jennifer b. unger
is an Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine.
What kind of research
do you conduct?
My research focuses on the psychological,
social, and cultural factors that influence adolescents'
decisions about behaviors that impact their health, such as
smoking, alcohol use, physical activity, and unprotected
sex. Through the USC Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research
Center (TTURC), I am analyzing data from two large smoking
prevention studies in Los Angeles and Wuhan, China. The
cross-cultural comparison of Chinese adolescents in China,
Chinese-American adolescents in Los Angeles, and adolescents
of other ethnic groups allows us to study the effects of
culture on risk behaviors.
a typical semester, how many undergraduates do you work
with? What kind of research activities do the undergraduate
I teach an undergraduate course, Theoretical Principles
of Health Promotion. The class typically has about 60
students. I also supervise several additional students in
directed research projects.
Undergraduates perform a number of duties on our
projects, including preparing surveys, administering surveys
in schools, entering data, and locating relevant literature
in the library.
What are some
of your recent undergraduate projects?
One of our undergraduate students helped
with a study of stress and smoking among Chinese
adolescents, by reading students' hand-written answers about
the stress in their lives and grouping the answers into
categories. Using that experience, she applied for a
research fellowship and traveled to China to collect
additional data and observe Chinese health clinics.
out more about Dr. Unger and her research, please
visit this homepage.