Dr. Danielle Parrish began her social work career as a clinical social worker in a large public mental health system where she provided infant mental health, outpatient mental health and juvenile justice mental health services. While she loved her work, she was struck by:
- the discrepancy between a growing literature demonstrating the efficacy of certain behavioral health treatments and the lack of their consistent use in practice;
- the dearth of practical, efficient and transportable interventions designed for real practice settings, high risk women, and diverse clientele; and
- a lack of evaluation focused on whether the people we were trying to help were actually getting better.
These practice experiences and Dr. Parrish’s ongoing desire to make a difference in the lives of others has informed and fueled her passion for bridging this research-practice gap by: 1) encouraging students to become critical consumers of practice research and skilled evaluators of their practice; and 2) developing and disseminating feasible and effective prevention and behavioral health interventions that translate more seamlessly to real practice settings with high-risk populations.
Dr. Parrish’s research specifically focuses on developing bundled (multi-risk) prevention interventions that have the potential to prevent overlapping deleterious health outcomes among females engaging in multiple health risk behaviors (e.g., risky drinking, substance use, HIV sexual risk behaviors, and ineffective contraception that may also impact their children through unplanned HIV- and substance- exposed pregnancy). This research has taken place in both juvenile justice and primary care settings, with a major focus on developing more effective and efficient prevention programs. A secondary focus of Dr. Parrish’s research is on the treatment of social anxiety disorder among youth, as it is a major predictor of adult alcohol dependence. In both lines of research, Dr. Parrish is particularly interested in using technology to increase efficiency and reach of these interventions. Finally, given her passion for closing the research-practice gap, Dr. Parrish’s scholarly work also focuses on the teaching, broad dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practice in social work.
Dr. Parrish has been very fortunate to have had amazing mentors that have provided exceptional guidance during her development as a social work practitioner, researcher and educator. As such, she enjoys providing mentorship and instructional opportunities to M.S.W. and Ph.D. students outside the classroom.
B.A., Psychology, California State University, Fresno, 1997
M.S.W., California State University, Fresno, 1999
Ph.D., School of Social Work, University of Texas at Austin, 2008
Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Health Behavior Research and Training Institute, University of Texas at Austin
Areas of specialization:
Behavioral Health, Evidence-Based Practice, Transtheoretical Model (stages of change), Prevention of Substance-Exposed Pregnancy, Intervention Research, Implementation Science.
- Evaluation of Practice (MSW)
- DSM (MSW)
- Research Internship (PhD)
- Teaching Internship (PhD)
Research Interests:Behavioral Health and Prevention Interventions with Females in the Juvenile Justice System (and other high risk settings), Prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and Substance-Exposed Pregnancy, Treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder in Youth; Transtheoretical Model; Motivational Interviewing; Applications of Technology in Treatment and Intervention Research.
Funded Research Projects:
|April 2014 - April 2015||Grants to Enhance and Advance Research (GEAR). University of Houston
Comparative Efficacy of Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy and In Vivo Exposure
Therapy in Reducing Adolescent Social Anxiety. (Principal Investigator: $30,000)
|July 2012 - June 2014||
National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA)(1R03DA034099)
|Sept. 2009 - Sept. 2013||Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1 U84DD000438)
CHOICES+: Preconception approach to reducing alcohol and tobacco-exposed pregnancy. PI: Mary Velasquez, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin (Co-Investigator and subcontract Principal Investigator, $101,231)
|2009 - 2010||
University of Houston New Faculty Research Grant. Utilization of Virtual Reality Technology for Treating Social Anxiety Disorder in Adolescents: A Feasibility Study. (Principal Investigator, $6,000)
|2007 - 2008||Social Work Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Center for the Study of Social Work Practice, Columbia University School of Social Work and Jewish Board of Family & Children’s Services. (Principal Investigator, $16,563)|