Faculty Profile

Jennifer Unger, Ph.D.

Professor of Preventive Medicine
unger@usc.edu

Jennifer B. Unger, Ph.D. is a Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. Her research focuses on the psychological, social, and cultural influences on health-risk and health-protective behaviors, including the role of acculturation and cultural values on adolescent substance use, with the ultimate goal of developing improved prevention programs to reduce health disparities. She and her colleagues have conducted several longitudinal studies of family acculturation patterns and substance use among Hispanic adolescents in Los Angeles and Miami. Her research also has examined cultural influences on ceremonial and commercial tobacco use among American Indian adolescents, smoking prevention among Chinese adolescents, and cultural influences on menthol smoking among African American adults. She is interested in entertainment-education strategies for health education among low-literacy minority populations and has collaborated on the design and evaluation of fotonovelas and telenovelas about secondhand and thirdhand smoke exposure in multiunit housing; diabetes; asthma; and kidney transplantation. She is a co-investigator in the USC Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORs), where she and her colleagues are investigating the diffusion of messages about emerging tobacco products to vulnerable populations through social media. Previously, she was a co-investigator in the USC Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center (TTURC), which developed and evaluated culturally targeted smoking prevention programs for culturally diverse youth. Dr. Unger directs the Ph.D. program in Preventive Medicine / Health Behavior Research and teaches a predoctoral research methods course. She is a member of the NIH RPIA (Risk, Prevention, and Intervention in the Addictions) study section, a Deputy Editor for Nicotine & Tobacco Research, and an Associate Editor for Substance Use and Misuse, Journal of Addiction, and Tobacco Regulatory Science.


PUBLICATIONS:


Acculturation and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among Hispanic adolescents: The moderating effect of impulsivity
Appetite. 2019 Mar 01; 134:142-147.

E-cigarettes Are Being Marketed as "Vitamin Delivery" Devices
Am J Public Health. 2019 Feb; 109(2):194-196.

Alcohol initiation among recently immigrated Hispanic adolescents: Roles of acculturation and sociocultural stress
Am J Orthopsychiatry. 2019 Jan 31.

E-cigarette Advertising Exposure, Explicit and Implicit Harm Perceptions, and E-cigarette Use Susceptibility Among Nonsmoking Young Adults
Nicotine Tob Res. 2019 Jan 01; 21(1):127-131.

Acculturation and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among Hispanic adolescents: The moderating effect of impulsivity
Appetite. 2018 Dec 19; 134:142-147.

Automated Identification of Hookahs (Waterpipes) on Instagram: An Application in Feature Extraction Using Convolutional Neural Network and Support Vector Machine Classification
J Med Internet Res. 2018 Nov 21; 20(11):e10513.

Dynamic Transition Patterns in Acculturation Among Hispanic Adolescents
Child Dev. 2018 Sep 21.

Adolescent E-Cigarette, Hookah, and Conventional Cigarette Use and Subsequent Marijuana Use
Pediatrics. 2018 Sep; 142(3).

Adolescent E-Cigarette, Hookah, and Conventional Cigarette Use and Subsequent Marijuana Use
Pediatrics. 2018 Aug 06.

Adolescent tobacco coupon receipt, vulnerability characteristics and subsequent tobacco use: analysis of PATH Study, Waves 1 and 2
Tob Control. 2018 Jul; 27(e1):e50-e56.

Childhood Cancer Survivorship and Substance Use Behaviors: A Matched Case-Control Study Among Hispanic Adolescents and Young Adults
J Adolesc Health. 2018 Jul; 63(1):115-117.

Characterizing JUUL-related posts on Twitter
Drug Alcohol Depend. 2018 Jun 23; 190:1-5.

Electronic Cigarette and Cigarette Social Environments and Ever Use of Each Product: A Prospective Study of Young Adults in Southern California
Nicotine Tob Res. 2018 May 08.

