Rollins School of Public Health | Faculty Profile
Emory Rollins School of Public Health

Jessica  McDermott Sales

Associate Professor

Faculty, Behavioral Sciences/Health Ed.

By training, Dr. 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, Dr. 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.

Contact Information

Emory University , Rollins School of Public Health

Atlanta , GA 30322

Rollins School of Public Health

Phone: 404-727-6598


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Areas of Interest

  • Adolescent Health/Child Health
  • Behavior and Health
  • HIV/AIDS Prevention
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Sexual Health/Behavior


  • PhD 2004, Emory University
  • MA 2000, Emory University
  • BS 1998, University of Iowa

Courses Taught

  • BSHE 517: Adolescent Health
  • GH 596: Maternal Child Health
  • BSHE 798R: Research Hours

Affiliations & Activities

Chair of the Committee for the Prevention of Sexual Violence at Emory University

Guest Co-Editor, Special Issue: “Refining Prevention: Genetic and Epigenetic Contributions” in Frontiers in Psychology


  • , , Socioeconomic-related risk and STI infection among African-American adolescent females. , Journal of Adolescent Health., 55, 698-704
  • , , Interaction between 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and abuse history on adolescent African-American females’ condom use behavior following participation in an HIV prevention intervention. , Prevention Science, doi: 10.1007/s11121-013-0378-6.,
  • , , 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., Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 162(5), 432-438
  • , , The role of parental coping in asthmatic children’s psychological well-being and asthma-related quality of life. , Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 33(2), 208-219.
  • , , Relationship of STD-related shame and stigma to female adolescents’ condom-protected intercourse. , Journal of Adolescent Health, 40 (6), 573.e1-6
  • , , A decade in review: Building on the experiences of past adolescent STI/HIV interventions to optimize future prevention efforts. , Sexually Transmitted Infection, 82, 431-436.