Dr. Wilkinson’s research focuses on the primary prevention of obesity, smoking and alcohol use, and the promotion of physical activity among youth and young adults. She is interested in the relative role that individual-level factors (such as subjective and objective social status, sensation seeking tendencies), social factors (such as norms, family / peer behavior, and the built environment), and genetic factors may play in shaping these behaviors. In 2008, she received a Career Development award from the National Cancer Institute to study the interactions between, and relative influence of, non-genetic and genetic determinants of smoking initiation and physical activity.
Currently she is involved in the Texas-based evaluation of SNAP-ED, serves as a co-investigator on the Texas Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science, and is working with Dr. Springer to complete a youth-focused needs assessment in the Del Valle and Montopolis neighborhoods of Austin.
Research Interests – Health disparities and immigrant health; tobacco prevention and cessation; promotion of physical activity and obesity prevention; bio-behavioral epidemiology.
Texas SNAP-Ed Evaluation, is a two-year project to evaluate, on a statewide basis, the effectiveness of SNAP-Ed nutrition education and obesity prevention programming activities delivered by Implementing Agencies throughout the state of Texas.