Depression and Alcohol Use in a National Sample of Hispanic Adolescents
Subst Use Misuse. 2018 Apr 16; 53(5):716-723.

Adolescent tobacco coupon receipt, vulnerability characteristics and subsequent tobacco use: analysis of PATH Study, Waves 1 and 2
Tob Control. 2018 Feb 22.

A Descriptive Longitudinal Study of Changes in Vape Shop Characteristics and Store Policies in Anticipation of the 2016 FDA Regulations of Tobacco Products, Including E-Cigarettes
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Feb 11; 15(2).

E-cigarette Advertising Exposure, Explicit and Implicit Harm Perceptions, and E-Cigarette use Susceptibility Among Non-Smoking Young Adults
Nicotine Tob Res. 2018 Feb 10.

Cultural values associated with substance use among Hispanic emerging adults in Southern California
Addict Behav. 2018 Feb; 77:267-271.

Depression and Alcohol Use in a National Sample of Hispanic Adolescents
Subst Use Misuse. 2018 04 16; 53(5):716-723.

Acculturation, Mental Health, and Quality of Life among Hispanic Childhood Cancer Survivors: A Latent Class Analysis
Ethn Dis. 2018; 28(1):55-60.

A Descriptive Longitudinal Study of Changes in Vape Shop Characteristics and Store Policies in Anticipation of the 2016 FDA Regulations of Tobacco Products, Including E-Cigarettes
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 02 11; 15(2).

Characterizing JUUL-related posts on Twitter
Drug Alcohol Depend. 2018 09 01; 190:1-5.

E-Cigarette Surveillance With Social Media Data: Social Bots, Emerging Topics, and Trends
JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2017 Dec 20; 3(4):e98.

Associations between anhedonia and marijuana use escalation across mid-adolescence
Addiction. 2017 Dec; 112(12):2182-2190.

Electronic cigarette retailers use Pokémon Go to market products
Tob Control. 2017 Dec; 26(e2):e145-e147.

Comparison of Measures of E-cigarette Advertising Exposure and Receptivity
Tob Regul Sci. 2017 Oct; 3(4):424-434.

Delivering perinatal depression care in a rural obstetric setting: a mixed methods study of feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness
J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2017 Sep 07; 1-8.

Association Between Initial Use of e-Cigarettes and Subsequent Cigarette Smoking Among Adolescents and Young Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
JAMA Pediatr. 2017 Aug 01; 171(8):788-797.

Changes in the strength of peer influence and cultural factors on substance use initiation between late adolescence and emerging adulthood in a Hispanic sample
J Ethn Subst Abuse. 2017 Apr-Jun; 16(2):137-154.

Correlates of sun protection behaviors among Hispanic children residing in a high UVR environment
Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2017 Mar; 33(2):75-83.

Electronic cigarette retailers use Pokémon Go to market products
Tob Control. 2017 12; 26(e2):e145-e147.

Campaigns and counter campaigns: reactions on Twitter to e-cigarette education
Tob Control. 2017 03; 26(2):226-229.

Cultural buffering as a protective factor against electronic cigarette use among Hispanic emergency department patients
Addict Behav. 2016 Dec; 63:155-60.

A Longitudinal Test of the Parent-Adolescent Family Functioning Discrepancy Hypothesis: A Trend toward Increased HIV Risk Behaviors Among Immigrant Hispanic Adolescents
J Youth Adolesc. 2016 Oct; 45(10):2164-77.

E-cigarettes, Cigarettes, and the Prevalence of Adolescent Tobacco Use
Pediatrics. 2016 Aug; 138(2).

E-Cigarettes and Future Cigarette Use
Pediatrics. 2016 Jul; 138(1).

Cultural buffering as a protective factor against electronic cigarette use among Hispanic emergency department patients
Addict Behav. 2016 12; 63:155-60.

