Laura Anderson, PhD

Assistant Professor

Laura Anderson.

School of Nursing
University at Buffalo
205 Wende Hall
Buffalo, NY 14214-8013

Laura Anderson is a licensed psychologist who earned a PhD in counseling and school psychology at the University at Buffalo in 2006, followed by a pediatric postdoctoral residency in the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.

Anderson currently directs the PULSE Healthy Weight Research Team, a multidisciplinary team focusing on the promotion of healthy weight in at-risk populations. Current research projects focus on (a) removing barriers that prevent parents from participating in health promotion programs, and (b) emphasizing mental health and de-emphasizing dieting in healthy weight promotion. Anderson also maintains a part-time private practice, specializing in pediatric overweight, anxiety/trauma and behavioral disorders.

PULSE Healthy Weight Research Team

The Promoting Universal Longevity via School-family Ecologies (PULSE) Team's objective is the promotion of healthy weight and behavioral health among individuals who may be overweight, obese and/or at-risk for lifestyle-related disease.

Research Foci

Clinical studies of obese and bariatric surgery patients (adolescents & adults) via multi-disciplinary behavioral medicine: 

  • Developing dynamic and customizable, multi-component interventions based in self-determination theory
    • Distance and telehealth technologies as tools to facilitate intervention implementation
  • Understanding neurobiological underpinnings influencing long-term, post-operative weight change (and informing interventions with results)
  • Utilizing a combination of big data/empirical evidence and clinical/community-based evidence to inform intervention packages (i.e., for lifelong weight maintenance)
  • Using a strengths-based approach to promote lifelong mental and physical health in post-operative bariatric surgery patients

Community Members (Ex Officio)

  • Gary Steeves (Pastor, Resurrection Village Ministry)
  • Sue Ventresca (Director of Health-Related Services, Buffalo Public Schools)
  • Melinda Yoder (Team dietician - Registered Dietician, Balanced Nutrition WNY)


  • Abby Fain 
  • Lindsay Boyle 
  • Caitlin Batjer
  • Gabrielle Santander
  • Francesca Dominianni
  • Ariana Roman
  • Gabrielle Vargas
  • Tom Chacko

For more information on how your school or agency may be able to collaborate with and/or support the PULSE Research Team, please contact Laura Anderson at or 716-829-3461.


  • PhD, Counseling & School Psychology, University at Buffalo (SUNY)
  • BA, Spanish & Psychology, College at Geneseo (SUNY)

Areas of Research

  • Multi-component interventions for lifelong weight management
  • Reward and addiction in bariatric surgery
  • Distance technology delivery of biopsychosocial obesity interventions

Professional Activities

Teaching Responsibilities

  • NUR 295 Undergraduate statistics
  • NUR 562 Theoretical Foundations & Perspectives: Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
  • Independent Study (Research/Teaching Guidance)

Recent Publications

Cook-Cottone, C. P., Anderson, L. M., & Kane, L. (2019). Elements of counseling children and adolescents, (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer.

Anderson, L. M., & Chacko, T. P. (2018). Bariatric outcomes: Self-management for sustained surgical success: A multicomponent treatment for dysregulated overeating in bariatric surgery patients. Journal of Addictions Nursing, 29(1), 32-42. doi:10.1097/JAN.0000000000000210

Anderson, L. M., Lowry, L. S., & Wuensch, K.L. (2016). Racial differences in adolescents’ answering questions about suicide. Death Studies, 39, 600-604. doi:10.1080/07481187.2015.1047058

Cook-Cottone, C. P., Serwacki, M., Guyker, W., Sodano, S., Nickerson, A., Keddie-Olka, E., & Anderson, L. (2016). The role of anxiety on the experience of peer victimization and eating disorder risk. School Mental Health, 8(3)Advance online publication. doi:10.1007/s12310-016-9178-z

Wang, Y., Min, J., Harris, K., Khuri, J., & Anderson, L. (2016). A systematic examination of food intake and adaptation to the food environment by refugees settled in the United States. Advances in Nutrition, 7(6), 1066-1079. doi:10.3945/an.115.011452

Anderson, L. M., Lowry, L. S., & Wuensch, K. L. (2015). Racial differences in adolescents’ answering questions about suicide. Death Studies, 39(10), 600-604. doi:10.1080/07481187.2015.1047058

Ling, J., Anderson, L. M., & Ji, H. (2015). Self-management training for Chinese obese children at risk for metabolic syndrome: Effectiveness and implications for school health. School Psychology International, 36(2), 189-206. doi:10.1177/0143034314564613   

Anderson, L. M., Hayden, B. M., & Tomasula, J. L. (2014). Sexual assault, overweight, and suicide attempts in U.S. adolescents. Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior. Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/sltb.12148

Anderson, L. M., Symoniak, E. M., & Epstein, L. H. (2014). A randomized pilot trial of an integrated school-worksite weight control program. Health Psychology, 33, 1421-1425. doi:10.1037/hea0000007

Cook-Cottone, C. P., Kane, L., & Anderson, L. M. (2014). Elements of counseling children and adolescents. New York, NY: Springer.

Anderson, L. M., & Lowry, L. S. (2013). Suicide risk, ethnicity, and validity: Adolescent self-reports on the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey (YRBSS). Manuscript submitted for publication.

Anderson, L. M., Symoniak, E. M., & Epstein, L. H. (2013). A randomized pilot trial of an integrated school-worksite weight control program.  Health Psychology.  Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/hea0000007

Anderson, L. M., Moore, J. B., Hayden, B. M., & Becker, C. (2013). Test-retest reliability of the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS). Health Education Journal. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0017896912471030.

Anderson, L.M., Aycock, K., Mihalic, C., Kozlowski, D., & Detschner, A. (2013). Geographic patterns of physical education and BMI percentiles: Have legal mandates made a difference? Journal of School Nursing, 29, 52-60.

Tomasula, J., Anderson, L. M., Littleton, H., & Riley-Tillman, T. C. (2012). Sexual assault and suicidal behaviors: Investigation of a national sample. School Psychology Quarterly, 27, 109-119.

Anderson, L. M., & Ongsuco, A. T. S. (2010). Transitioning to post-secondary education with positive mental health: A preliminary correlational study. School Psychology Forum: Research to Practice, 4(3), 25-37.

Hoffman, J. & Anderson, L. M. (2010). Obesity prevention and diet interventions. In P. McCabe & S. Shaw (Eds.),  Pediatric disorders: Current topics and interventions for educators (pp. 102-112). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press/NASP.

Anderson, L., Walcott, C., Reck, S. G., & Landau, S. (2009). Issues in monitoring medication effects in the classroom. Psychology in the Schools: Psychopharmacology Special Issue, 46, 820-826.

Anderson, L. M., & Phelps, L. (2009). School-wide healthy weight behaviors: Promoting Universal Longevity via School-family Ecologies (PULSE). Psychology in the Schools, 46, 748-755.

Honors and Awards

  • 1st Annual Supervisor of the Year Award, East Carolina University, 2009
  • Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Project Winner, Health disparities in Latino Women, 2009
  • New Connections Junior Investigator (Symposia & Training), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation