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Pamela Anderson, PhD

Pamela Anderson

Senior Research Scientist

(831) 438-4060 x132


Pamela M. Anderson, PhD, is an applied developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent development. Her research focuses on understanding the processes by which adolescent romantic relationships develop and related behaviors that may affect HIV/STI and pregnancy risk, primarily among African American and Latino youth. Dr. Anderson also has a strong research interest in human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of young people, which stems from her work on romantic relationship development and sexual risk outcomes. She also has extensive experience managing and coordinating large, multi-site and multi-state randomized trials and working on longitudinal studies related to the positive development of diverse youth.

Currently, she is the co-investigator and projector director of a 5-year randomized control trial to develop, implement and assess the impact of a prevention curriculum with a schoolwide social norm component that centers on relationship factors contributing to HIV/STI risk among urban middle school youth, which is funded by the National Institutes of Nursing Research. She also serves as project director on a replication study of a middle school evidence-based program titled It’s Your Game, which is being replicated and evaluated using a randomized controlled trial involving 20 middle schools in Harris County, Texas.

Dr. Anderson recently completed work on a National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development-funded R21 to develop and test a new approach for urban high school students that addresses sexual risk behaviors in the context of healthy relationships. She served as the co-investigator and project director on that study.

In 2009, Dr. Anderson was a research fellow at the NICHD Summer Institute on Applied Research in Child and Adolescent Development, where she was able to further focus her work on adolescent romantic relationships. She received her PhD in applied child development from Tufts University.

Current Projects

  • Middle School Relationships
  • TPP Replication of Evidence-Based It's Your Game


Lerner, R. M., Anderson, P. M., & Alberts, A. E. (2006). Positive youth development. In E. M. Dowling & W. G. Scarlett (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Spiritual and Religious Development in Childhood and Adolescence (pp. 344-349). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Lerner, R. M., Dowling, E. M., & Anderson, P. M. (2003). Positive youth development: Thriving as a basis of personhood and civil society. Applied Developmental Science, 7(3), 172-180.

Lerner, R. M., Anderson, P. M., Balsano, A.B., Dowling, E., & Bobek, D. (2003). Applied developmental science of positive human development. In R. M. Lerner, M. A. Easterbrooks & J. Mistry. (Eds.), Handbook of Psychology: Vol. 6. Developmental psychology. (pp. 535-558). Editor in chief: I. B. Weiner. New York: Wiley.

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