The Catholic University of America


Claire Adams Spears

Assistant Professor


lab: Mindful Living Lab, G6 O'Boyle Hall

office: 327 O'Boyle Hall  (202) 319-5849

My research focuses on informing, developing, and evaluating innovative interventions to improve coping with stress, reduce health risk behaviors, and enhance quality of life in underserved populations. I am particularly interested in mindfulness-based approaches and understanding the mechanisms through which these practices enhance emotion regulation and promote healthier behaviors (e.g., smoking cessation, lower alcohol use, healthier diet). My work focuses on the implementation and adaptation of these interventions for low-income and racial/ethnic minority populations. My current research (funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health) uses mobile health technology (mHealth) for assessment and treatment delivery. See Lab site for a listing of current projects.

At CUA, I also collaborate with Drs. Carol Glass and Keith Kaufman to investigate mindfulness-based training for athletes, and with Drs. Marcie Goeke-Morey and Barry Wagner to explore and enhance mindfulness practice within families.

I obtained my doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Louisiana State University with emphasis on mindfulness, addictions, and behavioral medicine. I completed a cancer prevention postdoctoral fellowship (funded by the National Cancer Institute) in Health Disparities Research at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. After postdoctoral fellowship, I served as an Instructor in the Department of Health Disparities Research at MD Anderson and a faculty fellow of the Duncan Family Institute for Cancer Prevention and Risk Assessment.


Cancer Prevention Research Postdoctoral Fellowship (National Cancer Institute R25-T CA57730), Department of Health Disparities Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (2012)

Clinical Internship, University of Mississippi Medical Center and G.V. (Sonny) Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Jackson, MS (2011)

Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Louisiana State University (2011)

M.A., Psychology, Wake Forest University (2006)

B.S., magna cum laude, Psychology and French, Furman University (2004)

Selected Publications 

Heppner, W. L.^, Spears, C. A.^, Correa-Fernandez, V., Castro, Y., Li, Y., Guo, B., Reitzel, L. R., Vidrine, J. I., Mazas, C. A., Cofta-Woerpel, L., Cinciripini, P. M., Ahuluwalia, J. S., & Wetter, D. W. (in press). Dispositional mindfulness predicts enhanced smoking cessation and smoking lapse recovery. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. (^ denotes joint first authorship) 

Spears, C. A., Houchins, S., Stewart, D. W., Chen, M., Correa-Fernandez, V., Cano, M. A., Heppner, W. L., Vidrine, J.  I., & Wetter, D. W. (2015). Nonjudging facet of mindfulness predicts enhanced smoking cessation in HispanicsPsychology of Addictive Behaviors, 29, 918-923.

Stewart, D. W., Vidrine, J. I., Shete, S., Spears, C. A., Cano, M. A., Correa-Fernández, V., Wetter, D. W., & McNeill, L. H. (2015) Health literacy, smoking, and health indicators in African American adults. Journal of Health Communication, 20 (Suppl. 2), 24-33.

Adams, C. E., Cano, M. A., Heppner, W. L., Stewart, D. W., Correa-Fernández, V., Vidrine, J. I., Li, Y., Cinciripini, P. M., Ahluwalia, J. S., & Wetter, D. W. (2015). Testing a moderated mediation model of mindfulness, psychosocial stress, and alcohol use among African American smokers. Mindfulness, 6, 315-325.

Adams, C. E., Chen, M., Guo, L., Lam, C. Y., Stewart, D. W., Correa-Fernández, V., Cano, M. A., Heppner, W. L., Vidrine, J. I., Li, Y., Ahluwalia, J. S., Cinciripini, P. M., & Wetter, D. W. (2014). Mindfulness predicts lower affective volatility among African Americans during smoking cessation. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 28, 580-585

Cuevas, A. G., Reitzel, L. R., Adams, C. E., Cao, Y., Nguyen, N., Wetter, D. W., Watkins, K. L., Regan, S. D., & McNeill, L. H. (2014). Discrimination, affect, and cancer risk factors among African Americans. American Journal of Health Behavior, 38, 31-41. 

Adams, C. E., Heppner, W. L., Houchins, S., Stewart, D. W., Vidrine, J. I., & Wetter, D. W. (2014). Mindfulness meditation and addictive behaviors. In N. Singh (Ed.), The psychology of meditation (Chapter 14, pp. 311-343). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.

See Lab site for additional publications


PSY 380: Abnormal Psychology (undergraduate)
PSY 383: Health Psychology (undergraduate)
PSY 619: Health Psychology (graduate)
PSY 813: Psychopathology (graduate)
PSY 908: Practicum in Individual Psychotherapy (graduate)