"Throughout my career, I have encountered racial divides, power divides, economic divides and other issues that separate people and often lead to misunderstandings. I am concerned about promoting equity for all individuals and social justice." Dr. Deborah Koniak-Griffin, a professor with the UCLA School of Nursing, is the former associate dean of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which launched in July 2015. Her NIH-funded research, spanning more than two decades, focuses on the development and evaluation of health promotion/disease prevention interventions to eliminate health disparities in vulnerable populations of youth and adult women. Three of her intervention programs, including Be Proud! Be Responsible! Be Protective!, serve as evidenced-based models for pregnancy/STD/HIV prevention and early childhood home visitation and are being promoted by the federal government for dissemination and replication across the country. She currently is PI on a Fogarty International Training Grant that involves Xiangya School of Nursing in Changsha, China. This international collaboration aims to develop research expertise of nurses and psychologists who will conduct collaborative research in HIV and mental health and to enhance the institutional capacity of the partner school for rigorous biobehavioral HIV research.

Areas of Scholarly Expertise and Interest

Vulnerable populations, lifestyle behavior, disease prevention, HIV/AIDS

Faculty Research and Clinical Expertise

Research:  Promotion of health and reduction of risky behaviors among vulnerable populations, particularly pregnant/parenting youth and Latino women through intervention programs. Three interventions programs, tested in clinical trials, have met the criteria of scientific rigor to be identified as evidence-based models by the federal government. Dr. Koniak-Griffin also leads an international research collaboration in Hunan Province, China and is co-investigator on a community-based intervention to promote physical activity among vulnerable youth within public schools in Los Angeles.

Professional Activities

2011-2016     Member, External Advisory Board, NIH NINR, T-32 Grant, Transdisciplinary Training in Health Disparities Science, Arizona State University, School of Nursing (PI. C. Keller) 2012-present    Member, Los Angeles County Perinatal and Early Childhood Home Visitation Policy Subcommittee 2011-present   Participant in Model Developers Network, Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visitation Program (MIECHV) of USDHHS Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) 2014 (June 5)    Meeting with federal staff from Office of Adolescent Health (OAH); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Adolescent and School Health and Division of Reproductive Health; Administration for Children and Families (ACF); Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYS), Washington, DC 2013                Member Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research Awards Committee 2013 (June)     Ad Hoc Member, NIH Clinical Center Board of Scientific Counselors, Bethesda, MD, Review of the Nursing and Patient Care Services Departments. 2013 (June)     Ad Hoc Member, NHLBI Clinical Trials Review Committee (CLTR) Study Section, Bethesda, MD. 2012-2013       Coordinator, CVPR Summer Institute, Center for Vulnerable Populations Research, UCLA    2012 (Sept)    Participant, HRSA/Model Developers Meeting, representing the Early Intervention Program for Adolescent Mothers 2012 (Feb)    Participant, Home Visiting Model Developers Meeting, USDHHS, HRS                 School of Nursing, Los Angeles, CA 2008-2010       Member, Strategic Planning Work Group to Design a Substance Abuse and HIV Prevention     Group for At-Risk Youth in Greater East Los Angeles, Bienvenidos Children’s Center, Inc. 2006-2010     Standing Member, NIH, NINR NRCC (38) IRG Study Section 2005-2010    Member, Community Advisory Board on Preterm Birth, Healthy African American Families 2006-2009       Member, Advisory Board, Center for Health Outcomes in Aging, Arizona State University 2007 (Oct.)    Member, Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group 2008/01 ZHD1 DSR-W(20)R 2006 (June)    Member, NIH NINR, Special Emphasis Panel ZNR1 2006 (April)    Member, NIH, NINR Special Emphasis Panel ZNR1 (96) IRG Study Section 2005(June)    Member, NIH, NINR Review Panel, NRCC 33 2003 (Nov)    Member, NIN, NINR Review Panel, ZNR1 REV-A 60 R  1997-2003    Member, Task Force, Partners in Adolescent Health, American Nurses Association 2002 (July)    Member, Review Panel, SEP Nursing Partnership Centers on Health Disparities, 2002/08 Council ZNR1 RE-A47R 2000 (Jan)    Member, Special Emphasis Panel, Center for Scientific Review, ZRG1 SSS-C(01) 2000 (Sept)    Member, Special Emphasis Panel, Center for Scientific Review, ZRG1 RPHB-3(01) 1993-1998    Member, Community Advisory Committee, Culver City Health Center  1991-1998    Member, Board of Directors, Los Angeles County Adolescent Pregnancy Child Watch  1984-1990       March of Dimes, Los Angeles Chapter, Health Professional Advisory Committee 1983-1988    Academic Advisory Panel on Nursing, Hospital Satellite Network


