My research interests relate to understanding and intervening on the social contexts and influences on health behaviors. Most of my work has been school-based and focused on early adolescents, though I am also interested in a broad range of populations.
Currently, I am the principal investigator of the Good Fit Project, a National Cancer Institute-funded study to promote after-school physical activity among multiethnic urban 11-14 year olds. This is a mixed-methods formative evaluation study to promote after school physical activity among multiethnic adolescents living in urban areas.
I have worked on large-scale intervention studies to promote healthy eating and physical activity in middle school students as well as observational studies of violence and pregnancy prevention. I also am involved with the Healthy Children Healthy Futures Initiative to promote healthy eating and physical activity in young people. I am fascinated by trying to understand how schools and other social environments interact with personal characteristics to affect behavior. For example, I have published papers on assessing school functioning and examining its effect on students' self-reported violent behavior, and measuring middle school girls' perceptions of school climate regarding physical activity.