recruit help from family or friends for their health needs

I have addressed these issues in clinical research conducted at the URMC and other academic health centers as well as in secondary analyses of public datasets. The clinical studies have been conducted in an array of health care settings, including primary care and specialty care (psychiatry, oncology, neurology). My current research focuses on the development of customized interventions to overcome barriers to effective communication and decision-making about emotion-laden topics (e.g., end-of-life decisions, cancer treatment decisions, mental health treatment) in medical care. Another area of current interest is the impact of clinician characteristics (e.g., personality, personal experiences) on clinical care and patient outcomes.

In 2009, along with colleagues in the Departments of Public Health Sciences and Family Medicine, I formed the Rochester Health Care Decision Making Group. The mission of the HCDMG is to create knowledge that helps patients, family caregivers, and clinicians make effective decisions about health and health care while minimizing the emotional and cognitive burdens of decision-making.

I have served as Associate Editor (2007-2009; 2013-present) and Interim Editor (2010-2012) of the American Psychological Association's flagship aging journal, Psychology and Aging. At URMC I have served as the Director of the Laboratory of Personality and Development (2000-2012), as well as Co-Director of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide (2002-2008) and the Rochester Center for Mind Body Research (2004-2008). I have worked closely with local physicians, scientists and community partners as well as with a network of national collaborators. I have also collaborated with scientists in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Iceland, Spain, and Sweden, where I have a longstanding affiliation with Göteborg University's Neuroepidemiology Program.

Awards & Honors (National)

American Psychological Foundation Theodore Millon Award for Advancing the Science of Personality Psychology | Division 12 (Clinical) of the American Psychological Association 2005
American Association of Suicidology Shneidman Award for Early Career Contributions to Suicide Research | American Association of Suicidology 2000

Awards & Honors (Local)

Junior Faculty Mentoring Award | University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry 2005

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 197 available »

2015 Mar
Carmichael CL, Reis HT, Duberstein PR. "In your 20s it's quantity, in your 30s it's quality: The prognostic value of social activity across 30 years of adulthood." Psychology and aging. 2015 Mar; 30(1):95-105.
2015 Jan 29
Skoog I, Waern M, Duberstein P, Blennow K, Zetterberg H, Börjesson-Hanson A, Östling S, Guo X, Kern J, Gustafson D, Gudmundsson P, Marlow T, Kern S. "A 9-Year Prospective Population-Based Study on the Association Between the APOE*E4 Allele and Late-Life Depression in Sweden." Biological psychiatry. 2015 Jan 29; Epub 2015 Jan 29.
2015 Jan
Heisel MJ, Talbot NL, King DA, Tu XM, Duberstein PR. "Adapting interpersonal psychotherapy for older adults at risk for suicide." The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. 2015 Jan; 23(1):87-98. Epub 2014 Mar 29.
2014 Oct 21
Johansson L, Guo X, Duberstein PR, Hällström T, Waern M, Ostling S, Skoog I. "Midlife personality and risk of Alzheimer disease and distress: a 38-year follow-up." Neurology. 2014 Oct 21; 83(17):1538-44. Epub 2014 Oct 01.
2014 Oct 1
Dar-Nimrod I, Zuckerman M, Duberstein P. "Smoking at the workplace: Effects of genetic and environmental causal accounts on attitudes towards smoking employees and restrictive policies." New genetics and society. 2014 Oct 1; 33(4):400-412.

Current Appointments

Professor - Department of Psychiatry, Psychology (SMD) - Primary
Professor - Department of Family Medicine (SMD)


PhD | Clinical and Community Psychology | SUNY Buffalo1990
BA | Psychology | Univ of Pennsylvania1982

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry (URSMD), National Research Service Award, Department of Psychiatry 1993