This 5-year project has the goal to decrease the teen birth rate by 5% and decrease the STI rate by 5% for 10-19 year olds, create positive changes in participant’s attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, awareness and behavioral intentions in regards to adolescent pregnancy and sustain the program by providing evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention (TPP) education annually through a combination of in school and after school educational programs that result in improvements in the health and well-being of adolescents in a rural county in Florida.  Our team at UF is conducting evaluation of the programs implemented.

Archival Projects

Our past projects include Indulgent Parenting, CBAE,  the Girls and Boys Health and Development (GBHD) Project and LifeSkills Training (LST), comprising of the LST Observational Study of Social Skills and the LST Random

Indulgent Parenting Practices

In collaboration with Ming Cui, Ph.D., at Florida State University, we have been conducting a pilot test of a measure of indulgent parenting. The measure has been tested in two iterations among university students. Our goal is to identify outcomes of parenting among adolescents and emerging adults.

PI: Ming Cui, Ph.D. & Julia A. Graber, Ph.D.

Representative publications/presentations:

Cui, M., Graber, J. A., Metz, A., Darling, C. A. (2019). Parental indulgence, self-regulation, and young adults’ behavioral and emotional problems.  Journal of Family Studies, 25, 233-249.


This project evaluated a community-based health education program that promoted prosocial activities among middle and high school students as well as a gender-specific program for girls in rural communities in Florida. The data from this project address adolescents’ problem behaviors and their beliefs, as well as related constructs such as social influences and refusal skills. The study was funded by an Administration for Children & Families, CBAE Program Grant awarded to Heartland Rural Health Network.

PI: Julia A. Graber, Ph.D.

Representative publications/presentations:

Graber, J. A., & Johnson, K. J. (2010, April). Balancing theory, program components, and pragmatics to create comprehensive assessment protocols. Poster presented at the 2010 Evaluating Community-Based Risk Prevention Programs for Youth Conference, Arlington, VA.

Hill, J. C., & Graber, J. A. (2017). Evaluating a community based pregnancy prevention program using a quasi-experimental design and propensity scores.  SAGE Research Methods Cases. DOI:

Hill, J. C., Graber, J. A., Jean-Baptiste, E., Johnson, K. J. (2019).  Factors associated with attitude-behavior conflicts among sexually experienced, rural, early adolescents. Journal of Early Adolescence, 39,81-96.

Graber, J. A., Hill, J., & Saczawa, M. (2014). Childhood and the entry into adolescence: A pivotal period in health-related behaviors and prevention. In Z. Sloboda & H. Petras (Eds.), Defining Prevention Science (pp. 59-86). New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Girls and Boys Health and Development (GBHD) Project

The GBHD project examined how physiological processes associated with puberty, and relationships with parents and peers, set girls and boys on various trajectories leading to more or less positive adjustment. The study followed girls from third through sixth grades, and boys from fourth through seventh grades, from integrated working- and middle-class communities in the greater New York City area. The data from this project address recent concerns about the effects of early puberty on girls’ development and overall well-being. The data also helps fill a critical gap in our knowledge about the development of boys. The study received funding from NICHD and the William T. Grant Foundation.

Co-PIs: Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Ph.D. and Julia A. Graber, Ph.D.

Representative publications/presentations:

Saczawa, M., Graber, J. A., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Warren, M. P. (2013). Methodological considerations in use of the cortisol/DHEA(S) ratio in adolescent populations. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 38, 2815-2819.

Sontag, L. M., Graber, J. A., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Warren, M. P. (2008). Coping with social stress: Implications for psychopathology in young adolescent girls. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 36, 1159-1174.

Villanueva Dixon, S., Graber, J. A., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2008). The roles of respect for parental authority and parenting practices in parent-child conflict among African American, Latino, and European American families. Journal of Family Psychology, 22,1-11.

Graber, J. A., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Warren, M. P. (2006). Pubertal effects on adjustment in girls: Moving from demonstrating effects to identifying pathways. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 35, 413-423.

Tyrka, A. R., Kelly, M. M., Graber, J. A., DeRose, L., Lee, J. K., Warren, M. P., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2010). Behavioral adjustment in a community sample of boys: Links with basal and stress-induced salivary cortisol concentrations. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 35,1167-1177.

Mendle, J., Harden, K. P., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Graber, J. A. (2010). Development’s tortoise and hare: Pubertal timing, pubertal tempo and depressive symptoms in boys and girls. Developmental Psychology, 46, 1341-1353.

