Melissa A. Lippold is an associate professor in the School of Social Work and the Prudence and Peter Meehan Early Career Distinguished Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Lippold’s research focuses on parent-child relationships during adolescence and falls into three broad domains. First, she studies the role of parenting in preventing youth risky behavior such as early substance use initiation- an important risk factor for later addiction. Second, she studies how stress is transmitted in families during adolescence and the effects of family-related stress on youth and parent well-being. Lastly, she studies factors that may predict effective parenting during adolescence. Her research has been funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development.
Lippold is also interested in the design of family-based interventions aimed to improve family relationships and promote youth and parent well-being. She has been involved with the PROSPER project (a large scale effectiveness trial of substance use prevention programs), the Work, Family, Health project (a randomized trial of a workplace intervention to promote employee and family health), and the Strengthening Families program (a family-based substance use prevention program).
She has direct practice experience working with youth and families in a treatment foster care program and applied policy experience conducting research on the child welfare system.
She holds a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from the Pennsylvania State University as well as a dual Master’s degree in Public Policy and Social Work from The University of Chicago.