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Lauren Lichty, Ph.D., Visiting Professor, Community Psychology


Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment
College of Education
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 



Biography & Research Interests

Dr. Lauren Lichty is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Community Psychology at Portland State University. She received her Ph.D. in Ecological-Community Psychology from Michigan State University, with a specialization in Quantitative Methods and Evaluation Sciences.  She received her B.S. in Psychology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dr. Lichty’s research focuses on promoting healthy adolescent development by attending to behavioral and social-contextual factors at multiple ecological levels. Dr. Lichty is particularly interested in the ways in which formal environmental settings (e.g., schools and school-based health centers) and informal social settings (e.g., peer group and family) impact health and development. Dr. Lichty is interested in collaborating with communities to implement and evaluate prevention and intervention strategies intended to promote individual and collective well-being and empowerment, supporting communities’ efforts to make meaningful, sustainable change. In her work she seeks to highlight the role of adolescents in the community change process as independent leaders and change agents and in partnership with adults.

Dr. Lichty’s work typically focuses on sexual and relationship health. Sexual health is an integral aspect of individual well-being and remains a source of gender and racial disparity in the US. Her work has examined peer-to-peer sexual harassment and gendered forms of bullying, school-based sexual harassment policies, community response to sexual assault and relationship violence, adolescent sexual initiation, and school-based health center sexual health services. In addition to her interest in studying and preventing sexual and relationship violence, Dr. Lichty’s emerging work seeks to examine sexual and relationship health holistically, seeking to understand and promote positive sexual and relationship health and sexual agency. She utilizes quantitative, qualitative, and participatory action research strategies. Of particular methodological interest are the use of participatory methods, the potential facilitating role of the Internet in participatory research, and the incorporation of visual media (e.g., photography, video) into research and action processes.