Janis Whitlock

 

Janis Whitlock

Research Scientist BCTR 
202A Beebe Hall
 
Phone: (607) 254-2894
Email: jlw43@cornell.edu
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Curriculum Vitae
 
Biographical Statement:

Janis Whitlock is a Research Scientist in the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research. She is also the Director of the Cornell Research Program on Self-Injury and Recovery. She is the author of publications on non-suicidal self-injury in adolescence and young adulthood as well as in youth connectedness to schools and communities. She earned a doctorate in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University (2003) and a Masters of Public Health from UNC Chapel Hill (1994). In addition to research, she has worked in adolescent and women’s health in a variety of clinical, administrative, and education-related capacities for over a decade. Her current research focus includes development of early detection and intervention in mental health and wellbeing for youth in college and community settings, recovery from self-injurious behaviors, parental influence in and experience of young people's self-injury and suicidality, the relationship between connectedness and self-injury and suicide behaviors, and development and evaluation of interventions for youth and parents of self-injurious youth.

 
Teaching and Advising Statement:

I annually advise 8-10 students through my research lab and another 3-4 in independent studies or honors theses.  I see their involvement in my program as a gift to all of us since the vast majority of them are motivated, highly talented, and capable of significant focus when engaged.  I believe strongly in coupling cognitive engagement with opportunities for applying concepts learned through development of materials, synthesis, and other concrete products useful for the project (e.g. materials that go onto our website for distribution).  Students benefit through acquiring new skills and, in some cases, having reports or other publications to add to their resume and the program benefits through their fresh perspective, ideas, and finished work.  They also work in teams to accomplish these goals so benefit through new relationship ties and the shared learning that happens in this environment. 

 
Current Professional Activities:

My current professional agenda is dedicated to research, outreach, and advising. Research in young adult social and emotional health and wellbeing continues to dominate my professional work with a focus on connectedness, self-injury and suicide prevention and intervention development. I also regularly provide training and talks to youth serving professionals in and outside of university settings on issues germane to college mental health and young adult development.

 

 
Current Research Activities:

My current research is dedicated to exploration of the relationship between context, development, and behavior, with a focus on longitudinal assessment and development and testing of interventions. Although known for my work in non-suicidal self-injury, my current work focuses more broadly on health and wellbeing trajectories with particular interest in the relationship between meaning making, emotion regulation and development of adverse or productive coping capacity over time. Because of emergent findings from our work, focus on the role of parents in supporting recovery and wellbeing is becoming a new focus of research activity.

 

 

 

 
Current Extension Activities:

All of my research activities contain outreach components of value to the Cornell Extension mission. Since I feel strongly about the importance of disseminating information amassed through the research process, I work hard to find mechanisms for supporting the dissemination and outreach component. For example, students in our lab as well as professionals associated with our team develop "translational" products intended to make cutting edge science accessible to lay audiences through fact sheets, web-based power point presentations, and web accessible video segments. We add materials to this pool of resources every year. Materials have been designed for a broad constituency: individuals with self-injury history, parents, peers, and schools and other youth serving agencies seeking guidance about protocols for handling self-injury in institutional settings. Many of these fact sheets have been translated into multiple languages including French, German, and Spanish. The website receives over 7,000 unique visitors a month and our factsheets are downloaded multiple times a day. In addition, I regularly do talks to local and national groups, academics and non-academics, in areas related to my expertise and much of my youth-development and school climate-related research is conducted as part of university-community partnerships. All research findings are then made available to our partners and, through them, to the larger communities they affect.

 
Education:

2003. Ph.D., Human Development, Cornell University.
Dissertation: Voice, Visibility, Place, and Power: Correlates to School and
Community Connectedness Among 8th, 10th and 12th Grade Youth

1994. MPH, Health Behavior & Health Education, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Masters Thesis: Helpless but not Hopeless: Parental Perspectives on Adolescent Dating Abuse

1988 B.A., Social Sciences Field Studies, University of California, Berkeley
Undergraduate Thesis: The Women's Self Help Movement: Ideology and Action.                  

 
Courses Taught:

HD 3530: Risk and Opportunity in Childhood and Adoelscence (not curently offered)

HD 4170: The Translation of Research Evidence into Practice and Policy


 
Related Websites:

Cornell Research Program on Self-Injury and Recovery:  www.selfinjury.bctr.cornell.edu

 
Selected Publications:

Recent Publications (since 2010)

 

Whitlock, J.L., Wyman, P., & Moore, S. (2014). Connectedness and suicide prevention in adolescence. Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior. (Published on-line first January 20).

 

Whitlock, J.L. & Selekman, M. (in press).  Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) across the lifespan. In Oxford Handbook of Suicide and Self-Injury, edited by M. Nock. Oxford Library of Psychology, Oxford University Press.

 

Kress, V., Newgent, R., Whitlock, J., Mease, L. (in press).  Spirituality, life satisfaction, and life meaning: protective factors for non-suicidal self-injury. Journal of College Counselling.

 

Whitlock, J. & Rodham, K. (2013).  Understanding NSSI in youth.  School Psychology Forum, 7(4): 93-110.

 

Eisenberg, D., Golberstein, E., Whitlock, J. (2013). Peer Effects on Risky Behaviors: New Evidence from College Roommate Assignments. Journal of health Economics, 33: 126-132.

 

Eisenberg, D., Golberstein, E., Whitlock, J., Downs, M. (2012). Social contagion of mental health: Evidence from college roommates. Health Economics, 22(8): 965-986.

 

Muehlenkamp, J., Brausch, A., Quigley, B., Whitlock, J. (2012).  Interpersonal features and functions of NSSI. Suicide and Life Threating Behavior, 43(1): 67-80.

 

Whitlock, J. Pietrusza, C. & Purington, A. (2013).  Young adult respondent experiences of disclosing self-injury, suicide-related behavior, and psychological distress in a web-based survey. Archives of Suicide Research, 17(1): 20-32.

 

Whitlock, J., Muehlenkamp, J., Eckenrode, J., Purington, A., Barrera, P., Baral-Abrams, G., Kress, V., Grace Martin, K, Smith, E., (2013). Non-suicidal self-injury as a gateway to suicide in adolescents and young adults. Journal of Adolescent Health, 52(4): 486-492.

 

Duggan, J.M., Whitlock, J. (2012). An Investigation of Online Behaviors: Self-Injury In Cyber Space. Encyclopedia of Cyber Behavior.  IGI Global.

 

Whitlock, J.L. (2010). [Review of the book Adolescent girls in crisis: Intervention and hope, by Martha B. Straus]. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 49, 9.

 

Whitlock, J, Muehlenkamp, J., Purington, A., Eckenrode, J., Barreira, J., Abrams, G.B., Marchell, T., Kress, K., Girard, K., Chin, C., Knox, K. (2011). Non-Suicidal Self-Injury in a College Population: General Trends and Sex Differences. Journal of American College Health, 59(8): 691-698.

 

Whitlock, J.L. (2010).  Self-injurious behavior in adolescence.  Public Library of Science 7(5): e1000240.

 

Purington, A & Whitlock, J (2010).  Non-suicidal self-injury in the media.  The Prevention Researcher, 17(1): 11-13.

 

 

 
Searchable Keywords:
adolescent development
mental health
self-injury
suicide
school connectedness
community connectedness

 
The information on this bio page is taken from the CHE Annual Report.