LifeSkills Training (LST)

This project is an extension of Cornell’s work in implementing and evaluating the Life Skills Training intervention—a school-based drug abuse and violence prevention program with a sample of 6th graders in New York City schools. The Life Skills Training Project is a 5-year investigation designed to identify cognitive-behavioral mediating mechanisms related to the efficacy of a broad-spectrum, competence enhancement and drug abuse prevention school-based intervention called Life Skills Training (LST). The LST intervention includes problem-specific material concerning drug abuse and violence prevention as well as more generic cognitive-behavioral skills, and was taught to a treatment group of 500 6th grade students. A control group of 500 6th grade students was given a basic health program. Through this investigation we hope to determine the extent to which reductions in drug use and aggression/violence are mediated through changes in generic and problem-specific cognitive-behavioral skills.

PI: Gil Botvin, Ph.D.

LST Observational Study of Social Skills (Co-PI Julia Graber, Ph.D.)

Representative publications/presentations:

Wright, A. J., Nichols, T. R., Graber, J. A., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Botvin, G. J. (2004). It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it: A one-year longitudinal study of peer resistance skills and delinquency. Journal of Adolescent Health, 35(5), 380-391.

Borbely, C. J., Graber, J. A., Nichols, T. R., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Botvin, G. J. (2005). Sixth graders’ conflict resolution in role plays with a peer, parent, and teacher. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 34 (4), 279-291.

Nichols, T. R., Graber, J. A., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Botvin, G. J. (2006). Ways to say no: Refusal skill strategies among urban adolescents. American Journal of Health Behavior, 30, 227-236.

Nichols, T. R., Birnel, S., Graber, J. A., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Botvin, G. J. (2010). Refusal skill ability: An examination of adolescent perceptions of effectiveness. Journal of Primary Prevention, 31, 127-137.

LST Randomized Clinical Trial (Normative Development in Control Group)

Representative publications/presentations:

Nichols, T. R., Graber, J. A., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Botvin, G. J. (2006). Sex differences in overt aggression and delinquency among urban minority middle school students. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 27, 78-91.

Graber, J. A., Nichols, T. R., Lynne, S. D., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Botvin, G. J. (2006). A longitudinal examination of family, friend, and media influences on competent versus risky behaviors among urban minority youth. Applied Developmental Science, 10, 75-85.

Lynne, S. D., Graber, J. A., Nichols, T. R., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Botvin, G. J. (2007). Links between pubertal timing, peer influences, and externalizing behaviors among urban students followed through middle school. Journal of Adolescent Health, 40, 181.e7-181.e1

Lynne-Landsman, S. D., Graber, J. A., Nichols, T. R., & Botvin, G. J. (2011). Is sensation seeking a stable trait or does it change over time? Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 40, 48-58.

Lynne-Landsman, S. D., Graber, J. A., Nichols, T. R., & Botvin, G. J. (2011). Trajectories of aggression, delinquency, and substance use across middle school among urban, minority adolescents Aggressive Behavior, 37, 161-176.

Adolescent Peer Experiences (APEX) Study

The APEX study investigates the impact of positive and negative peer experiences on the behavioral and psychosocial well-being of young adolescents. The study focuses primarily on stress reactivity and coping, peer popularity, aggression, pubertal timing, and moral judgment. The APEX study assessed 6th, 7th, and 8th grade adolescents from local middle schools in Gainesville, FL. An additional component of the APEX study, lead by Katherine Clemans, investigated the emotional correlates of aggression and moral judgment in late adolescence.

Co-PIs: Lisa M. Sontag & Katherine H. Clemans

Representative publications/presentations:

Sontag, L. M., & Graber, J.A. (2010). Coping with peer stress: Gender-specific and common pathways to symptoms of psychopathology. Developmental Psychology, 46, 1605-1620.

Sontag, L. M., Clemans, K. H., Graber, J.A., & Lyndon, S. (2011). Traditional and cyber aggressors and victims: A comparison of psychosocial characteristics. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 40 (4), 392-404.

Sontag, L. M., Graber, J. A., & Clemans, K. H. (2011). The role of peer stress and pubertal timing on symptoms of psychopathology in early adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40 (10), 1371-1382.

Representative publications/presentations: APEX 2

Clemans, K. H., Graber, J. A., & Bettencourt, A. (2012). Adult-directed and peer-directed respect: Relationships with aggressive and manipulative behavior. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 22(3), 480-486.