Risk Behavior and Family Research

RTI has a significant history of programmatic research in prevention and treatment of substance abuse and associated problems such as delinquency, sexual risk-taking, and violence. Our research focuses on the origins of adolescent and adult risk behaviors within and beyond family settings. During years of commitment to improving the well-being of children, parents, families, and communities, we have researched best practices to reduce intimate partner violence, strategies to prevent substance abuse in diverse populations, and links between parental involvement and teen risk-taking.

Focus Areas


  • Community planning models for substance abuse prevention
  • Development of statistical methods to analyze policy-related behavior change
  • Group therapy research
  • Modeling for longitudinal data
  • Secondary analysis of national data sets
  • Randomized controlled trials
  • Intervention research and evaluation

Selected Clients

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Corporation for National and Community Service
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • State offices of substance abuse
  • U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Population Affairs
  • U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration


Olivia Silber Ashley
Director, Risk Behavior and Family Research Program
Helen P. Koo
Senior Research Demographer
Janice M. Brown
Clinical Research Psychologist
Christine Jackson
Public Health Analyst