Kevin Haggerty specializes in prevention programs at the community, school and family level. For more than 30 years, he has focused on developing innovative ways to organize the scientific knowledge base for prevention so that parents, communities and schools can better identify, assess and prioritize customized approaches that meet their needs.
Dr. Haggerty is the director of the Social Development Research Group. In 2017 he became the holder of the Endowed Professorship in Prevention at the School of Social Work. Previously, he had been the assistant director and associate director of the research group as well as the School's director of research. For more than two decades, he has been project director of the Raising Healthy Children study, a school-based approach to social development. He has been with the School of Social Work since 1985.
He is a principal investigator on a variety of projects, including Utah Communities That Care Training program, Staying Connected with Your Teen, Families Facing the Future (formerly Focus on Families) and a National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded study on Family Connections. He is an investigator of the Community Youth Development Study, which tests the effectiveness of the Communities That Care program.
In addition, he is researching the intersection of biological and environmental risks for drug abuse in a study that focuses on emerging adults. He has also been an active collaborator with other research groups, including Iowa State University’s Partnerships in Prevention Science Institute and Boy’s Town of Omaha, Nebraska.
His interest in the efficient and effective transition of tested programs into real-world settings has led to his involvement as principal investigator in two research grants that focus on adapting the Staying Connected with Your Teen program for use in drug-treatment and foster-care settings.
An expert on substance abuse and delinquency prevention, Dr. Haggerty speaks, conducts trainings, and writes extensively on this field. He has presented papers at many national and international conferences throughout Europe, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Canada and the United States. He has been a board member of the Society for Prevention Research and is a prevention science reviewer for periodicals such as Evaluation and Program Planning and the Journal of Adolescent Health, among others.