Center Research Faculty

Meg Small

Ph.D., University of Maryland, 1992

Assistant Director for Innovations and Social Change and Research Associate, Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development

Program Areas: Family Science & Intervention; School-based Prevention Research; Translation, Dissemination & Implementation

Contact Information

308A Biobehavioral Health Building


Phone: 814-865-5207
Fax: 814-865-2530

Research Interests

Understanding the factors that allow organizations to successfully adopt and sustain evidence-based interventions; developing and testing methods that allow organizations to use data when making programmatic decisions; determining the role of the private sector in prevention science.

Online Video and Articles

Focus on Research: Group Wants to Help Penn State Students Experience Penn State, Centre County

State College, PA (September 8, 2013) Centre Daily Times

Examples of Current Prevention Projects

Innovative School Processes for Intelligent Re-Engineering (INSPIRE)
Prevention Research Center and Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Penn State

The aim of this project is to determine the feasibility and specific value of an Integrated Data System that will provide relevant actionable information (academic, social/ emotional skills, and attendance) to school personnel so they can manage limited resources optimally.

University Life Study

National Institutes of Health

Start Date: 2006

The University Life Study is designed to examine links between alcohol use and sexual behavior in college students. Using web-based surveys, the study will use a measurement burst design to examine developmental changes and situational fluctuations in links between risks behaviors in different domains, as well as the extent to which such associations vary by intrapersonal (e.g., affect), interpersonal (e.g., relationship status), and environmental (e.g., holidays, sports events) predictors. Students will complete 14 days of web-based surveys each semester from the fall of freshman year through fall of their senior year of college. The team for this project includes Jennifer Maggs (PI), Eva Lefkowitz (Co-Investigator), Meg Small (Managing Investigator), and Nicole Morgan.

An Appearance-based Intervention to Reduce Teen Skin Cancer Risk

(Project iSTART)

Start Date: 2010

Funder: NCI

Project iSTART, a collaboration with East Tennessee State University, is a web-based, appearance-focused intervention directed at a nationally representative sample of high school girls with a goal of reducing tanning intentions, frequency, and the overall percentage of users while increasing sun protective behavior.  We will track these students for two years to examine whether the intervention is able to reduce long-term skin cancer risk behaviors.  We will also identify subgroups for whom the intervention is more effective versus less effective, such as having a mother who tans, peer group affiliation or year in school.  High school represents a critical developmental stage for both melanoma risk and for the development of regular, frequent tanning habits, and Project iSTART will be the first anti-tanning intervention delivered to high school teens via the internet.

Recent Publications

Brener, N. D., Simon, T. R., Anderson, M., Barrios, L. C., & Small, M. L. (2002). Effect of the incident at Columbine on students’ violence-and suicide-related behaviors. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 22(3), 146–149.

Graczyk, P. A., Domitrovich, C. E., Small, M. L., & Zins, J. E. (2006). Serving all children: An implementation model framework. School Psychology Review, 35

(2), 266–274.

Ferrer-Wreder, L., Palchuk, A., Poyrazli, S., Small, M. L., & Domitrovich, C. E. (2008). Identity and adolescent adjustment. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, 8(2), 95–105.

Patrick, M. E., Rhoades, B. L., Small, M., & Coatsworth, J. D. (2008). Faith-placed parenting intervention. Journal of Community Psychology, 36, 74–80.

Ransford, C. R., Greenberg, M. T., Domitrovich, C. E., Small, M., & Jacobson, L. (2009). The role of teachers’ psychological experiences and perceptions of supports on the implementation of a social and emotional learning curriculum. School Psychology Review, 38(4).

Getting to Know Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus