Tracy R. Nichols

I received my undergraduate degree from the New School for Social Research, followed by a master's degree in general psychology from Hunter College. In 2002, I received my doctorate in developmental psychology from Columbia University where I studied under Dr. Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, a renowned expert in girls’ development and pubertal timing. For 17 years, I worked closely with Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin, a leading authority in school-based drug prevention strategies, at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. I played a critical role in the development and evaluation of his state-of-the-art adolescent drug and violence prevention program, entitled Life Skills Training. I am interested in how the social and environmental contexts of settings affect health practices, particularly among women and adolescent girls. I have studied multiple settings as a context for health promotion interventions, including schools, after-school programs, homeless shelters, and families. Within each setting I am particularly interested in how interpersonal relationships affect health practices and values. I am also interested in how messages regarding gender, race, and class norms are transmitted within these settings and how these messages affect individual’s participation in both health-promoting and risky health behaviors. My current interests include expanding our knowledge of how both gender-appropriate and transformative interventions can be developed and evaluated within family and community settings. As such I am committed to translating the intersections of individual behavior, social-ecology of settings, and the social constructions of race, class, gender and health into effective intervention strategies. Methodologically I incorporate quantitative, qualitative and mixed-method designs as appropriate to the specific research question.