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.
Reviews and synthesizes empirical findings from selected adolescent STI/HIV interventions conducted in the United States between 1994 and 2004.
Examines the relationship between shame and stigma and condom use in adolescent females.
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.
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.
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.
Examines the association between socioeconomic-related risk at baseline to STI acquisition over 36 months of followup.