Skip to Content
Skip to Navigation


Richard F. Catalano, Jr.

Director, Social Development Research Group
Bartley Dobb Professor for the Study and Prevention of Violence
PhD, University of Washington

Dr. Richard Catalano is the Bartley Dobb Professor for the Study and Prevention of Violence and the Director of the Social Development Research Group in the School of Social Work at the University of Washington. He is also Adjunct Professor of Education and Sociology. He received his bachelor's degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin, and his masters and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Washington. For over 30 years, he has led research and program development to promote positive youth development and prevent problem behavior.  His work has focused on discovering risk and protective factors for positive and problem behavior, designing and evaluating programs to address these factors, using this knowledge to understand and improve prevention service systems in states and communities.  He has published over 300 articles and book chapters. His work has been recognized by practitioners (1996 National Prevention Network’s Award of Excellence); criminologists (2007 August Vollmer Award from the American Society of Criminology, 2003 Paul Tappan Award from the Western Society of Criminology and Fellow of the Academy of Experimental Criminology); and prevention scientists (2001 Prevention Science Award from the Society for Prevention Research).

He is a senior advisor to Active Living Research, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and a member of the Steering Committee for the National Strategy for Behavioral Health Promotion.  He has served as chair of the National Institutes of Health, Risk, Prevention and Intervention for Addictions Review Committee and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Free To Grow Evaluation Advisory Panel; as a member of the NIDA Blue Ribbon Panel on Health Services Research, the Office of National Drug Control Policy Evaluation Committee, U.S. Attorney General’s Methamphetamine Task Force, Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Study Group on Serious Chronic and Violent Offenders, the CSAP Prevention Enhancement Protocol System for Family Programs, the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Evaluating Needle Exchange and Bleach Distribution programs, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse Epidemiology and Prevention Review Committee.  He is the co-developer of the Social Development Model; the parenting programs “Guiding Good Choices,” “Supporting School Success,” “Staying Connected with Your Teen,” and “Focus on Families;” the school-based program, “Raising Healthy Children;” and the community prevention approach, “Communities That Care.”

Professional Interests:

  • Promotion of positive youth development and prevention of problem behavior
  • Etiology of problem behavior and positive youth development
  • Research methodology, and impact of culture on etiology and prevention

Research Projects: