Catherine Coccia, PhD, RD

Associate Professor Director, PhD. Program

Dietetics and Nutrition

Office: AHC5-316

Phone: 305-348-0194



Childhood Obesity, Community Health


Dr. Catherine C. Coccia is an associate professor in the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition. Dr. Coccia is also a registered dietitian with experience working with children and families to improve health outcomes through proper nutrition. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the National Council for Family Relations. Dr. Coccia’s research combines basic science in child health and evaluation of community-based programs to increase health related outcomes in diverse populations. She has received funding for her research examining the role that schools and parents play on the health behaviors of adolescents and emerging adults, and has contributed to the development of several community-based interventions for diverse populations.


Nutrition Intervention and Community Education (N.I.C.E.) Lab


  • Florida State University, Ph.D.
  • University of Florida, BS, MS-DI

Publications & Research

Coccia, C., Fernandez, S., & Altiti, J. (in press). Tweeting for nutrition: Feasibility and efficacy outcomes of a 6-week social media-based nutrition education intervention for student athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

Galicki, S.E.,* Coccia, C. (2017). Registered dietitians’ knowledge of bariatric nutrition recommendations and practice implications. Topics in Clinical Nutrition,32(3), 202-210.

Ralston, P.A., Young-Clark, I., Coccia, C. (2017). The development of Health for Hearts United: A longitudinal church-based intervention to reduce cardiovascular risk in midlife and older African Americans. Ethnicity & Disease, 27(1), 1-10.

Ralston, P.A., Farmer, T., Young-Clark, I., Coccia, C. (2016). Blood pressure control for African American children and feasibility and initial outcomes of a faith-based intervention pilot study. Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice, 9(2).

Rehm, M., Darling, C.A., Coccia, C., Cui, M. (2015). Parents’ perspectives on indulgence: Remembered experiences and meanings when they were adolescents and as current parents of adolescents. Journal of Family Studies, DOI:10.1080/13229400.2015.1106335

Darling, C.A., Rehm, M., Coccia C., & Cui, M. (2015). Adolescent eating behavior: The role of indulgent parenting. Families in Society. 96(6), 257-267.

Coccia, C., & Darling, C.A.  (2015). Indulgent parenting & the life satisfaction of college students:  An examination of eating, weight, & body image.  Journal of Family Issues. DOI:10.1177/0192513X15580165.

Jones, E., Ralston, P.A., Coccia, C., Young-Clark, I., Atkinson, C., Davis, K.E., Fluellen, V., Hausafus, C.O., Johnson, L., Prowell, G. (2014). The Research Resource Guide: A description and formative evaluation.  Journal of Family and Consumer Science, 106(1), 32-38.

Ralston, P.A., Lemacks, J., Wickrama, K.A.S., Young-Clark, I., Coccia, C., Illich, J., Harris, C.M., Brickler-Hart, C., Battle, A., & Walker O’Neal, C. (2014). Reducing cardiovascular disease risk in older African Americans: A church-based longitudinal intervention project at baseline.  Contemporary Clinical Trials, 38, 69-81.

Williams, Q., Ralston, P.A., Young-Clark, I., Kynard, K., Coccia, C.  (2014) Establishing health ministries:  Leaders’ perceptions on process and effectiveness.  Qualitative Health Research, 34(2), 139-157.

 Coccia, C., & Darling C. (2014). Having the time of their life: College student stress, dating, and satisfaction with life.  Stress and Health. Doi:10.1002/smi.2575

O’Neal, C., Wickrama, K.A.S., Ralston, P.A., Illich, J., Harris, C., Coccia, C., Young-Clark, I., Lemacks, J.  (2014). Health Insurance Status, Psychological Processes, and Older African Americans’ Use of Preventive Care. Journal of Health Psychology, 19(4), 491-502.

O’Neal, C., Wickrama, K.A.S., Ralston, P.A., Illich, J., Harris, C., Coccia, C., Young-Clark, I., & Lemacks, J.  (2014).  Eating Behaviors of Older African Americans:  An Application of the Theory of Planned Behavior.  The Gerontologist, 54(2), 211-220.

Veldorale-Griffen, A., Coccia, C., Darling, C., Rehm, M., & Sathe, S.  (2013).  The role of parental indulgence and economic stress in life satisfaction:  Differential perceptions of parents and adolescents.  Journal of Family Social Work, 16(3), 205-224.

McDole, M., Ralston, P.A., Coccia, C., & Young-Clark, I.  (2013).Tracking tool improves health behaviors in African American adults in a faith-based setting. Journal of Healthcare for the Poor and Underserved, 24, 171-184.

Wickrama, K.A.S., Ralston, P.A., O’Neal, C., Illich, J., Harris, C., Coccia, C., Young-Clark, I., & Lemacks, J.  (2013). Linking life dissatisfaction to health behaviors of older African Americans through psychological competency and vulnerability.  Research on Aging, 35, 591-611.

Wickrama, K.A.S., Ralston, P.A., O’Neal, C., Illich-Ernst, J., Harris, C., Coccia, C., Young-Clark, I., & Lemacks, J.  (2012).  Life dissatisfaction and eating behaviors among older African Americans:  The protective role of social support.  The Journal of Nutrition, Health, and Aging, 16, 749-753.

Maxwell, M., Lemacks, J., Coccia, C., Ralston, P.A., & Illich, J.  (2012).  Bone Health Project:  An intervention to improve Ca intake and healthy lifestyles in AA communities.  Topics in Clinical Nutrition, 27, 54-66.

Coccia, C., Darling, C., Rehm, M., Cui, M., & Sathe, S. (2012) The paradox of indulgent parenting: Adolescent health, stress, and life satisfaction.  Journal of Stress & Health, 28, 211-221.

Darling, C., Coccia, C., Senatore, N. (2012). Women in midlife: Stress, health, and life satisfaction. Journal of Stress & Health, 28, 31-40.