Melissa Peskin, PhD
Professor and Vice Chair
Maternal and Child Health
Injury and Violence
Health Education/Behavioral Sciences
Dr. Melissa Peskin is an epidemiologist and behavioral scientist with over 15 years of experience conducting research focused on the determinants of adolescent health risk behaviors related to sexual risk-taking and violence, including bullying, aggression, and dating violence. She also has extensive experience designing, implementing, and evaluating health promotion programs for youth. She has been PI or co-PI on several large randomized controlled trials to develop, evaluate and disseminate these programs. Examples of programs include “It’s Your Game… Keep it Real”, an effective adolescent sexual health program, “It’s Your Game-Tech”, the Internet version of It’s Your Game, and “Me and You: Building Healthy Relationships”, an effective healthy relationships and dating violence prevention program for middle school students. She was also PI of a study to develop an online decision support system to help school districts adopt and implement evidence-based sexual health programs.
Phone: +1 (713) 500-9759
Fax: +1 (713) 500-9602
A study to develop and test the usability of a sexual harassment and assault prevention program for active duty Airmen.
The goal of this study (sub-contracted from the University of Texas Medical Branch) is to rigorously evaluate the middle school version of Fourth R, an effective high school dating violence prevention program.
The purpose of this project is to evaluate the impact of Certified Peer Support (CPS) specialists to decrease recidivism, promote community tenure and encourage recovery of people in jail across each of the three project sites.
Using community-based participatory research methods, researchers at UTHealth developed iCHAMPSS, an innovative, theory- and Web-based decision support system designed to facilitate the adoption, implementation, and maintenance of adolescent sexual health evidence-based programs in schools.
Growing Up (A Longitudinal Study of the Outcomes, Risk Factors, and Protective Factors of Dating Violence and Other Adverse Events)
This study will assess dating violence perpetration and victimization, and modifiable risk and protective factors in adolescents from ethnically and socioeconomically diverse backgrounds.
UTHealth leads the research arm of the Houston Collaborative for Youth in Care. This work includes developing sexual health education for youth in foster care and adults that work with them, updating iCHAMPSS, and reviewing sex-ed programs for TEKS alignment.
Native IYG is an online sexual health education curriculum for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth ages 12-14.
Me & You is among one of the first middle school programs to have been developed and shown to be effective in reducing dating violence perpetration for ethnic minority middle school youth and to include components from multiple levels of the socio-ecological model.
Me & You Too is a multi-level 6th grade sexual risk avoidance education curriculum designed to increase students’ healthy decision-making, goal-setting, and self-regulation skills to have healthy relationships and abstain from sexual activity and other risk behaviors.
The goal of this R21 study is to adapt and assess the feasibility and impact an innovative online decision support system, Native iCHAMPS, to facilitate the adoption and implementation of culturally-relevant effective sexual health education interventions in AIAN communities.
IYG is a a theory-based healthy relationship and sexual health education curriculum.
The goal of this 3 year Fast-Track STTR is to develop and evaluate a multi-level (youth, parent, school) Internet-based teen dating violence (DV) prevention program, ‘Me & You-Tech’ (MYTech), for predominantly racial/ethnic-minority 6th--grade middle school students.