Ryan Marek

Ryan Marek

Assistant Professor in Health Services Psychology,
College of Human Sciences and Humanities

Contact number: 281-283-3409
Email: Marek@uhcl.edu
Office: Bayou 2233.05


Ryan J. Marek, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Houston - Clear Lake.  Dr. Marek received his doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from Kent State University and completed his APA-accredited internship at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).  

Broadly speaking, Dr. Marek's research and clinical interests revolve around understanding psychopathology in medical settings. Specifically, he focuses on how personality and psychopathology can inform the need for pre-surgical intervention and post-surgical follow-up care across a variety of populations, including bariatric surgery, spine surgery, and solid organ transplant populations. With regards to non-surgical populations, Dr. Marek also has clinical and research interests in eating disorders and obesity.

Dr. Marek also has substantial experience progressing evidenced based psychological assessment (with emphasis on the MMPI) in medical settings. He is actively involved in research and applied clinical work related to the MMPI, one of the most widely used tests in psychology.

Dr. Marek is accepting students for his lab for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Curriculum vitae

Areas of Expertise

  • Personality
  • MMPI
  • Behavioral Medicine
  • Health Psychology
  • Obesity
  • Eating Disorders


Marek, R.J., Anderson, J.A., Tarescavage, A.T., Haugh, S., Martin-Fernandez, K., Heinberg, L.J., Block, A.R., Mandell, D. Scheman, J. & Ben-Porath, Y.S. (in press). Elucidating Somatization in a Dimensional Model of Psychopathology Across Medical Settings. Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

Marek, R.J., Ben-Porath, Y.S., Epker, J.T., Kreymer, J.K., & Block, A.R. (in press). Reliability and Validity of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory – 2 – Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF) in Spine Surgery and Spinal Cord Stimulator Samples. Journal of Personality Assessment. doi: 10.1080/00223891.2018.1488719

Tarescavage, A.M., Ben-Porath, Y.S., Marek, R.J., Boutacoff, L.I., & Heinberg, L.J. (2019). Flexible and Conditional Simulated Administration of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2-Restructured Form in Pre-Surgical Psychological Evaluations of Bariatric Surgery Candidates. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, 15(5), 732-738.

Block, A.R., Marek, R.J., & Ben-Porath, Y.S., (2019). Patient Activation Mediates the Association between Psychosocial Risk Factors and Spine Surgery Results. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 26 (2), 123-130. doi: 10.1007/s10880-018-9571-x.

Marek, R.J., Block, A.R., Ben-Porath, Y.S. (2019). Validation of a Psychological Screening Algorithm for Spine Surgery Outcomes. Assessment,26 (5), 915-928. doi: 10.1177/1073191117719512

Ata, R., Heinberg, L.J., Boepple, L., Marek, R.J., & Thompson, K. (2018). Obesity as a Disease: Effects on Weight-Biased Attitudes and Beliefs. Stigma and Health, 3(4), 406-414. doi: 10.1037/sah0000087.

Marek, R.J., Steffen, K., Wolf, B., Flum, D.R., Rubin, P.J., Pories, W.J., Pomp, A., & Mitchell, JE. (2018). Psychosocial Functioning and Quality of Life in Patients with Loose Redundant Skin 4-5 Years After Bariatric Surgery. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2018.07.025.

Marek, R.J., Couhlon, S.M., Brown, J.D., Lydecker, J., Marek, S., Malcolm, R., & O’Neil, P.M. (2017). Characteristics of Weight Loss Trajectories in a Comprehensive Lifestyle Intervention. Obesity, 25(12), 2062-2067.

Marek, R.J., Ben-Porath, Y.S., Dulmen, M.H.M. Ashton, K., & Heinberg, L.J. (2017). Using the Pre- Surgical Psychological Evaluation to Predict 5-Year Weight Loss Outcomes in Bariatric Surgery Patients. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, 13(3), 514-521.

Marek, R.J. & Ben-Porath, Y.S., Heinberg, L.J. (2016). Understanding the Role of Psychopathology in Bariatric Surgery Outcomes. Obesity Reviews, 17(2), 126-141.

Courses (Current Academic Year)

PSYC 6033/7033, Personality Assessment

PSYC 6038, Clinical Practicum

PSYC 6130, Psychological Measurement

PSYC 6531/7531, Psychopathology

PSYC 7131, Quantitative Analysis I

PSYC 7131, Quantitative Analysis II

PSYC 7136, Multicultural and Diversity Issues in Health Psychology

PSYC 7334, Adult Behavioral Medicine

Awards and Accomplishments

Research Grants:

Source: University of Minnesota Press

Title: Expanding Research on the MMPI-2-RF in Bariatric Surgery Candidates

Role: Co-Investigator

Award Amount: $6,000

Date: July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020


Source: University of Minnesota Press

Title: Using Presurgical Psychological Assessments to Predict Psychopathology and Weight Loss Outcomes Five Years after Bariatric Surgery

Role: Principal Investigator

Award Amount: $32,000

Date: July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2020


Source: University of Minnesota Press

Title: Validation of Psychosocial Risk Factor Dimensions Assessed by the MMPI-2-RF Spine Surgery Candidate Interpretive Report (Spine- CIR) and Spinal Cord Stimulator Candidate Interpretive Report (Stim- CIR)

Role: Co-Investigator

Award Amount: $37,000

Date: July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2020


Source: University of Minnesota Press

Title: The Spine Surgery Candidate Interpretive Report (Spine-CIR) and Spinal Cord Stimulator Candidate Interpretive Report (Stim-CIR): Replication and Validation with the MMPI-3

Role: Co-Investigator

Award Amount: $20,000


APA Early Career Achievement Award (2019).

Samuel J. and Anne G. Beck Award (2019) - bestowed annually for outstanding early career research in the field of personality assessment.