Kirk von Sternberg, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, and the associate director of the Health Behavior Research and Training Institute (HBRT). Von Sternberg has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Houston and a Ph.D. in behavioral science from the University of Texas Health Science Center-School of Public Health. Von Sternberg has 20 years of experience in designing and implementing large clinical trials to test interventions based on the Transtheoretical Model and Motivational Interviewing (MI). As an investigator, he was responsible for study design and data analysis on several large NIH and CDC funded randomized controlled intervention trials addressing risk of alcohol-exposed pregnancies, alcohol and safer sexual practices, STI screening, cocaine abuse, and screening and brief interventions for alcohol and drugs in medical settings to name a few. Von Sternberg has particular interest in the mechanisms of change and recently was the primary data analyst on a study to examine the intervention tapes from the successful Project Choices Efficacy trial. Along with a current intervention trial, CHOICES Plus, to prevent alcohol- and tobacco-exposed pregnancy (CDC), and a trial to test screening and brief intervention for drugs in a level 1 trauma setting (NIDA), Von Sternberg is currently involved in psychometric analyses of process of change assessments to develop briefer measures for use in a computer adaptive testing format (CAT).

Professional Interests

Health behavior interventions based on the Transtheoretical Model of Change and Motivational Interviewing, including alcohol- and tobacco-exposed pregnancy, HIV prevention, alcohol and other substance abuse in medical settings.