Övgü Kaynak, Ph.D.

Övgü Kaynak, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology, School of Behavioral Sciences and Education
Olmstead Building, W311
777 W Harrisburg Pike
Middletown, PA 17057

Dr. Övgü Kaynak earned a Ph.D. in Public Health from Temple University, a M.S.Ed. in Human Development from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. in Psychology from Penn State University. Dr. Kaynak’s research lies in the intersection of psychology and public health and focuses on how to build motivation, resiliency, and coping skills to provide people with expanded opportunity towards living safe and productive lives. Throughout her career, Dr. Kaynak has worked to serve vulnerable and underserved communities in collaboration with law enforcement, schools, non-profits, treatment facilities, advocacy groups, and government agencies. Her current research focuses on risk (e.g., stigma, violence) and protective factors (e.g., social support, community engagement) for substance misuse and addiction. At present, Dr. Kaynak is a co-investigator on a state-funded grant aimed to reduce stigma related to the opioid epidemic.

  • Drug and alcohol use, misuse, and abuse
  • Exposure to violence
  • Risk and resiliency
  • Stigma in addictions
  • Social and behavioral health

Whipple, C., Kaynak, Ö., Kruis, N., Bonnevie, E., Saylor, E., Kensinger, W. (2023). Opioid Use Disorder Stigma and Support for Harm Reduction in Rural Communities. Substance Use and Misuse https://doi.org/10.1080/10826084.2023.2250434

Saran, S. K., Salinas, K. Z., Foulds, J., Kaynak, Ö., Hoglen, B., Houser, K. R., ... & Hobkirk, A. L. (2022). A Comparison of Vaping Behavior, Perceptions, and Dependence among Individuals Who Vape Nicotine, Cannabis, or Both. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(16), 10392. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191610392

Kaynak, Ö., Whipple, C., (2022). The opioid epidemic and the state of stigma: a Pennsylvania statewide survey. Substance Use & Misuse, 57(7). 1120-1130. https://doi.org/10.1080/10826084.2022.2064506

Bonnevie, E., Kaynak, Ö., Whipple, C., Kensinger, W., Stefanko, M., McKeon, C., Mendell, G., Smyser, J. (2022). Life Unites Us: A Novel Approach to Addressing Opioid Use Disorder Stigma. Health Education Journal. Online first: https://doi.org/10.1080/10826084.2022.2064506

Whipple, C.,….. Kaynak, Ö. (2021) Patterns of Community Violence Exposure Among Adolescents Residing in Low-Resource Urban Neighborhoods. Journal of Community Psychology, 68(3-4), 414-426. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajcp.12522

Kaynak, Ö., Whipple, C., Kliewer, W., Lepore, S.J., (2021) Peer victimization and drug use in adolescents: The role of sleep. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 50(6), 1254-1267. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-021-01410-6

Meyers, K., Kaynak, Ö., Bresani, E., Curtis, B., McNamara, A., Brownfield, K., Kirby, K. (2015) The availability and depiction of synthetic cathinones(i.e., bath salts) on the internet: Do online suppliers employ features to maximize purchases? International Journal of Drug Policy, 26(7), 670-674. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2015.01.012

Kaynak, Ö., Lepore, S.J., Kliewer, W., Jaggi, L. (2015) Peer victimization and subsequent disruptive behavior in school: The protective functions of anger regulation coping. Personality and Individual Differences, 73, 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2014.09.012

Curtis, B., Kaynak, Ö., Alanis-Hirsch, K., Meyers, K., McLellan, A.T. (2014) Using web searches to track interest in synthetic marijuana (aka ‘herbal incense). Drug and Alcohol Review, 34(1): 105–108. https://doi.org/10.1111/dar.1218

Kaynak, Ö., Winters, K.C., Cacciola, J., Kirby, K., and Arria, A.M. (2014) Providing alcohol for underage youth: What messages should we be providing parents? Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 75(4), 590-605. https://doi.org/10.15288/jsad.2014.75.590

Meyers, K., Kaynak, Ö., Clements, I., White, T., Bresani, E. (2013) Underserved parents underserved youth: Considering foster parent willingness to foster substance using adolescents. Children and Youth Services Review,35, 1650-1655. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2013.06.016

Kaynak, Ö., Meyers, K., Caldeira, K.M., Vincent, K.B., Winter, K.C., and Arria, A.M., (2012) Relationships among parental monitoring and sensation seeking on the development of substance use disorder among college students. Addictive Behaviors, 38(1), 1457-1463. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2012.08.003

Kaynak, Ö., Lepore, S.J., & Kliewer, W. (2011) Social moderation of the relation between community violence exposure and depressive symptoms in an urban adolescent sample. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 30(3),250-269. http://dx.doi.org/10.1521/jscp.2011.30.3.250

Forman, R.F., Crits-Christoph, P., Kaynak, Ö., et al (2007). A feasibilitystudy of a web-based performance improvement system for substance abuse treatment providers. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 33(2), 363-371. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2007.01.007

Ph.D., Public Health (Social and Behavioral Health), Temple University
M.S.Ed., Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development, University of Pennsylvania
B.A., Psychology, Pennsylvania State University