Personal StatementGrowing up in a city often characterized by its violence, failing schools, and poor health outcomes, I was drawn to the possibility of improving the health and well-being of the families and communities closest to me. As a result, my research has consistently and deliberately been focused on the intersection of health and education with a strong concentration on conditions that disproportionately affect communities of color.
Katrina Debnam, assistant professor of nursing and education at UVA and a Roberts Scholar, studies youth violence prevention, health disparities, and school culture programs.
As a researcher and scientist at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, she honed an interest in both a qualitative and quantitative approach to programs combatting adolescent dating abuse, adolescent violence prevention, school climate initiatives, health disparities, and faith-based programs that aim to improve young people’s lives.
Debnam – who earned a psychology degree from Morgan State, an MPH from UNC Chapel Hill, and a PhD from the University of Maryland – is on the editorial board of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, a member of the Society for Prevention Research, and reviews manuscripts for a host of journals, including Prevention Science, Youth & Society, and the Journal of Research on Adolescence. A member of the Maryland team that led the training and evaluation of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) in more than 800 public schools, she teaches a new course on mixed methods research to both nursing and education students.
Research FocusAdolescent dating abuse, health disparities, positive youth development
Teaching FocusMixed methods research
Debnam, K. J., Waasdorp, T., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2016). Examining the contemporaneous occurrence of bullying and teen dating violence victimization. School Psychology Quarterly, 31(1), 76-90. doi:10.1037/spq0000124
Debnam, K. J., Milam, A., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2016). The role of stress and spirituality in adolescent substance use. Substance Use and Misuse, 51(6), 733-741. doi:10.3109/10826084.2016.1155224
Debnam, K. J., Howard, D. E., Garza, M. A., & Green, K. M. (2016). African American girls’ ideal dating relationship now and in the future. Youth and Society, 0(0), 1-24. doi:10.1177/0044118x14535417
Parker, E. M., Debnam, K., Pas, E. T., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2016). Exploring the link between alcohol and marijuana use and teen dating violence victimization among high school students: The influence of school context. Health Education & Behavior, 43(5), 528-36. doi:10.1177/1090198115605308
Phelan, E. A., Debnam, K. J., Anderson, L. A., & Owens, S. B. (2015). A systematic review of intervention studies to prevent hospitalizations of community-dwelling older adults with dementia. Medical Care, 53, 207-13. doi:10.1097/mlr.0000000000000294
Pas, E.T., Cash, A.H., O’Brennan, L., Debnam, K., & Bradshaw, C.P. (2015). Profiles of classroom behavior in high schools: Associations with teacher behavior management strategies and classroom composition. Journal of School Psychology, 53(1), 137-148. doi:10.1016/j.jsp.2014.12.005
Howard, D. E., Debnam, K. J., Cham, H., Czinn, A., Aiken, N., Jordan, J., & Goldman, R. (2015). The (mal) adaptive value of mid-adolescent dating relationship labels. Journal of Primary Prevention, 36(3), 187-203.
Debnam, K. J., Pas, E. T., *Bottiani, J., Cash, A., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2015). An examination of the association between observed and self-reported culturally responsive teaching practices. Psychology in the Schools, 52, 533-548. doi:10.1002/pits.21845
Bradshaw, C. P, Pas, E. T., Debnam, K. J., & Lindstrom Johnson, S. (2015). A Focus on Implementation of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) in High Schools: Associations With Bullying and Other Indicators of School Disorder. School Psychology Review, 44(4), 480-498. doi:10.17105/spr-15-0105.1
Holt, Cheryl L., Clark, E. M., Debnam, K, & Roth, D. (2014). Religion and health in African Americans: The role of religious coping. American Journal of Health Behavior, 38, 190-199. doi:10.5993/ajhb.38.2.4
Holt, Cheryl L., Clark, E. M., Roth, D., & Debnam, K. (2014). Positive self-perceptions as a mediator of religious involvement and health behaviors in a national sample of African Americans. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 37, 102-112. doi:10.1007/s10865-012-9472-7
Debnam, K. J., Johnson, S. L., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2014). Examining the association between bullying and adolescent concerns about teen dating violence. Journal of School Health, 84, 421-428. doi:10.1111/josh.12170
Debnam, K. J., Johnson, S. L., Waasdorp, T., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2014). Equity, connection, and engagement in the school context to promote positive youth development. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 24, 447-459. doi:10.1111/jora.12083
