Karlene Cunningham, PhD

Karlene Cunningham PhD

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine
Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University
600 Moye Boulevard, Mail Stop 694
Greenville, NC 27834

Phone: 252-744-1406
Fax: 252-744-2419
Email: cunninghamsam16@ecu.edu

Faculty Rank:
Clinical Assistant Professor
Director of Research
Vice-Chair of Diversity and Inclusion


Aug 2003-
Dec 2006
Bachelor of Arts, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida
Major: Psychology    Minor: Biology
Aug 2008-
Dec 2010
Masters of Science in Clinical Psychology
Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
Major: Clinical Psychology (APA accredited), Adult Track
Aug 2008-
Aug 2014
Doctorate of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology
Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
Major: Clinical Psychology (APA accredited), Adult Track
Jul 2013-
Jun 2014
Clinical Psychology Resident
Brown University Clinical Psychology Training Consortium
Providence, Rhode Island
Track: Behavioral Medicine
Rotations: Weight Management, Sexual Health, Consultation and Liaison, Perinatal Partial Hospital APA accredited
Hospitals:  Miriam, Providence VA, Women & Infants (APA accredited)

Postgraduate Training

Jun 2014-
Sept 2016
Postdoctoral Fellow
Adolescent/Young Adult Biobehavioral HIV T-32
Research Focus: Alcohol and sexual risk behaviors; Meta-analysis
Clinical: Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders
Rhode Island Hospital
Massachusetts General Hospital Workshop on Methods in Supportive Oncology Research. Sponsored by NCI R25 CA181000. Boston MA
Mar 2016-
Brown University Clinical and Community-Based HIV/AIDS Research Training. Sponsored by NIMH R25 MH083620. Providence, RI

Licensure & Credentials

Licensed Psychologist and Health Services Provider, NC
Licensed Psychologist, RI
National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology

Clinical Practice

Inpatient psychological consultations for management of medical conditions (e.g., cancer traumatic injury, surgery); psychological evaluation; individual interventions for sexual and reproductive health issues; cognitive-behavioral interventions for health behavior change, depression, and anxiety.

Teaching and Supervision

  • Lecturer and small group leader, M-1 Behavioral Science Course
  • Lecturer and small group leader, M-2 Basic Psychiatry Course
  • Instructor PGY-2 Research and Critical Appraisal Seminar
  • Instructor PGY-2 Basic Sexual Health Seminar
  • Instructor PGY-3 Advanced sexual Health Seminar
  • Supervisor, PhD Student Health Psychology Practicum
  • Supervisor, Greenville VA Health Care Center Psychology Internship Program

Research Interests

Sexual and reproductive health including sexual risk behaviors among adolescents, sexual dysfunction and role of regret in romantic and sexual decision making. Implementation science, particularly the translation of evidenced-based practices to acute hospital settings.

Selected Publications

Köse, Ö, Hodgson, J., & Cunningham, K. (2020). Sexual Health of Women with Obesity: A Review of the Literature. Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 32(1-2), 97-114.

Ransome, Y., Cunningham, K., Paredes, M., Mena, L., Sutten-Coats, C., Chan, P., Simmons, D., Willie, T. C., & Nunn, A. (2020). Social Capital and Risk of Concurrent Sexual Partners Among African Americans in Jackson, Mississippi. AIDS and Behavior, 24(7), 2062-2072. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-019-02770-8 [doi]

Saeed, S. A., Cunningham, K., & Bloch, R. M. (2019). Depression and Anxiety Disorders: Benefits of Exercise, Yoga, and Meditation. American Family Physician, 99(10), 620-627. https://doi.org/d14129 [pii]

Cunningham, K (2017). Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder. Ferris clinical advisor 2018: 5 books in 1. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.

Cunningham, K., Martinez, D. A., Scott-Sheldon, L. A. J., Carey, K. B., Carey, M. P. & the MASH Research Team (2017). Alcohol use and sexual risk behaviors among adolescents with psychiatric disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse. MASH Research Team: Colletta, A. M.*, Lan, C-W.*, McCauley, B. A., Tan, X.*, Walstrom, P.]

Scott-Sheldon LA, Carey KB, Cunningham K, Johnson BT, Carey MP; MASH Research Team. (2015). Alcohol use predicts sexual decision-making: A systematic review and meta-analysis of the experimental literature. AIDS Behav. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26080689.

Newman, J. L. Everhart, Larsen, J. L., Cunningham, K. B., Burkhart, B. R. (2015) An Examination of the factor structure of the Millon Adolescent Clinical Inventory in a sample of detained adolescent boys. Psychological Assessment-View: APA PsycArticles: Journal Article

Busch, A. M., Scott-Sheldon, L. A., Pierce, J., Chattillion, E. A., Cunningham, K., Buckley, M. L., Mazer, J. M., Blaney, C. L., & Carey, M. P. (2014). Depressed mood predicts pulmonary rehabilitation completion among women, but not men. Respiratory medicine. 108(7), 1007-1013

Cunningham, K., German, N. & Mattson, R.E., (2014). Regretful liaisons: The role of partner regret in the association between sexual and relationship satisfaction. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy. (ahead-of-print), 1-14. doi:10.1080/0092623X.2014.915901

Cunningham, K. & Mattson, R.E., (2012). Here comes the baby carriage, but where goes our sex life? Sexuality and the transition to parenthood. In P.E. Esposito, C.I., Lombardi (eds.) Marriage: Psychological Implications, Social Expectations, and Role of Sexuality (pp. 1-36). Nova Science Publishing Inc.: New York.

Mattson, R. E., & Franco-Watkins, A. & Cunningham, K. (2012). How do I regret thee? Let me count my alternatives: Regret and decision making in intimate relationship. Psychology, 3 (9), 657-665.

Mattson, R. E., O’Farrell, T. J., Lofgreen, A. M., Cunningham, K., & Murphy, C. M. (2011). The role of illicit substance use in a conceptual model of intimate partner violence in men undergoing treatment for alcoholism. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 26 (2), 255-264. doi:10.1037/a0025030

Thomas, A. L., Cunningham, K., & Donnell, J.A. (2011). Differential efficacy of standard inpatient treatment between Mormon and non-Mormon patients. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 14 (9), 935-943.