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, holds an joint faculty appointment in the Curry School of Education and the School of Nursing at UVA. She is a SON Roberts Scholar who studies youth violence prevention, health disparities, and school climate.
As a researcher and scientist at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health for over 13 years, 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