Andrew Springer, DrPH

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Associate Professor, Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Springer’s research interests the promotion of child and adolescent health, including the prevention of childhood obesity and promotion of physical activity and healthy eating. Dr. Springer has served or is currently serving as a principal investigator or co-investigator on research projects with funding from Robert Wood Johnson, CDC, and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation that include: the evaluation of state-mandated legislation to promote physical activity in elementary and middle school children, reduction of sedentary behavior in Hispanic children living on the Texas-Mexico border, implementation and evaluation of the CATCH program in elementary and middle school students, evaluation of a school and community-based physical activity and healthy eating promotion program (“Marathon Kids”), and testing of low-cost strategies to promote elementary school children’s physical activity during recess and structured activity break time in Austin, Texas and Pueblo, Colorado.

Dr. Springer maintains an active public health practice focus, which includes experience with planning, implementation and evaluation of rural-based health promotion projects in Latin America via organizations that include Amigos de las Americas, Save the Children- El Salvador, and the United Nations Development Program in Guatemala. Since 2008, Dr. Springer has served as the President of the Austin Chapter of Amigos de las Americas, a nonprofit organization that recruits, trains and fields young leaders in community health and development projects in Latin America.

Research Interests – Adolescent health promotion; physical activity; childhood obesity prevention; socio-ecological influences of health behavior; epidemiology of child and adolescent health behaviors in Latin America.

Honors – Philip C. Johnson, III Veteran Service Award, Amigos de las Americas, 2005; Environmental Health Scholar Award, BFI, 1998, UTHealth School of Public Health Community Service Award recipient (2012), and 2nd Place Winner, UTHealth School of Public Health McGovern Teacher of the Year (2012, 2016); Nominated by Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences Department for UTHealth School of Public Health Annual Award for Excellence in Teaching (2016, 2018).

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Current Projects

CATCH (Coordinated Approach To Child Health)

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CATCH is a research-based program designed to guide schools, families and children in healthy eating and physical activity.

CATCH My Breath

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CATCH My Breath (CMB) is a middle school e-cigarette prevention program originally designed as a rapid response to the emerging teen vaping trends.

Recent Publications

Multi-directional pathways of tobacco and marijuana use, including comorbid use, among a population-based cohort of adolescents in Texas: A six-wave cross-lagged model

(Rogers, S. M., Harrell, M. B., Chen, B., Springer, A., Loukas, A., & Perry, C. L. (2021). Addictive Behaviors, 115, 106771.)

Dissemination of CATCH My Breath, a middle school E-Cigarette prevention program

(Kelder, S. H., Mantey, D. S., Van Dusen, D., Vaughn, T., Bianco, M., & Springer, A. E. (2021). Dissemination of CATCH My Breath, a middle school E-Cigarette prevention program. Addictive Behaviors, 113, 106698.)

A middle school program to prevent e-cigarette use: A pilot study of "CATCH My Breath"

Kelder, S. H., Mantey, D. S., Van Dusen, D., Case, K., Haas, A., & Springer, A. E. (2020). Public health reports (Washington, D.C. : 1974), 135(2), 220–229.

Stronger Austin: Evaluation Findings for Year 1

12/1/18 - Co-learning about the initial delivery and effects of Stronger Austin – a community-based initiative aimed at increasing access to health and wellness programming in Austin, Texas: Evaluation Findings for Year 1 (2017-18)

Refugee Health Education: Evaluating a Community- Based Approach to Empowering Refugee Women in Houston, Texas

Frost, E., Markham, C., Springer A. E.; (2018). Texas Medical Center Dissertations. AAI10131709.

Exploring physical activity engagement in secondary school students in Montevideo, Uruguay: A qualitative study

Parobii, I., Springer, A. E., Harrell, M. B., Gomensoro, L. M., Fresco, M. T., et al. (2018). International journal of child and adolescent health, 11(1), 47–56.

School socioeconomic disparities in e-cigarette susceptibility and use among central Texas middle school students

Springer, A. E., Davis, C., Van Dusen, D., Grayless, M., Case, K. R., et al. (2018). Preventive medicine reports, 11, 105–108.

The relationships between sensation seeking and a spectrum of e-cigarette use behaviors in Texas adolescents: Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses specific to Texas adolescents

Case, K. R., Harrell, M. B., Pérez, A., Loukas, A., Wilkinson, A. V., et al. (2017). Addictive behaviors, 73, 151–157.

