Thomas Harriot College of Arts & Sciences

Department of Psychology

Dr. Matthew Whited

In Other News...

Dr. Whited was featured in an article in the Daily Reflector about seasonal depression.

Dr. Whited talked briefly with WITN about keeping away the "holiday blues".

Dr. Whited was interviewed by WNCT about the Happy Heart Study!

Dr. Whited is one of the two inaugural recipients of the Dean's Early Career Award!

Dr. Whited has been awarded the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Young Alumni Achievement Award!

Click here to see all the award recipients.

Matthew C. Whited, PhD
Associate Professor

Office: Rawl 228
Phone: 252-328-6308
Fax: 252-328-6283

Mailing Address:

104 Rawl Building
Department of Psychology
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858-4353

Dr. Whited is NOT accepting Students for the 2019-2020 academic year. 


Fellow in Randomized Behavioral Clinical Trials; 14th Annual Summer Institute on Randomized Behavioral RCTs (2014)

Post-doctoral Fellowship in Behavioral Medicine Research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine (2012)

PhD, Clinical Psychology, West Virginia University (2009)

  • Internship: University of Mississippi Medical Center and G.V. Montgomery VAMC Consortium, Jackson MS.

MS, Clinical Psychology, West Virginia University (2007)

BA, Psychology (2nd major Biology), Indiana University of Pennsylvania (2003)

Research Interests:

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the result of a combination of modifiable health behaviors, environment, and genetic makeup and takes several decades to manifest itself before an individual begins to suffer impairment from this very common class of diseases. My research interests center around the association between mental health and health behaviors that influence risk for cardiovascular disease. I am especially interested in understanding the mechanisms of the association between depression and CVD (e.g. cardiovascular psychophysiology; eating/exercise behaviors; sleep) in order to design and apply interventions to reduce CVD risk via treatment of depression and related mental health issues. The association between mental health and CVD risk is complicated and multifactorial and necessitates strong collaborations between myself and junior and senior colleagues to investigate in multiple settings (e.g. a cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation program, a college campus, the surrounding community, the internet). My program of research represents my attempts to understand this association from various perspectives and approaches in order to determine how mental health treatment can contribute to CVD prevention, and how to implement mental health treatment into CVD prevention settings (e.g cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation programs).

The Cardiovascular Psychophysiology Laboratory

We maintain a very active physical laboratory space that consists of my own graduate students, Dr. D. Erik Everhart's Cognitive Neuroscience laboratory, a rotating cast of undergraduate research assistants, and occasionally ECU Clinical Health Psychology graduate students from other labs. In the lab, we study the influence of behavioral and psychological factors on individuals' psychophysiological responses to stress. My graduate students and I also collaborate with researchers and treatment providers across ECU, most prominently the Vidant Hospital Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

In addition to Thesis and Dissertation projects, we maintain a lab group project that is investigating the influence of mood and health behaviors on overweight and obesity among college students. This is an ongoing data collection which we modify annually based on our results and new developments in the literature at large. 

Receiving the majority of my current research effort is the Values Initiative project at Vidant CVPR. Taking a Engaged Scholarship approach, I am designing and implementing a variety of initiatives (e.g. patient education and staff training) that utilize life values to improve health behavior change among CVPR patients. Thinking of values (e.g. staying connected with friends and family) as a patient's guide to behaviors which will be reinforced (e.g. going for a walk with my grandkids every Tuesday) we help patients to make their health behaviors value-consistent. The theory is that values-consistent health behavior is more likely to be experienced as enjoyable and important, and thus patients will be more likely to adhere to their prescribed health behavior (i.e. exercise and dietary) goals.

Student Research Projects and Interests

Ansley Taylor Corson is a fifth-year graduate student who earned her MA in clinical-health psychology from ECU in 2016 and a BA in psychology and philosophy from Converse College in 2014. Her dissertation project investigates executive functioning deficits in the transdiagnostic process of multidimensional perfectionism.  

Taylor Freeman is a fifth-year student who earned his MA in Clinical Psychology from ECU in 2017 and a BA in Psychology and BS in Biomedical Sciences from the University of South Florida in 2014.  His dissertation project involves using values-based behavior change to promote exercise in college students.  He completed his thesis project with Dr. Whited in 2017, which involved investigating how depression and other psychosocial variables affect attendance and completion rates in a cardiovascular rehabilitation program.

Jordan Ellis is a fourth-year graduate student who earned his BA in health and wellness promotion from UNC Asheville and his MA in clinical health psychology from Appalachian State University. His research interests include values guided health behavior change, picky and selective eating behavior in adults, and the measurement of transdiagnostic mechanisms of psychopathology.

Emily Midgette is a first year graduate student who earned her BA from East Carolina University. She is currently expanding work related to her undergraduate thesis project which involved investigating how self-reported quality and patterns of sleep affect BMI, eating behaviors, and mood among college students. 

Emily and Jordan are currently completing thesis and dissertation projects, respectively, that investigate the effects of various factors, including sleep, fatigue, mood, and experiential avoidance, on patient outcomes during the course of CVPR.

Clinical Interests:

I lead the Depression Specialty Service in the ECU psychology department's PASS clinic. More information on the PASS clinic can be found here. I specialize in Behavioral Activation and have experience training other clinicians in this treatment approach both regionally and nationally. If you're curious about Behavioral Activation, the treatment manual has been published and you can obtain it free of charge if you our your institution has a subscription. Additionally, you can see me discuss Behavioral Activation in the videos below under "media." 

When I have the opportunity to supervise a clinical team of graduate students, I expand my service to include exposure-based treatments for anxiety disorders, especially panic disorder and social anxiety disorder. I also increasingly bring both formal and informal mindfulness practice into treatment these days and you can listen to some guided mindfulness tracks I made to introduce and facilitate formal practice.

Grant Funding:

Engagement and Outreach Scholars Academy (2017-2018)
Accepted into EOSA which includes didactic training on Engaged Scholarship leading to a scholarly product supported by a $5000 research stipend and $4500 in support for graduate and undergraduate research assistants. The final goal of the Academy is a competitive external grant application.

Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23) NHLBI/NIMH 5K23HL109620 (PI: Whited) Depression treatment and risk for cardiovascular disease. 2012-2018

NHLBI Clinical Research Loan Repayment Program Grant. 2011-2013, 2014-2015, 2015-2016 (Awardee) Depression, heart rate variability, and risk for cardiovascular disease.

Publications: Click here for a list of publications.