Jennifer Unger, PhD
Professor of Population and Public Health Sciences; Associate Training Director
Health Equity Interests
I study the psychosocial and cultural risk and protective factors for health-related behaviors across diverse populations.
Jennifer B. Unger, Ph.D. is a Professor of Population and Public Health Sciences at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. Her research focuses on the psychological, social, and cultural influences on health-risk and health-protective behaviors among diverse populations. She currently serves as an Associate Director of the USC Coronavirus Pandemic Research Center (CPRC) and co-leads studies of rapid antigen testing in schools and vaccine hesitancy among college students. She and her colleagues have conducted longitudinal studies of acculturation, cultural stress, and substance use among Hispanic adolescents, highlighting the role of discrimination in health-risk behaviors. Her research also has examined cultural influences on tobacco use among American Indian adolescents, Chinese adolescents, and African American adults and neighborhood influences on adolescent cannabis use. She has collaborated on the design and evaluation of fotonovelas and telenovelas about secondhand smoke exposure in multiunit housing; diabetes; asthma; immunization; and kidney transplantation. She is a Project Leader in the USC Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS), where she studies diffusion of messages about emerging tobacco products to vulnerable populations through social media and leads the Population Core, which conducts annual surveys of three longitudinal cohorts of adolescents and young adults. She is a Program Leader of the Cancer Control program at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Director of the Ph.D. program in Population and Public Health Sciences / Health Behavior Research. She teaches predoctoral courses in research methods and grantwriting.
- Population Characteristics
- Social Environment
- Racial Disparities
- Ethnic Disparities
- Immigrant Health
- Social Determinants of Health
- Risk Factors
- Tobacco Control
- Community Health
- Health Promotion
- Disease Prevention
- Health Behavior
- Primary Prevention
- Secondary Prevention
- Population Surveillance
COVID-19 booster vaccine attitudes and behaviors among university students and staff in the United States: The USC Trojan pandemic research Initiative.
Prev Med Rep. 2022 Aug;28:101866. doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2022.101866. Epub 2022 Jun 27. PubMed PMID: 35785408; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9235287.
Tobacco and cannabis use advertisements targeting adolescents and young adults on Snapchat in 2019.
Prev Med Rep. 2022 Apr;26:101758. doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2022.101758. Epub 2022 Mar 8. PubMed PMID: 35295669; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8918856.
Differences in Young Adults' Perceptions of and Willingness to Use Nicotine Pouches by Tobacco Use Status.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Feb 25;19(5). doi: 10.3390/ijerph19052685. Epub 2022 Feb 25. PubMed PMID: 35270385; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8910652.
Patterns and mediators of racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among young adults.
Prev Med. 2022 Jun;159:107077. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2022.107077. Epub 2022 May 6. PubMed PMID: 35526673; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9072749.
A Machine Learning Approach to Identify Predictors of Frequent Vaping and Vulnerable Californian Youth Subgroups.
Nicotine Tob Res. 2022 Jun 15;24(7):1028-1036. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntab257. PubMed PMID: 34888698; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9199938.
- Directed Research
- Intervention Research Grant Proposal Development
- Directed Research in Health Behavior
- Research Seminar in Health Behavior
- Doctoral Dissertation
- Health Behavior Research Methods
- Behavioral Epidemiology
- Basic Theory and Strategies for Compliance/Adaptation