Alcohol use among recent immigrant Latino/a youth: acculturation, gender, and the Theory of Reasoned Action
Ethn Health. 2016 12; 21(6):609-27.

A Longitudinal Test of the Parent-Adolescent Family Functioning Discrepancy Hypothesis: A Trend toward Increased HIV Risk Behaviors Among Immigrant Hispanic Adolescents
J Youth Adolesc. 2016 10; 45(10):2164-77.

Correlates of Perceived Smoking Prevalence Among Korean American Emerging Adults
J Immigr Minor Health. 2016 10; 18(5):1183-9.

Commentary: Forces That Drive the Vape Shop Industry and Implications for the Health Professions
Eval Health Prof. 2016 09; 39(3):379-88.

E-cigarettes, Cigarettes, and the Prevalence of Adolescent Tobacco Use
Pediatrics. 2016 08; 138(2).

E-Cigarettes and Future Cigarette Use
Pediatrics. 2016 07; 138(1).

E-cigarette advertising exposure and implicit attitudes among young adult non-smokers
Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016 06 01; 163:134-40.

E-cigarette use and subsequent cigarette and marijuana use among Hispanic young adults
Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016 06 01; 163:261-4.

Adverse childhood experiences and substance use among Hispanic emerging adults in Southern California
Addict Behav. 2015 Nov; 50:199-204.

Diminished Alternative Reinforcement as a Mechanism Underlying Socioeconomic Disparities in Adolescent Substance Use
Prev Med. 2015 Nov; 80:75-81.

Characteristics of emerging adulthood and e-cigarette use: Findings from a pilot study
Addict Behav. 2015 Nov; 50:40-4.

Determinants of Host Society Acculturation and Its Relationship with Health Behaviors and Outcomes: A New Research and Intervention Framework
J Immigr Minor Health. 2015 Oct; 17(5):1420-6.

E-Cigarettes: Introducing New Complexities and Controversies to the Field of Nicotine and Tobacco Research
Nicotine Tob Res. 2015 Oct; 17(10):1185-6.

Association of Electronic Cigarette Use With Initiation of Combustible Tobacco Product Smoking in Early Adolescence
JAMA. 2015 Aug 18; 314(7):700-7.

Depressive symptoms and externalizing behaviors among Hispanic immigrant adolescents: Examining longitudinal effects of cultural stress
J Adolesc. 2015 Jul; 42:31-9.

Developmental trajectories of acculturation: links with family functioning and mental health in recent-immigrant Hispanic adolescents
Child Dev. 2015 May-Jun; 86(3):726-48.

Children's executive function and high-calorie, low-nutrient food intake: mediating effects of child-perceived adult fast food intake
Health Educ Behav. 2015 Apr; 42(2):163-70.

Comparing the impact on Latinos of a depression brochure and an entertainment-education depression fotonovela
Psychiatr Serv. 2015 Mar 01; 66(3):313-6.

E-cigarettes: a disruptive technology that revolutionizes our field?
Nicotine Tob Res. 2015 Feb; 17(2):125-6.

Cultural and social influences on adolescent smoking dissipate by emerging adulthood among Hispanics in Southern California
J Immigr Minor Health. 2015 Feb; 17(1):192-7.

Diffusion of Messages from an Electronic Cigarette Brand to Potential Users through Twitter
PLoS One. 2015; 10(12):e0145387.

Bicultural stress, identity formation, and alcohol expectancies and misuse in Hispanic adolescents: a developmental approach
J Youth Adolesc. 2014 Dec; 43(12):2054-68.

Cultural measures associated with sexual risk behaviors among Latino youth in Southern California: a longitudinal study
Perspect Sex Reprod Health. 2014 Dec; 46(4):193-201.

Acculturation and perceived discrimination: predictors of substance use trajectories from adolescence to emerging adulthood among Hispanics
Addict Behav. 2014 Sep; 39(9):1293-6.

Association of acculturation with drinking games among Hispanic college students
Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2014 Sep; 40(5):359-66.

