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Kristen M. Coppola, Ph.D.


James and Marlene Howard Hall 102
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Kristen M. Coppola, Ph.D.


Ph.D., Kent State University

M.A., Kent State University

B.A., Kutztown University

Research Interests

Dr. Coppola's research focuses on health and cognition with a focus on medical decision making at the end of life and end of life issues.  In addition, she is interested in developing innovative teaching activities and ways to improve communication concerning health-related decisions.


Scholarly Articles

Coppola, K. M.,  & Strohmetz, D. B. (2016). Teaching end of life decision-making "Newlywed Style", Death Studies , 40, 147-153.

Ditto, P. H., Smucker, W. D., Danks, J. H., Jacobson, J. A., Houts, R. M., Fagerlin, A., Coppola, K. M., & Gready, R. M. (2003). The stability of older adults’ preferences for life-sustaining medical treatment. Health Psychology, 22, 605-615.

Coppola, K. M., & Strohmetz, D. B. (2002). How is death and dying addressed in introductory psychology textbooks? Death Studies, 26, 689-699.

Coppola, K. M., & Trotman, F. K. (2002). Dying and death: Decisions at the end of life.  In F. K. Trotman and C. M. Brody (Eds.), Psychotherapy and counseling with older women: Cross-cultural, family, and end-of-life issues. New York: Springer.

Bookwala, J., Coppola, K. M., Fagerlin, A., Ditto, P. H., Danks, J. H., & Smucker, W. D. (2001). Gender differences in preferences for life-sustaining medical treatments among community- dwelling older adults.  Death Studies, 25, 127-149.

Coppola, K. M., Ditto, P. H., Danks, J. H., & Smucker, W. D. (2001). Accuracy of primary physicians' and hospital-based physicians' predictions of elderly outpatients' treatment preferences with and without advance directives. Archives of Internal Medicine, 161, 431-440

Ditto, P. H., Danks, J. H., Smucker, W. D., Bookwala, J., Coppola, K. M. et al.(2001). Advance directives as acts of communication: A randomized controlled trial. Archives of Internal Medicine, 161, 421-430.

Lockhart, L. K., Bookwala, J., Fagerlin, A., Coppola, K. M., Ditto, P. H., Danks, J. H., & Smucker, W. D. (2001).  Older adults’ attitudes toward death: Links to perceptions of health and concerns about end-of-life issues.  Omega, 43, 331-347

Lockhart, L. K., Ditto, P. H., Danks, J. H., Coppola, K. M., & Smucker, W. D. (2001).  The stability of older adults’ judgments of fates better and worse than death.  Death Studies, 25, 299-317.

Miller, S., Mor, V., Gage, B., & Coppola, K. (2001): Hospice and its role in improving end of life care. Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics. New York: Springer.

Gready, R. M., Ditto, P. H., Danks, J. H., Coppola, K. M., Lockart, L. K., & Smucker, W. D. (2000). Actual and perceived stability of preferences for life-sustaining treatment. Journal of Clinical Ethics, 11, 334-346.

Presentations/Invited Talks

Coppola, K. M. (2017).  What is a "good" death?  Paper presented at the Improving Communication Regarding End of Life Decisions Professional Development Conference, West Long Branch, NJ.

Coppola, K. M., & *Aaron, B.  (2015, September). Meaning-making in the classroom: Applications from the Psychology of Death and Dying.  Paper presented at the Atlantic Coast Teaching of Psychology Conference, Red Bank, NJ.

Professional Associations

Society for the Teaching of Psychology


(2017) Chosen as a host site by the Hospice Foundation of America for documentary viewing (Being Mortal) and public outreach campaign.

(2016) Service Learning Faculty Fellow: Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and the Department of Service Learning, Monmouth University (Award amount: $1,000).

(2014)  Teaching of Psychology's Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Research Grant: $1,950. Project title: Teaching End of Life Decision-Making "Newlywed Style"

Additional Information

Dr. Coppola cares deeply about the most vulnerable people in the world.  To that end, she has adopted 2 children who have Down Syndrome, works with her husband to help others adopt special needs children, and travels to orphanages to help bring awareness to neglected children.  She is hospice volunteer and in her spare time she trains to run half marathons.

She is also a member of the Conversation of Your Life Task Force, part of the Middlesex County, NJ, Mayors' Wellness Campaign (2017).


Frequently Taught Classes

  • Adolescent Psychology (PY 204)
  • Experimental Methods in Psychology and Laboratory (PY 320)
  • Health Research Methods (HE 290)
  • Introduction to Psychology (PY 103)
  • Research Ii: Behavioral Statistics and Laboratory (PY 311)
  • Research Iii: Experimental Methods and Laboratory (PY 320)
  • Research Methods in Psychology (PY 503)
  • Women's Health (HE 330, NU 330)