Jomella Watson-Thompson, Ph.D.
Dr. Thompson holds a Ph.D. in Behavioral Psychology and a Masters of Urban Planning from the University of Kansas. She applies behavioral science methods and interventions to improve how communities address issues related to community health and development. Her research has focused on neighborhood development, healthy youth development, and prevention, including substance abuse and violence prevention. Dr. Thompson supports community capacity-building efforts to address social determinants of health through community-based participatory research in urban neighborhoods and disparate communities. She has researched the effects of community-based processes and intervention to promote mobilization and change in communities. Dr. Thompson has extensive experience providing training, technical support and evaluation for community-based initiatives. Dr. Thompson has co-authored articles on community capacity-building, youth development, and prevention. She has been a consultant for several community coalitions and community-based initiatives.
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Applied Behavioral Science
1000 Sunnyside Avenue
4001 Dole Human Development Center
Lawrence, KS 66045-7555
Dr. Watson-Thompson's research experience has focused on the application of behavioral science methods and interventions to improve how communities address issues related to community health and development. She is particularly interested in a behavioral community psychology approach to social problem-solving. Her research team, the KU Work Group Team for Community Youth Development and Prevention, conducts research in affiliation with the Work Group for Community Health and Development, and the Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies. Her particular interests focus on neighborhood development, positive youth development, and prevention, including substance abuse and violence prevention. Dr. Watson-Thompson supports community-based participatory research and evaluation activities with community organizations to examine the effects of community-based prevention efforts in addressing youth violence and adolescent substance use. Her team is also initiating a line of research examining if youth engagement in preferred leisure-time physical activities may serve as a reinforcer and protective factor for pro-social behaviors. She also conducts research to support community capacity-building efforts to address social determinants of health through community-based participatory research in urban neighborhoods and disparate communities. A guiding theme for her research has been the empirical/experimental analysis of the effects of community-based processes and intervention to promote community mobilization and change in addressing the interrelated conditions that affect community health. She also has researched the effects of community-based processes and interventions (e.g., strategic planning) to examine organizational behavior and functioning of community-based organizations and coalitions. Specifically, she is interested in examining factors that enable communities, particularly those in urban environments, to effectively bring about change and improvement in community-identified outcomes of concern (e.g., homicides, graduation rates, community participation).
Anderson-Carpenter KD, Watson-Thompson J, Jones M, Chaney L. Associations between intervention intensity and underage drinking outcomes: A methodological approach from the Kansas SPF-SIG. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2017 Feb 1;171:e8.
Anderson-Carpenter, K. D., Watson-Thompson, J., Jones, M. D. and Chaney, L. (2017), Improving community readiness for change through coalition capacity building: Evidence from a multisite intervention. J. Community Psychol.. doi:10.1002/jcop.21860
Anderson‐Carpenter KD, Watson‐Thompson J, Chaney L, Jones M. Reducing binge drinking in adolescents through implementation of the strategic prevention framework. American journal of community psychology. 2016 Mar 1;57(1-2):36-46.
Watson-Thompson J. Community Development for Population Health and Health Equity. Scutchfield and Keck's Principles of Public Health Practice. 2016 Feb 10:443.
Hassaballa I, Ebekozien O, Frederica Williams MB, Schultz J, Hunter-Skidmore J, Fawcett S, Watson-Thompson J. Evaluation of a Diabetes Care Coordination Program for African-American Women Living in Public Housing. JCOM. 2015 Aug;22(8).