Jennifer Livingston, PhD

Associate Professor

portrait of Jennifer Livingston.

School of Nursing
University at Buffalo
301 A Wende Hall
Buffalo, NY 14214-8013

PHONE: 716-829-2486

My research is focused on understanding the pathways through which early adverse experiences with victimization can contribute to substance use, sexual risk behavior and poor mental health.

Jennifer Livingston is an associate professor committed to the research of violence and substance use among adolescents and to the promotion of sexual health education among children and adolescents. She is particularly interested in understanding the mechanisms through which peer victimization (i.e. bullying and sexual harassment) come to impact adolescent health outcomes, including substance use, sexual risk behavior, mental health, and vulnerability to other types of victimization (i.e. dating violence, sexual assault).

Another key area of Livingston's interest is the prevention of sexual assault and sexual abuse across the lifespan – children, adolescents, sexual minority youth and emerging adults. She believes that understanding the pathways through which early adverse experiences with victimization contribute to negative outcomes, and the protective mechanisms that can improve these effects and outcomes, can be used to inform intervention and prevention efforts.


  • PhD, Educational Psychology, State University of New York at Buffalo
  • MA, Educational Psychology, State University of New York at Buffalo
  • BA, Psychology, SUNY Buffalo State

Areas of Research

  • Adolescent substance use and sexual risk behaviors
  • Peer victimization
  • Teen dating violence
  • Prevention of sexual assault and child sexual abuse

Teaching Responsibilities

  • NSG 527 Introduction to Biostatistics I

Recent Publications

Blayney, J., Jenzer, T., Read, J. P., Livingston, J. A., Testa. M., & Carroll, Q. (in press).  A qualitative study on friends and the social context of college sexual victimization: Implications for campus-based interventions. Violence against Women.

Eiden, R. D., Godleski, S. A., Colder, C. R., Livingston, J. A., Leising, M. C., & Leonard, K. E. (in press). Early childhood risk and protective factors predicting resilience against adolescent substance use. Adversity and Resilience Science.

Hequembourg, A. L., Livingston, J. A., & Wang, W. (in press).  Prospective associations among relationship abuse, sexual harassment and bullying in a community sample of sexual minority and exclusively heterosexual youth. Journal of Adolescence.

Livingston, J. A., Allen, K. P., & Nickerson, A. B. (in press). Parental perspectives on sexual abuse prevention: Barriers and challenges. Journal of Child and Family Studies.

Park, E., Kwon, M., Gaughan, M. R., Livingston, J., & Chang, Y-P. (in press). Listening to adolescents: their perceptions and information sources about e-cigarettes. Journal of Pediatric Nursing.

Kwon, M., Seo, Y. S., Nickerson, A.B., Dickerson, S., Park, E. & Livingston, J. A. (2020). Sleep quality as a mediator of the relationship between cyber victimization and depression. Journal of Nursing Scholarship. Advance online publication.

Park, E., Livingston, J. A., Wang, W., Kwon, M., Eiden, R. D. & Chang, Y.-P. (2020). Adolescent e-cigarette use trajectories and subsequent alcohol and marijuana use. Addictive Behaviors. Advance online publication.

Testa, M., Livingston, J. A., Wang, W., & Lewis, M. A. (2020).  Preventing college sexual assault by reducing hookups: A randomized controlled trial of a personalized normative feedback intervention. Prevention Science, 21, 388-397.

Allen, K. P., Livingston, J. A., & Nickerson, A. B. (2019). Child sexual abuse prevention education: A qualitative study of teachers’ experiences implementing the Second Step Child Protection Unit. American Journal of Sexuality Education. Advance online publication.

Kim, S., Nickerson, A. Livingston, J. A., Dudley, M., Manges, M., Tulledge, J., & Allen, K. (2019). Teacher outcomes from Second Step Child Protection Unit: Moderating roles of prior preparedness and treatment acceptability. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 28, 726-744.

Livingston, J. A., Derrick, J. L., Wang, W., Testa, M., Nickerson, A. B., Espelage, D. L., & Miller, K. E. (2019). Proximal associations among bullying, mood, and substance use: A daily report study. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 28, 2558-2571. 

Livingston, J. A., Lessard, J., Casey, M. L., Leonard, K. E., & Eiden, R. D. (2019). Teen dating violence in a high-risk sample: The protective role of maternal acceptance. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Advance online publication.

