John B. Jemmott III, Ph.D.

Portrait of John Jemmott
Kenneth B. Clark Professor of Communication and Psychiatry
Director, Center for Health Behavior and Communication Research

John B. Jemmott III is the Kenneth B. Clark Professor of Communication and Psychiatry at the Annenberg School for Communication. Jemmott holds joint faculty appointments at Annenberg and in Psychiatry in the Perelman School of Medicine. He is also the director of the Center for Health Behavior and Communication Research at the Annenberg School.

For the past 20 years, Jemmott has conducted a program of rigorous research on culturally appropriate HIV/STD risk-reduction interventions for Black adolescents, men, women, and couples, Latino adolescents, South African adolescents, college students, and men, and Botswana adolescents. This work has integrated qualitative research on the target population with the theoretical framework that includes social cognitive theory and the theory of planned behavior to develop interventions that are both culturally appropriate and theoretically grounded. He has published more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Since 1988, Jemmott has received numerous grants from the National Institutes of Health to conduct research designed to develop and test theory-based, contextually appropriate HIV/STD risk reduction interventions for a variety of populations in the United States and sub-Saharan Africa. He has served as principal investigator of over $64 million in research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Jemmott was identified in the 25 July 2008 issue of Science as a “Top Dog,” 1 of 10 researchers receiving the most investigator-initiated (R01) HIV-research grant funding from NIH in fiscal year 2007. In 2012, Jemmott was 1 of 60 scholars profiled by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, selected from over 46,000 former Fellows, in honor of the 60th anniversary of the program. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have disseminated as effective several curricula based on his HIV prevention research, including “Be Proud! Be Responsible!,” “Making a Difference!,” “Making Proud Choices!,” and “Sister to Sister.” He is currently interested in the effects of perceived norms and social networks, including friendship groups, on health-related behaviors.

Jemmott received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the Harvard University Department of Psychology and Social Relations. He was an Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor of Psychology at Princeton University before moving to Penn. A recipient of numerous awards, Jemmott is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Society for Behavioral Medicine. He has served on several NIH research review committees as well as American Psychological Association (APA) committees, including the APA Minority Fellowship Program Advisory Committee and the Committee on Psychology and AIDS. 

Selected Publications

Related News

Current Projects

His current projects focus on African American HIV serodiscordant couples, African American men who have sex with men, African American heterosexual men, Xhosa-speaking heterosexual men and adolescents in South Africa, and adolescents in school, church, and clinical settings in Botswana. Dr. Jemmott is also exploring the role that ICTs such as mobile phones, iPads, etc., might be able to play in influencing health behaviors amongst the above-mentioned populations.

John B. Jemmott's research focuses on health communication and behavior, physical activity, HIV prevention, behavioral interventions, sexual risk behavior, cultural influences on risk-reduction, violent behavior among adolescents, theories of health behavior, and design and methodology.

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Jemmott III's Network

  • Global and Comparative Communication
  • Health Communication
  • Media and Communication Effects
  • Center for Health Behavior and Communication Research