Health by Design: Interweaving Health Promotion into Environments and Settings

Springer, A. E., Evans, A. E., Ortuño, J., Salvo, D., & Varela Arévalo, M. T. (2017). Frontiers in public health, 5, 268.

The association between sensation seeking and e-cigarette use in Texas young adults: A cross-sectional study

Case, K. R., Loukas, A., PhD, Harrell, M. B., Wilkinson, A. V., Springer, A. E., et al. (2017). Journal of American college health : J of ACH, 65(4), 277–285.

Assessing environmental assets for health promotion program planning: a practical framework for health promotion practitioners

(Springer A, Evans, A; Health Promot Perspect; 2016)

School-level economic disadvantage and obesity in middle school children in central Texas, USA: A cross-sectional study

(Springer AE, Li L, Ranjit N, Delk J, Mehta K, Kelder SH; International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity; 2015)

School social cohesion, student-school connectedness, and bullying in Colombian adolescents

(Springer AE, Cuevas Jaramillo MC, Ortiz Gómez Y, Case K, Wilkinson A; Global Health Promotion; 2015)

Promoting teacher adoption of physical activity breaks in the classroom: Findings of the Central Texas CATCH Middle School Project

(Delk J, Springer, AE, Kelder, SH, Conklin, M; Journal of School Health, 2014)

The association between sports participation and dietary behaviors among fourth graders in the School Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey, 2009-2010

(Dortch KS, Gay J, Springer, AE, Kohl, HW, Sharma, SV, Saxton, DL, Hoelscher, DM.; American Journal of Health Promotion, 2014)

Promoting physical activity and fruit and vegetable consumption through a community-school partnership: The effects of Marathon Kids on low-income elementary school children in Texas

(Springer AE, Kelder SH, Ranjit N, Hochberg-Garrett H, Chow S, Delk J ; Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 2012)

Environmental characteristics and student physical activity in PE class: Findings from two large urban areas of Texas

(Skala K, Springer AE, Sharma SV, Hoelscher DM, Kelder SH ; Journal of Physical Activity and Health , 2012)

Experimenting with cigarettes and physical activity among Mexican origin youth: A cross sectional analysis of the interdependent associations among sensation seeking, acculturation, and gender

(Wilkinson AV, Okeke N, Springer AE, Stigler MH, Pettee-Gabriel, K, Prokhorov AP, Bondy LM, Spitz MR ; BMC Public Health , 2012)

Physical activity, television viewing, and the risk of obesity in students, Texas

(Perez A, Hoelscher DM, Springer AE, Brown HS, Barroso CS, Kelder SH, Castrucci B ; Preventing Chronic Disease , 2011)

Applying an expanded social determinant approach to the concept of adherence to treatment: The case of Colombian women living with HIV/AIDS

(Arrivillaga M, Ross M, Useche B, Springer AE, Correa D. ; Women's Health Issues , 2011)

Associations among dietary supplement use and dietary and activity behaviors by sex and race/ethnicity in a representative multiethnic sample of 11th- grade students in Texas

(George GC, Springer AE, Forman MR, Hoelscher DM ; Journal of the American Dietetic Association , 2011)

Do trends in physical activity, sedentary and dietary behaviors support trends in obesity prevalence in two border regions in Texas?

(Ezendam N, Springer AE, Brug J, Oenema A, Hoelscher DM; Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior , 2011)

From NIH to Texas schools: Policy impact of the Coordinated Approach To Child Health (CATCH) program in Texas

(Hoelscher DM, Springer AE, Menendez TH, Cribb PW, Kelder SH ; Journal of Physical Activity and Health , 2011)

Beliefs and perceived norms concerning smoking cessation program recruitment among African American teenage smokers: What appeals to youth and what turns them away

(Peters RJ, Meshack A, Kelder SH, Springer AE, Agurcia C. ; Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse , 2011)

Recent News

Art contest aims to stop the spread of COVID-19

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A new challenge by state and local public health experts aims to empower the Rio Grande Valley's youth to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. UTHealth School of Public Health is taking a step away from the sciences and into the arts to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Study finds vaping prevention program significantly reduces use in middle school students

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In response to the youth vaping crisis, experts at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) developed CATCH My Breath, a program to prevent electronic cigarette use among fifth – 12th grade students.