Honors and Awards

  • Murray Straus Interpersonal Violence Original Research Award, National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence (NPEIV), 2015

Professional Activities

  • Member, UB Faculty Senate
  • Member, Eastern Nursing Research Society
  • Member, Society for Research on Adolescence
  • Member, Society for Prevention Research
  • Member, Research Society on Alcoholism
  • Member, National Institute of Justice on the Violence Against Women/Teen Dating Violence/Elder Abuse review panel
  • Advisory Board Member and Faculty Affiliate, Alberti center for Bullying Abuse Prevention, University at Buffalo
  • Consulting Editor, Psychology of Violence journal



Co-Investigator (PI Amanda Nickerson)
Creating Upstanders:  The Development of Norms and Bystander Intervention Training (NAB IT!) to Reduce Bullying and Sexual Harassment 
(Institute of Education Sciences)
Award Amount: $1,381,579

Co-Investigator (PI: Jennifer Read)
Alcohol-Involved Sexual Assault Risk in the Routines of Daily Life: A Social Goal Perspective
(National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: R01 AA 026105)
Award Amount: $365,106
Abstract: This study evaluates the role of social goals in determining young women's involvement in routine activities that place them at risk for alcohol-involved sexual assault (ASA).  The study will be conducted with a longitudinal community sample of female adolescents ages 18-25 that have been followed for nearly a decade (R01 DA020171: Colder, PI, Read, Co-I).  Longitudinal panel and weekly methodologies will be used to examine the evolution of self-regulation and social goals, linking shorter-term change to longer-term developmental processes.  This design will capture how ASA risk unfolds through adolescence and into young adulthood.

Multi-Principal Investigator (PI: Jennifer Read)
Harnessing the Power of Friends to Reduce Sexual Assault Risk
National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (R34 AA 027046)
Award Amount: $150,000
Abstract: This project involves the development of a sexual assault prevention program for college women that targets the intervention of close friends as bystanders.  The focus on friendship dyads will capitalize on two qualities found to increase the likelihood of bystander intervention: relationship and responsibility.  A mixed method approach will be used to develop and pilot test intervention materials.

Co-Investigator (PI: Kurt Dermen)
Developing a Tailored, Web-delivered, Motivational Interviewing-based Intervention to Promote Oral Health
(National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: R21 DE 028084)
Award Amount: $150,000
Abstract: This project will develop a theory-based, web-delivered intervention to promote oral health in dental patients.


Co-Investigator (PI: Maria Testa)
Brief Intervention to Reduce College Sexual Victimization Risk
(National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: R34AA024854)
Award Amount: $218,750
Abstract: This project aims to develop and expand existing personalized normative feedback intervention to optimize its ability to prevent sexual victimization among college freshman women by reducing heavy episodic drinking and hookup behavior.

Co-Investigator (PI: Amy Hequembourg)
Identifying Sexual Assault Mechanisms among Diverse Women
Award Amount: $205,365
Abstract: The proposed mixed methods study (N = 225; 75 each lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual women) will provide novel insights into mechanisms associated with sexual assault among sexual minority women compared to heterosexual women. These findings are critical for providing lesbian and bisexual female victims of crime with necessary services to address their immediate needs and instigate changes that will improve responses from criminal justice systems, including law enforcement, victim services, and anti-violence programs that serve this vulnerable population.

Principal Investigator
Peer Victimization as a Pathway to Adolescent Substance Use 
(National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: R01 AA021169)
Awarded: $1.8 million
Abstract: This study seeks to identify the conditions under which experiencing peer victimization (PV) in adolescence contributes to emotional distress (i.e., depression, anxiety) and the development of substance use acutely and over time.  Longitudinal survey data will be collected from a sample of 950 male and female adolescents (ages 13-15 at baseline) over a period of two years to examine the long-term effects of peer victimization on adolescent adjustment. In addition, a sub-sample of victimized adolescents will provide daily reports of their victimization experiences, emotional state and substance use over an 8-week period to shed light on the immediate effects of PV.

Co-Investigator (PI: Amy Hequembourg)
Identifying Sexual Assault Mechanisms among Diverse Women
(National Institute of Justice: 2014-VA-CX-0067)