Domains of acculturation and their effects on substance use and sexual behavior in recent Hispanic immigrant adolescents
Prev Sci. 2014 Jun; 15(3):385-96.

Associations between ethnic labels and substance use among Hispanic/Latino adolescents in Los Angeles
Subst Use Misuse. 2014 Jun; 49(8):1007-16.

Effects of language of assessment on the measurement of acculturation: measurement equivalence and cultural frame switching
Psychol Assess. 2014 Mar; 26(1):100-14.

Cultural Influences on Substance Use Among Hispanic Adolescents and Young Adults: Findings From Project RED
Child Dev Perspect. 2014 Mar 01; 8(1):48-53.

Do adolescent drug use consequences predict externalizing and internalizing problems in emerging adulthood as well as traditional drug use measures in a Hispanic sample?
Addict Behav. 2014 Mar; 39(3):644-51.

Effects of language of assessment on the measurement of acculturation: measurement equivalence and cultural frame switching
Psychol Assess. 2014 Mar; 26(1):100-114.

Consumers' perceptions of vape shops in Southern California: an analysis of online Yelp reviews
Tob Induc Dis. 2014; 12(1):22.

Developmental trajectories of acculturation in Hispanic adolescents: associations with family functioning and adolescent risk behavior
Child Dev. 2013 Jul-Aug; 84(4):1355-72.

Bidirectional associations between future time perspective and substance use among continuation high-school students
Subst Use Misuse. 2013 Jun; 48(8):574-80.

A longitudinal analysis of Hispanic youth acculturation and cigarette smoking: the roles of gender, culture, family, and discrimination
Nicotine Tob Res. 2013 May; 15(5):957-68.

A comparison of peer influence measures as predictors of smoking among predominately hispanic/latino high school adolescents
J Adolesc Health. 2013 Mar; 52(3):358-64.

Bullying victimization as a mediator of associations between cultural/familial variables, substance use, and depressive symptoms among Hispanic youth
Ethn Health. 2013; 18(4):415-32.

Conceptual considerations in studies of cultural influences on health behaviors
Prev Med. 2012 Nov; 55(5):353-5.

Acculturation, enculturation, and symptoms of depression in Hispanic youth: the roles of gender, Hispanic cultural values, and family functioning
J Youth Adolesc. 2012 Oct; 41(10):1350-65.

Do cognitive attributions for smoking predict subsequent smoking development?
Addict Behav. 2012 Mar; 37(3):273-9.

A network method of measuring affiliation-based peer influence: assessing the influences of teammates' smoking on adolescent smoking
Child Dev. 2012 Mar-Apr; 83(2):442-51.

Boosting a teen substance use prevention program with motivational interviewing
Subst Use Misuse. 2012 Mar; 47(4):418-28.

A review of cancer in US. Hispanic populations.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2012 Feb; 5(2):150-63.

Concurrent and predictive relationships between compulsive internet use and substance use: findings from vocational high school students in China and the USA
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2012 03; 9(3):660-73.

An evaluation of immediate outcomes and fidelity of a drug abuse prevention program in continuation high schools: project towards no drug abuse (TND)
J Drug Educ. 2012; 42(1):33-57.

Acculturation, gender, depression, and cigarette smoking among US. Hispanic youth: the mediating role of perceived discrimination.
J Youth Adolesc. 2011 Nov; 40(11):1519-33.

Correlates of overweight status in Chinese youth: an East-West paradox
Am J Health Behav. 2011 Jul; 35(4):496-506.

Association of the calcyon neuron-specific vesicular protein gene (CALY) with adolescent smoking initiation in China and California
Am J Epidemiol. 2011 May 01; 173(9):1039-48.

Cultural values associated with substance use among Hispanic adolescents in southern California
Subst Use Misuse. 2011; 46(10):1223-33.

