University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
Skip to Content

Jennifer A. Livingston, PhD

Jennifer A. Livingston, PhD

Senior Research Scientist

Educational Psychology

Contact Information

1021 Main Street
Buffalo, NY  14203-1016
Phone: (716) 887-2380
Email: livingst@ria.buffalo.edu

Primary Research Areas

Impact of victimization on adolescent health and development, adolescent substance use and sexual behavior, sexual assault risk factors and prevention.

Research Agenda

For the past decade, Dr. Livingston’s research has been dedicated to understanding the factors that can compromise adolescent health and development, particularly substance use, risky sexual behavior and victimization. One current study examines the acute and long-term effects of involvement with peer aggression (bullying and sexual harassment), how the qualities of the victimization experience (e.g., perpetrator characteristics, type of aggression, frequency) impact an individual’s acute response to victimization, and how involvement with bullying as a victim or perpetrator contributes to the development of substance use over time. Another study (funded by the Committee for Children) on child health and safety aims to evaluate a series of videos designed to help parents talk to their children about child sexual abuse (CSA). The goals of this study are to examine whether viewing the videos increases parent motivation and efficacy for discussing CSA with their children.

A future avenue of study seeks to develop an intervention aimed at reducing alcohol-involved sexual assault among college women through the use of motivational interviewing to promote friends as bystanders who can intervene in sexually risky situations.

Areas of Expertise

  • Childhood and adolescent victimization; how does victimization in early life  impact developmental outcomes, particularly as they relate to substance use, sexual risk behavior and re-victimization
  • Adolescent substance use – What are the predictors and mechanisms associated with the initiation of substance use for adolescents
  • Sexual risk and victimization – What factors put young women and adolescents at risk for sexual victimization and how does alcohol use contribute to risk of sexual victimization for high-risk populations: adolescents, young women, sexual minorities.
  • Prevention of violence among youth, adolescents, and emerging adults
  • How family processes impact developmental outcomes as they relate to substance use, sexual risk and violence
  • Mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative) approaches to research design and analysis