University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychological Science

Stephen Higgins

Human Behavioral Pharmacology

Stephen Higgins

Stephen Higgins Professor of Psychology, Professor of Psychiatry

  • B.A. Shippensburg University, 1975
  • M.S. Shippensburg University, 1978
  • M.A. University of Kansas, 1982
  • Ph.D. University of Kansas, 1983
C.V. (PDF)
Phone: (802) 656-9614
Room: FAHC-UHC Room 3100

Chairmanships and Directorships

  • Director, Vermont Center on Behavior and Health
  • Director, Behavioral Pharmacology of Drug Dependence Training Program
  • Vice Chair, Department of Psychiatry
  • Areas

    My research uses the concepts and methods of behavioral economics and behavioral pharmacology to investigate tobacco, illicit drugs, and other health-related risk behaviors in vulnerable populations. Projects focus on examining mechanisms underpinning vulnerability to tobacco and other risk behaviors, treatment interventions to reduce them and improve health outcomes, and regulatory science. These projects are supported by P20 and P50 center grants from the NIH’s National Institute on General Medical Sciences, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, respectively, and an R01 research grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.


    Vermont Center on Behavior and Health has it's headquarters in the Department of Psychiatry located adjacent to the University of Vermont (UVM) campus. The facility contains 8,900 sq ft of office, laboratory, and clinic space for conducting tobacco and other drug self-administration and abuse liability studies as well as testing of behavioral and pharmacological treatments for tobacco, opioid, and other substance use disorders.

    Representative Publications

    • Vurbic, D., Higgins, S.T., McDonough, S.R., Skelly, J.M,, Bernstein, I.M. (2013). Maternal body mass index moderates the influence of smoking cessation on breast feeding. Nicotine Tob Res. 2013 Nov 7 . [Epub ahead of print. PMID: 24203932
    • Higgins, S.T., Washio, Y., Heil, S.H., Solomon, L.J., Gaalema, D.E., Higgins, T.M., Bernstein, I.M. (2012). Financial incentives for smoking cessation among pregnant and newly postpartum women. Prev Med. Dec 27 . PMCID: PMC3399924
    • Higgins, S.T., Bernstein, I.M., Washio, Y., Heil, S.H., Badger, G.J., Skelly, J.M., Higgins, T.M., Solomon, L.J. (2010). Effects of smoking cessation with voucher-based contingency management on birth outcomes. Addiction 105(11) :2023-30. PMCID: PMC2970671
    • Higgins, T.M., Higgins, S.T., Heil, S.H., Badger, G.J., Skelly, J.M., Bernstein, I.M., Solomon, L.J., Washio, Y., Preston, A.M. (2010). Effects of cigarette smoking cessation on breastfeeding duration. Nicotine Tob Res 12(5) :483-8. PMCID: PMC2861887
    • Higgins, S.T., Chilcoat, H.D. (2009). Women and smoking: an interdisciplinary examination of socioeconomic influences. Drug Alcohol Depend 1;104 Suppl 1:S1-5. PMID: 19390842

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