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Behavioral Science




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Photo of Christina StudtsChristina R. Studts

(University of Louisville, 2008)

101 Medical Behavioral Science Building
Lexington, KY 40536-0086
Phone: 859.323.1788
Fax: 859.323.5350

Research Description

Dr. Studts’ research interests include psychosocial issues in pediatric primary care, health disparities, measurement, and the application of biostatistical methods to social work research. In the Department of Behavioral Science, she will be contributing to two large randomized, community-based intervention studies addressing health disparities in Appalachia. Her ongoing research involves the application of item response theory (IRT) methods to the evaluation and improvement of measures used in pediatric primary care psychosocial screening. Previously, Dr. Studts investigated predictors of health care access problems in Appalachia; multilevel predictors of changes in health status over time among women affected by welfare reform; and cognitive, affective, and behavioral factors in a lung cancer screening RCT.

2012 Accomplishments

In 2012, Dr. Christina R. Studts was selected as a KL2 scholar under the University of Kentucky’s Clinical and Translational Science Award for her proposal, Development of an ultra-brief screening tool for disruptive behavior problems in preschoolers: First step toward a clinical intervention in primary care. This funding will provide her with 2-3 years of support, training, and mentoring to develop her independent research program, focused on early identification and intervention for disruptive behavior disorders in preschool-aged children in primary care and community settings. Dr. Studts also continued to serve as Co-Investigator on two NIH-funded community-based intervention trials targeting health-related outcomes in Appalachia with Schoenberg, PI. She served on a Center for Clinical and Translational Science committee focused on social networks and bioinformatics, and contributed to a pilot study conducted jointly with colleagues at the Ohio State University employing social network analysis methods (Schoenberg and Katz, co-PIs). She is the PI evaluating the effects of integrated primary care in community mental health for a SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services project with the Pennyroyal Regional Mental Health-Mental Retardation Board in western Kentucky. With regard to publications, Dr. Studts had 3 manuscripts published in 2012 (2 first-author), in Preventive Medicine, Journal of Community Health, and Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research. She has 5 manuscripts under review (1 first-author) and 8 currently in preparation (4 first-author). With regard to service, Dr. Studts served as an ad hoc manuscript reviewer for 3 journals, and as an abstract reviewer for submissions to the upcoming 34th annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM). She also continued to serve as co-chair of SBM’s Rapid Communications Track for late-breaking submissions to the annual meeting. Throughout the year, Dr. Studts mentored several graduate students working on various research studies through which she is funded. Finally, Dr. Studts completed her M.S. in Biostatistics at the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences with the successful defense of her thesis, Utility of a goodness-of-fit index for the Graded Response Model with small sample sizes: A Monte Carlo investigation.

Research Funding

R01 DK081324-01 (NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
An Intergenerational Intervention to Reduce Appalachian Health Disparities
Role:  Co-Investigator (Schoenberg, PI)

R24 MD002757 (NIH/National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities)
Faith Moves Mountains: A CBPR Appalachian Wellness & Cancer Prevention Program
Role:  Co-Investigator (Schoenberg, PI)

Awarded but declined due to early study completion
1 R36 HS016940-01 (Dissertation Grant, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ))
Improving Screening for Externalizing Behavior Problems in Very Young Children: Applications of Item Response Theory to Evaluate Instruments in Pediatric Primary Care
Role: Principal Investigator


Representative Publications

Studts, C. R., Stone, R., & Barber, G. M. (2006). Predictors of access to health-care services among groups of TANF recipients in Kentucky. Social Service Review, 80(3), 527-548.

Studts, J. L., Ghate, S. R., Gill, J. L., Studts, C. R., Barnes, C. N., LaJoie, A. J., Andrykowski, M. A., & LaRocca, R. V. (2006). Validity of self-reported smoking status among participants in a lung cancer screening trial. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, 15(10), 1825-1828.