Jessica Sales

Jessica Sales

Associate Professor of Public Health, Emory University

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About Jessica

Sales is a developmental psychologist with expertise in cognitive and emotional development. Over the past 15 years she has been involved with designing and implementing cross-sectional and prospective studies in childhood stress and trauma, chronic disease risk reduction for children and adolescents, and HIV/STD/ unintended pregnancy prevention for adolescents. Using a biopsychosocial framework, Sales' research examines factors which enhance health promotion programs' successes, as well as uncover barriers or unmet needs of youth post-exposure to health promotion interventions. The ultimate goal of her research is the identification of critical intervention targets that optimize health promotion programs for youth thereby improving their health now and in the future.

In the News

"The Wrong Way to Eradicate HIV," Jessica Sales, Politico, April 3, 2019.
Jessica Sales's research on Laurie Saloman, "Treating and Preventing HIV with Trauma-Informed Care," Contagion Live, October 14, 2016.


"The Role of Parental Coping in Children with Asthma's Psychological Well-Being and Asthma-Related Quality of Life" (with Robyn Fivush and Gerald Teague). Journal of Pediatric Psychology 33, no. 2 (2008): 208-219.

Examines the relationship between parental coping and children with asthma's psychological well-being and asthma-related quality of life (ArQL). Finds that mothers who relied more on active coping strategies at baseline had children with better ArQL six months later, and those who relied on more avoidance coping strategies at baseline had children with poorer ArQL of life six months later.

"A Decade in Review: Building on the Experiences of Past Adolescent STI/HIV Interventions to Optimize Future Prevention Efforts" (with Robin Milhausen and Ralph J. DiClemente). Sexually Transmitted Infection 82, no. 6 (2007): 431-436.

Reviews and synthesizes empirical findings from selected adolescent STI/HIV interventions conducted in the United States between 1994 and 2004.

"Socioeconomic-Related Risk and STI Infection among African-American Adolescent Females" (with Erica Smearman, Andrea Swartzendruber, Jennifer L. Brown, Gene Brody, and Ralph J. DiClemente). Journal of Adolescent Health 55, no. 5 (2014): 698-704.

Examines the association between socioeconomic-related risk at baseline to STI acquisition over 36 months of followup.

"The Mediating Role of Partner Communication Skills on HIV/STD-Associated Risk Behaviors in African American Female Adolescents with a History of Gender-Based Violence" (with Ralph J. DiClemente, Laura F. Salazar, Gina M. Wingood, Eve Rose, and Richard A. Crosby). Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine 162, no. 5 (2008): 432-438.

Examines the prevalence of sexual violence among young African American females and explores the mediating role that partner communication plays on human immunodeficiency virus/ sexually transmitted disease-associated risk behaviors among youth with a history of sexual violence relative to those without.

"Interactions between 5-HTTLPR Polymorphism and Abuse History on Adolescent African-American Females' Condom Use Behavior Following Participation in an HIV Prevention Intervention" (with Ralph J. DiClemente, Gene Brody, Robert Philibert, and Eve Rose). Prevention Science 15, no. 3 (2014): 257-267.

Seeks to identify genetic, life history, and psychosocial factors associated with adolescents' failure to change condom use behaviors post-participation in an HIV prevention intervention.

"Relationship of STD-Related Shame and Stigma to Female Adolescents' Condom-Protected Intercourse" (with Ralph J. DiClemente, Eve Rose, Gina M. Wingood, Jonathan D. Klein, and Elizabeth Woods). Journal of Adolescent Health 40, no. 6 (2007).

Examines the relationship between shame and stigma and condom use in adolescent females.