Debnam, K. J., Howard, D. E, & Garza, M. E. (2014). “If you don’t have honesty in a relationship, then there is no relationship”: African American girls’ characterization of healthy dating relationships, a qualitative study. Journal of Primary Prevention, 35, 397-407. doi:10.1007/s10935-014-0362-3
Bradshaw, C.P., Waasdorp, T.E., Debnam, K.J., & Lindstrom Johnson, S. (2014). Measuring school climate: A focus on safety, engagement, and the environment. Journal of School Health, 84, 593-604. doi:10.1111/josh.12186
Bradshaw, C.P., Debnam, K.D., Lindstrom Johnson, S., Pas, E.T., Hershfeldt, P., Alexander, A., Barrett, S., & Leaf, P.J. (2014). Maryland’s evolving system of social, emotional, and behavioral interventions in the public schools: The maryland safe and supportive schools project. Adolescent Psychiatry, 4, 194-206. doi:10.2174/221067660403140912163120
Holt, C. L., Litaker, M., Scarinci, I. C., Debnam, K., McDavid, C., McNeal, S. F., Eloubeidi, M., Crowther, M., Bolland, J., & Martin, M. Y. (2013). Spiritually-based intervention to increase colorectal cancer screening among African Americans: Screening and theory-based outcomes from a randomized trial. Health Education & Behavior, 40, 458-468. doi:10.1177/1090198112459651
Howard, D. E., Debnam, K. J., & Wang, M. Q. (2013). 10 year trends in physical dating violence victimization among U. S. adolescent females. Journal of School Health, 83, 389-399. doi:10.1111/josh.12042
Debnam, K. J., Pas, E., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2013). Factors influencing staff perceptions of administrator support for tier 2 and 3 interventions: A multilevel perspective. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 21, 116-126. doi:10.1177/1063426611410571
Lindstrom-Johnson, S., Waasdorp, T., Debnam, K. J., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2013). The role of bystander perceptions and school climate in influencing victims’ responses to bullying: To retaliate or seek support. Journal of Criminology, 0(0), 1-10. doi:10.1155/2013/780460
Debnam, K., Holt, Cheryl L., Clark, E. M., Roth, D., & Southward, P. L. (2012). Religious and general social support and health lifestyle behaviors in a national sample of African Americans. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 35, 179-189. doi:10.1007/s10865-011-9338-4
Debnam, K., Holt, Cheryl L., Clark, E. M., Roth, D., Foushee, H. R., Crowther, M., Fouad, M., & Southward, P. L. (2012). Spiritual health locus of control and health behaviors in a national sample of African Americans. American Journal of Health Behavior, 36, 360-372. doi:10.5993/ajhb.36.3.7
Debnam, K. J., Pas, E., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2012). Secondary and tertiary support systems in schools implementing school-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS): A descriptive analysis. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 14, 142-152. doi:10.1177/1098300712436844
Bottiani, J. H.,* Bradshaw, C. P., Rosenberg, M. S., Hershfeldt, P. A., Pell, K. L., & Debnam, K. J. (2012). Applying Double Check to response to intervention: Culturally responsive practices for learning disabilities. Insight on Learning Disabilities: Prevailing Theories to Validated Practices, 9, 93-107. doi:10.1002/pits.21845
Howard, D. E., Debnam, K. J., Wang, M. Q., & Gilchrist, B. (2012). 10 year trends in physical dating violence victimization among U. S. adolescent males. International Quarterly of Community Health Education, 32, 283-305. doi:10.2190/iq.32.4.c
Holt, C. L., Scarinci, I. C., Debnam, K., McDavid, C., Litaker, M., McNeal, S. F., Southward, V., Lee, C., Eloubeidi, M., Crowther, M., Bolland, J., & Martin, M. Y. (2012). Spiritually based intervention to increase colorectal cancer awareness among African Americans: Intermediate outcomes from a randomized trial. Journal of Health Communication, 17(1), 1028-1049. doi:10.1080/10810730.2012.665418
Debnam, K. & Beck, K. H. (2011). Driving while Black: A comparison of the beliefs, concerns and behaviors of Black and White maryland drivers. Traffic Injury Prevention, 12, 599-603. doi:10.1080/15389588.2011.615354
Holt, C. L., Clark, E. M., Debnam, K., Williams, B., Schulz, E., & Wang, M. Q. (2010). Social and Religious Support in Physical and Emotional Functioning in a National Sample of African Americans. In Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 39(1), 216.
Holt, C. L., Wynn, T. A., Debnam, K., Litaker, M., Jeames, S., Schoenberger, Y., Southward, P.,& Simons, V. (2010). Cancer awareness in alternative settings: Lessons learned and evaluation of the barbershop men’s health project. Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice, 4, 100-110.
Bradshaw, C. P., Debnam, K. J., Koth, C. W., & Leaf, P. J. (2009). Preliminary validation of the implementation phases inventory (IPI) for assessing fidelity of school-wide positive behavior supports. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 11, 145-160.
Debnam, K. J., Bradshaw, C. P., Pas, E. H., & Lindstrom-Johnson, S. (2015). School as a unit of analysis in group randomized controlled trials. In K. Bosworth (Eds.), Prevention science in school settings: Complex relationships and processes (pp. 247-269). New York: Springer