Dr. Hafetz conducts basic and applied research in the area of child and adolescent health and development. Her primary interests are in the social determinants of health and well-being for vulnerable populations within a developmental context and in intervention development and evaluation in applied settings. Most of her research has focused on parenting and pediatric unintentional injury, specifically on translational research related to the promotion of transportation safety for children, young and novice drivers, and drivers with disabilities. More recently she has begun a program of research on sexual and gender identity disclosure events and the ways in which disclosure experiences can influence the health and well-being of sexual minority youth.
Jessica attended the University of Delaware, earning a BA in Psychology, and Fordham University, earning a PhD in Applied Developmental Psychology. She completed her practicum training at The Children’s Aid Society of New York focusing on the development and evaluation of health promotion programs for young children and their parents. She then spent two years in the non-profit sector developing and evaluating positive youth development programs for at-risk youth in Philadelphia. Prior to joining SCPHRP, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham from 2016-2019, and a scientist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Research Institute and Division of Adolescent Medicine from 2008-2016.
When not working she can be found playing with her two children, Abe and Phoebe, and her dachshund Henry, reading, watching women’s football, hiking, and running. She has never met an animal she didn’t like.