Development and validation of a scale to assess attitudes and beliefs about menthol cigarettes among african american smokers
Eval Health Prof. 2010 Dec; 33(4):414-36.

Cognitive behavioral theories used to explain injection risk behavior among injection drug users: a review and suggestions for the integration of cognitive and environmental models
Health Educ Behav. 2010 Aug; 37(4):504-32.

A further look at the intergenerational transmission of violence: witnessing interparental violence in emerging adulthood
J Interpers Violence. 2010 Jun; 25(6):1022-42.

Biculturalism and Context: What Is Biculturalism, and When Is It Adaptive?: Commentary on Mistry and Wu.
Hum Dev. 2010 Mar; 53(1):26-32.

Associations between family structure, family functioning, and substance use among Hispanic/Latino adolescents
Psychol Addict Behav. 2010 Mar; 24(1):98-108.

Cognitive attributions for smoking among adolescents in China
Addict Behav. 2010 Feb; 35(2):95-101.

Acculturation and sun-safe behaviors among US Latinos: findings from the 2005 Health Information National Trends Survey
Am J Public Health. 2009 Apr; 99(4):734-41.

An ecological perspective on smoking among Asian American college students: the roles of social smoking and smoking motives
Psychol Addict Behav. 2008 Dec; 22(4):514-23.

Country prototypes and translation of health programs
Eval Health Prof. 2008 Jun; 31(2):110-23.

BMI as a moderator of perceived stress and emotional eating in adolescents
Eat Behav. 2008 Apr; 9(2):238-46.

A longitudinal analysis of stressful life events, smoking behaviors, and gender differences in a multicultural sample of adolescents
Subst Use Misuse. 2008; 43(11):1521-43.

Effects of parental monitoring, parent-child communication, and parents' expectation of the child's acculturation on the substance use behaviors of urban, Hispanic adolescents
J Ethn Subst Abuse. 2008; 7(2):200-13.

Comorbidity between depression and smoking moderates the effect of a smoking prevention program among boys in China
Nicotine Tob Res. 2007 Nov; 9 Suppl 4:S599-609.

Breast cancer among immigrants: a systematic review and new research directions
J Immigr Minor Health. 2007 Oct; 9(4):307-22.

Dietary correlates of emotional eating in adolescence
Appetite. 2007 Sep; 49(2):494-9.

Age-related smoking progression among adolescents in China
J Adolesc Health. 2006 Nov; 39(5):686-93.

A randomized intervention of smoking for adolescents in urban Wuhan, China
Prev Med. 2006 Apr; 42(4):280-5.

Cultural/interpersonal values and smoking in an ethnically diverse sample of Southern California adolescents
J Cult Divers. 2006; 13(1):55-63.

Do popular students smoke? The association between popularity and smoking among middle school students.
J Adolesc Health. 2005 Oct; 37(4):323-9.

A new measure of smoking initiation and progression among adolescents
Am J Health Behav. 2005 Jan-Feb; 29(1):3-11.

Acculturation, physical activity, and fast-food consumption among Asian-American and Hispanic adolescents
J Community Health. 2004 Dec; 29(6):467-81.

A family member's job loss as a risk factor for smoking among adolescents
Health Psychol. 2004 May; 23(3):308-13.

Characteristics of adolescents who provide neither parental consent nor refusal for participation in school-based survey research
Eval Rev. 2004 Feb; 28(1):52-63.

A "drug abuse" theoretical integration: a transdisciplinary speculation
Subst Use Misuse. 2004; 39(10-12):2055-69.

A cultural psychology approach to "drug abuse" prevention
Subst Use Misuse. 2004; 39(10-12):1779-820.

Authority-related conformity as a protective factor against adolescent health risk behaviors
J Adolesc Health. 2003 Nov; 33(5):320-1.

Acculturation and attitudes about contraceptive use among Latina women
Health Care Women Int. 2000 Apr-May; 21(3):235-49.