Wendy Kliewer, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair,
Department of Psychology
wkliewer@vcu.edu
(804) 828-8089
Faculty

My research centers on the broad theme of risk and resilience, with much of my work specifically examining substance use in early, middle or late adolescence as an outcome. I am interested in the effects of cumulative risk – the piling up of sociodemographic, psychosocial and environmental stressors – and adjustment across a broad array of domains including academic, cognitive, emotional, behavioral and physiological functioning. Currently, I co-lead three projects:  Project CARE – a study of risk and resilience in South African youth (located in Durban, South Africa); Project HEART (Health and Resilience in Teens) – a study focused on low-income African American adolescents and their mothers in Richmond; and the Myanmar Youth Health Study – a study of risk and protective factors for teen substance use in Myanmar. I am also a co-investigator on the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, the largest long-term study of brain development and child health in the United States. Among protective factors, I have a particular interest in the role of the family in mitigating risk. I am committed to interdisciplinary, cross-cultural research, as well as to training the next generation of scholars to continue to do research that matters.