Associate Professor of Children’s Health
School of Nursing
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Research Interests & Goals:
Dr. Hodges is an Associate Professor in the UNC School of Nursing. His research focuses on the role of caregiver/infant-toddler dyadic responsiveness during feeding in the development of the young child’s self-regulation of feeding, with a primary interest in the area of early childhood obesity prevention. The goal of his work is to understand developmental trajectories in this area from infancy through toddlerhood, with more recent research into influences of this period on later childhood. His studies have primarily involved longitudinal data and, due to their mixture of observational coding, anthropometric measurement, self-report questionnaires, and recent additions of body composition and qualitative interviews, are time-intensive and complex in regard to data management, coding, and analysis. Dr. Hodges’ recent research efforts are directed toward interventions to enhance feeding responsiveness and self-regulation during early childhood.
Dr. Hodges is also the Director of the Biobehavioral Lab (BBL) Core Facility at UNC School of Nursing, specializing in addressing the interface of biological and psychosocial factors that underlie individual responses to acute and chronic illnesses. In addition to its research efforts, the BBL is dedicated to training the next generation of biobehavioral nurse scientists and helping students at all levels of education increase their understanding of the intersections between biology and behavior.
Finally, in addition to his research background, Dr. Hodges is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner with experience in the demands of primary clinical care. This clinical background informs his thinking in the design and translational utility of measures of childhood feeding problems for both clinicians and families and shapes the perspective he bring to scientists and students who interact with my team in the BBL. He has experience mentoring both undergraduate and graduate students.