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.

There are 26 included publications by Tracy R. Nichols :

TitleDateViewsBrief Description
Alcohol and Cigarette Free: Examining Social Influences on Substance Use Abstinence among Black Non-Latina and Latina Urban Adolescent Girls 2011 381 Increases in substance use prevalence among girls, as well as a lack of research conducted with urban girls of color, highlight the importance of understanding both predictors and outcomes of substance use abstinence (SUA) within this population. Thi...
Comparison of Two School-Based Smoking Prevention Programs among South African High School Students: Results of a Randomized Trial 2008 202 Background: Smoking rates are projected to increase substantially in developing countries such as South Africa.Purpose: The aim of this study was to test the efficacy of two contrasting approaches to school-based smoking prevention in South African y...
Development and Implementation of a Women’s Health Promotion Program: The Moms for Moms Approach 2009 200 The Moms for Moms (M4M) program provides mothers the arena necessary to explore new ideas and definitions about mothering as well as skills and strategies concerning parenting, family management, and healthy habits. A participatory approach has been ...
Effects of a School-Based Drug Abuse Prevention Program for Adolescents on HIV Risk Behavior in Young Adulthood 2006 206 Early onset of substance use among adolescents has been found to be associated with later risky sexual behaviors. This study examined long-term follow-up data from a large randomized school-based drug prevention trial to (1) investigate the long-term...
Examining Anger as a Predictor of Drug Use Among Multiethnic Middle School Students 2008 186 Background: Anger, a component of negative affect, has previously been associated with increased drug use primarily among white high school–aged students. However, few studies have examined these associations over time, and fewer have examined them ...
Factors Influencing Depression and Anxiety among Black Sexual Minority Men 2011 175 The primary aim of this study was to examine the relationships between depression and anxiety, and ethnic and sexual identity development, and discrimination and harassment (DH) among Black sexual minority men. Additional aims were to determine wheth...
Homeless women’s experiences of social support from service providers 2013 332 Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine homeless women's interactions with service providers and the degree to which these interactions are perceived as social support.Design/methodology/approach – Using a phenomenological approach, in-dept...
Homeless Women's Experiences of Service Provider Encounters 2014 225 Service providers are gatekeepers to health-sustaining services and resources, although little is known about service encounters from the perspective of homeless women. We conducted in-depth semistructured interviews with 15 homeless women to better ...
Is Sensation Seeking a Stable Trait or Does it Change Over Time? 2011 206 The theory of sensation seeking has conceptualized this construct as a stable personality trait associated with a variety of problem behaviors. Reckless behavior theory posits that increases in reckless behavior during adolescence can be attributed, ...
It’s not what you say, it’s how many different ways you can say it: Links between divergent peer resistance skills and delinquency a year later 2004 198 Purpose: To examine whether generation of ‘socially appropriate’ responses or divergent responses to continued peer pressure is a more effective deterrent of actual delinquency.Methods: The sample of 129 urban adolescents included both boys and girls...
Links between Pubertal Timing, Peer Influences, and Externalizing Behaviors among Urban Students Followed Through Middle School 2007 158 Purpose: To evaluate underlying mechanisms of the association between early pubertal timing and both aggression and delinquency among a sample of minority males and females from an urban community.Methods: The association between perceived early pube...
Long-Term Follow-Up Effects of a School-Based Drug Abuse Prevention Program on Adolescent Risky Driving 2004 189 This study examined long-term follow-up data from a large-scale randomized trial to determine the extent to which participation in a school-based drug abuse prevention program during junior high school led to less risky driving among high school stud...
A Longitudinal Examination of Family, Friend, and Media Influences on Competent Versus Problem Behaviors Among Urban Minority Youth 2006 179 This article examines family, friend, and media influences on competent and problem behaviors in a sample of 1,174 urban minority youth followed over 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. Students completed annual surveys at their schools. Each of the contextual...
Low perceived chances for success in life and binge drinking among inner-city minority youth 2004 151 Purpose: To examine the relationship between low perceived chances for success in life and binge drinking in a sample of economically disadvantaged, predominantly minority, urban adolescents.Methods: A sample of predominantly black and Hispanic stude...
Lunchtime Practices and Problem Behaviors Among Multiethnic Urban Youth 2009 189 Research has begun to show associations between adolescents' mealtime practices and their engagement in problem behaviors. Few studies have addressed this longitudinally and/or examined lunchtime practices during the school day. This study tests for ...
Maternal Influences on Smoking Initiation Among Urban Adolescent Girls 2004 165 This study examined associations between maternal social influences to smoke and girls' early smoking behaviors. Data were collected separately from 450 urban minority girls (65.7% Black, 21.5% Latina, and 12.8% other) and their mothers on smoking fr...
Maternal Navigational Strategies: Examining Mother-Daughter Dyads in Adolescent Families of Color 2010 212 Mother—daughter relationships are critical to the health and well-being of adolescent girls. Understanding mothers’ and daughters’ perspectives on the relationship can inform health promotion strategies that may benefit both. In-depth semistructured ...
Pregnant and Parenting Students on Campus: Policy and Program Implications for a Growing Population 2013 450 The number of pregnant and parenting students in higher education is increasing. Research suggests this population experiences added pressure and stress while pursuing their education. Few resources exist for these students and the universities who p...
Preventing Youth Violence and Delinquency through a Universal School-Based Prevention Approach 2006 642 Violence is an important public health problem among adolescents in the United States. Substance use and violence tend to co-occur among adolescents and appear to have similar etiologies. The present study examined the extent to which a comprehensive...
Putting pubertal timing in developmental context: Implications for prevention 2010 365 This article examines selected findings regarding the consequences of difference in timing of pubertal onset in order to build an explanatory model of puberty in context. We also seek to shed light on possible prevention efforts targeting adolescent ...
Race, Socioeconomic Status, and Age: Exploring Intersections in Preterm Birth Disparities among Teen Mothers 2015 29 Few studies have examined disparities in adverse birth outcomes and compared contributingsocioeconomic factors specifically between African-American and White teen mothers. Thisstudy examined intersections between neighborhood socioeconomic status (a...
Refusal skill ability: An examination of adolescent perceptions of effectiveness 2010 366 This pilot study examined whether refusal assertion as defined by a proven drug prevention program was associated with adolescent perceptions of effectiveness by comparing two sets of coded responses to adolescent videotaped refusal role-plays (N = 6...
Sex differences in overt aggression and delinquency among urban minority middle school students 2006 226 Given the recent debate over whether differential pathways to overt aggression and delinquency exist between boys and girls, this study examined sex differences in overt aggressive and delinquent acts along with potential differences in precursors (a...
Sixth Graders’ Conflict Resolution in Role Plays with a Peer, Parent, and Teacher 2005 694 This study used conflict resolution role play vignettes and self-report surveys of 450 New York City 6th graders to examine associations between adolescents’ conflict resolution efficacy and social skills. Vignettes covered 3 social contexts, conflic...
Trajectories of aggression, delinquency, and substance use across middle school among urban, minority adolescents 2011 290 This study evaluated bidirectional associations between substance use, aggression, and delinquency across sixth, seventh, and eighth grades using data available from a large study of urban minority youth (n = 2,931). Group-based trajectory analysis r...
Using research poetics responsibly: Applications for health promotion research 2015 29 Research poetics, a form of arts-based research methods, has been underutilized in the field of health promotion. Poetic methods have most commonly been used as a form of representation of the lived experience in qualitative research. For the communi...