For the past two decades, I have used social network analysis to figure out why teens bully each other, drink and do drugs, and engage in dating violence. My work on bullying has received significant media coverage, and in a thoroughly surreal turn of events, led to two Emmy-winning collaborations with Anderson Cooper 360º, with one focusing on bullying (with Diane Felmlee in 2011), and the other on social media (#Being13, with Marion Underwood in 2015).
Most of my research is based on the Context Study, a panel survey of North Carolina teenagers collected between 2003 and 2007. Recently, my colleagues and I were awarded an NIH grant to fund the NC Life Study, which will collect new data from the original Context participants, now in their early 30’s, in order to better understand how experiences of adolescence shape adult health and well-being. The focus of the study is to understand the long-term consequences of encounters with structural, institutional, and interpersonal racism.