Dr. Redford Williams

member emotional intelligence consortium

Affiliation: Duke University Medical Center
Email: redfordw@duke.edu


Redford B. Williams received his undergraduate training at Harvard College and his medical training at Yale University School of Medicine. He is currently Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Professor of Medicine, and Director of the Behavioral Medicine Research Center at Duke University Medical Center. He is also Professor of Psychology in the Graduate School at Duke and Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He is cofounder, with Virginia Williams, Ph.D., of Williams LifeSkills, Inc., a firm whose mission is the development, evaluation, and delivery or training products to enhance emotional competencies.

Since joining the Duke faculty in 1972, following a fellowship at NIH, Redford has conducted research aimed at identifying psychosocial factors that increase the risk of medical disorders, the biobehavioral mechanisms whereby such factors contribute to pathogenesis, and the development of behavioral interventions aimed at ameliorating the health-damaging effects of psychosocial risk factors. He is the author or coauthor of ten books, including Anger Kills and LifeSkills, and over 200 articles in peer reviewed journals, he is probably best known for his research documenting the role of hostility and anger as a risk factor for coronary heart disease and other life-threatening illnesses. Most recently, he has begun to evaluate the role genetic factors, particularly polymorphisms of genes involved in regulating functions of the neurotransmitter serotonin, as they affect the impact of psychosocial risk factors on health and disease.

In addition to service on numerous review committees and task forces for the National Institutes of Health, Redford has also been a consultant to government agencies and corporations. He is past president of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, the American Psychosomatic Society, and the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research; and current president of the International Society of Behavioral Medicine.  He is a frequent commentator regarding matters of stress and disease for national print and electronic media in the U.S. and abroad.


Williams, R.B. & William, V.P.  ANGER KILLS:  SEVENTEEN STRATEGIES FOR CONTROLLING THE HOSTILITY THAT CAN HARM YOUR HEALTH.  New York:  Times Books, 1993.  Trade paperback edition published by Harper-Collins, Spring, 1994.

Williams, R.B. & Gentry, W.D. (Eds.), BEHAVIORAL APPROACHES TO MEDICAL TREATMENT. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger Publishing Company, 1977.


Campo AE, Williams VP, Williams RB, Segundo MA, Ludstron D, Weiss SM. (2008)  Effects of lifeskills training on medical students’ performance in dealing with complex clinical cases.  ACADEMIC PSYCHIATRY, 32:188-194.

Brummett, B.H., Boyle, S.H., Siegler, I.C., Kuhn, C.M., Ashley-Koch, A., Jonassaint, C.R., Zuchner, S., Collins, A., & Williams, R.B.  (2008).  Effects of environmental stress and gender on associations among symptoms of depression and the serotonin transporter gene linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR).  BEHAVIOR GENETICS, 38, 34-43.

Williams, R.B.  (2005).  Treating depression following myocardial infarction:  Can selecting patients on the basis of genetic susceptibility improve psychiatric and medical outcomes?  AMERICAN HEART JOURNAL, 150, 617-619 (editorial).

Williams, R.B.  (2008).  Psychosocial and biobehavioral factors and their interplay in coronary heart disease.  ANNUAL REVIEW OF CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY, 4: 349-365.

Williams, R.B., Barefoot, J.C., Califf, R.M., Haney, T.L., Saunders, W.B., Pryor, D.B., Hlatky, M.A., Siegler, I.C., & Mark, D.B. Prognostic importance of social and economic resources among medically treated patients with angiographically documented coronary artery disease. JAMA, 267: 520-524, 1992.

Williams, R.B., Barefoot, J.C., Blumenthal, J.A., Helms, M.J., Luecken, L., Pieper, C.F., Siegler, I.C., & Suarez, E.C. Psychosocial correlates of job strain in a sample of working women. ARCHIVES OF GENERAL PSYCHIATRY, 54: 543-548, 1997.

Williams, R.B., Marchuk, D.A., Siegler, I.C., Barefoot, J.C., Helms, M.J., Brummett, B.H., Surwit, R.S., Lane, J.D., Kuhn, C.M., Gadde, K.M., Ashley-Koch, A., Svenson, I.K., & Schanberg, S.M. (2008). Childhood socioeconomic status and serotonin transporter gene polymorphism enhance cardiovascular reactivity to mental stress.  PSYCHOSOMATIC MEDICINE, 70, 32-39. 

Book Chapters

Williams, R.B. & Williams, V.P. Lifeskills training to ameliorate the impact of psychosocial factors on the development and course of medical illness. IN Cummings, N.A., Cummings, J.L., & Johnson, J. (Eds.), BEHAVIORAL HEALTH IN PRIMARY CARE: A GUIDE FOR CLINICAL INTERGRATION. (Chapter 11), pp. 205-218. Madison, CT: Psychosocial Press, 1997.







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