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Katherine Karriker-Jaffe

Katherine Karriker-Jaffe

Senior Director, Community Health & Implementation Research Program


PhD, Health Behavior and Health Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
MS, Communication, Cornell University
BS, Psychology (minor: Spanish), University of Oklahoma


Katherine Karriker-Jaffe is an expert in behavioral health, particularly alcohol and other substance use disorders. As a senior program director in our Community Health and Implementation Research Program, she conducts research on the contributions of social contexts to behavioral health, with an emphasis on racial/ethnic disparities, socioeconomic status, and sexual identity. She is skilled in survey research methods and longitudinal and multilevel modeling.

Dr. Karriker-Jaffe leads National Institutes of Health-funded grants that address neighborhood influences on substance use disparities. Her current projects include Recovery Housing for Alcohol and Drug Use Disorders: A National Study of Availability, Characteristics, and Factors Associated with Evidence-based Practices, a study of recovery housing across the United States. She is also involved in studies of substance use and mental health among American Indian families residing on rural reservations and Mexican American young adults in San Diego County, California.

Dr. Karriker-Jaffe joined RTI in 2020. Her previous experience includes conducting the 2015 and 2020 U.S. National Alcohol Surveys and the 2015 U.S. National Alcohol’s Harm to Others Survey. Her recent multilevel studies have examined alcohol control policies, neighborhood factors, peer networks, and family influences on alcohol outcomes including alcohol use patterns, alcohol use disorder, recovery, and secondhand harms from other people’s drinking.

Dr. Karriker-Jaffe serves on the coordinating committee for the Kettil Bruun Society and is a member of the Research Society on Alcoholism and the American Public Health Association. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the School of Public Health, University of California Berkeley. Among her notable publications is a recent book chapter on Understanding addictive behavior from a human diversity perspective.

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