Columbia University School of Nursing, BSN, Nursing University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, MSN, Nursing Teachers College, Columbia University, EdD, Education

Honors and Awards

1995 Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing 1996 Certificate of Merit, presented by The Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research, in recognition of contributions to nursing research and to the nation's health 1997 Columbia University School of Nursing, Distinguished Alumni Award for Nursing Research 1997 Sigma Theta Tau International, Gamma Tau Chapter, Excellence in Research Award 2001 Visiting Professorship, University of Alberta, School of Nursing, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 2002 Recognition of Distinguished Nurse Researchers by Board of Directors, Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research 2003 Invited Philip Y. Hahn Lecture, Caring for Young Parents: An Evolving Program of Research," University of San Diego, Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, San Diego, CA 2006 Keynote Address, "Community Partnerships in Participatory Research to Eliminate Health Disparities," Research Institute, Hispanic Health Disparities Research Center (HHDRC), University of Texas, El Paso 2007 Visiting Scholar, Center for Improving Health Outcomes in Children, Teens, and Families, and Center for Healthy Outcomes in Aging, Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona 2008 2008 Excellence in Research Award, Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and       Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) 2009 Fellow, Western Academy of Nurses 2010 "Be Proud! Be Responsible! Be Protective!" http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/prevention/ research/programs/be_proud_responsible_protective.html ) curriculum selected as an evidence-based model for preventing adolescent pregnancy by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, based upon a comprehensive review and analysis by representatives from the Administration for Families and Children (ACF), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH) and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE). 2010 Keynote Address, Confronting Health Disparities through Community-Academic Partnerships in Research, 23rd Annual Reinkemeyer Research Day at Seton Hall University, NJ


Tyler, D., Nyamathi, A., Stein, J. A., Koniak-Griffin, D., Hodge, F., & Gelberg, L. (2014). Increasing hepatitis C knowledge among homeless adults: Results of a community-based, interdisciplinary intervention. Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, 41(1), 37-49.  doi: 10.1007/s11414-013-9333-3. (Peer-reviewed) (Data-based)

Koniak-Griffin, D. (2014). Maintaining focus as the pendulum swings: A program of research with teen parents. 47ndAnnual Communicating Nursing Research Conference, Western Institute of Nursing, Seattle, WA. (Published on CD) (Data-based)

Koniak-Griffin, D., & Brecht, M.-L. (2014, July 30). Awareness of Cardiovascular Disease and Preventive Behaviors Among Overweight Immigrant Latinas. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing [Epub ahead of print].  (Peer-reviewed) (Data-based)

Spears, G. V., Koniak-Griffin, D., & Stein, J. A. (2010). Latent growth trajectories of substance use among pregnant and parenting adolescents. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 24, 322-332.

Koniak-Griffin. D., Huang, R., Lesser, J. González-Figueroa, E., Takayanagi, S., & Cumberland, W.G. (2009). Young parents' relationship characteristics, shared sexual behaviors, perception of partner risks, and dyadic influences. Journal of Sex Research, 46, 483-493.

Lesser, J., Koniak-Griffin, D., Huang, R., Takayanagi, S., & Cumberland, W. (2009). Parental protectiveness and unprotected sexual activity among Latino adolescent mothers and fathers. AIDS Education & Prevention, 21 (Suppl B), 88-102.

Koniak-Griffin, D., Lesser, J., Henneman T., Tello, J., Kappos, B., González-Figueroa, E., & Cumberland, W. J. (2008). HIV prevention for Latino adolescent mothers and their male partners. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 30, 724-742. Epub 2008 Mar 21.

Bralock, A. R., & Koniak-Griffin, D. (2007). Relationship, power and other influences on self-protective sexual behaviors of African American female adolescents, Health Care for Women International. 28, 247-267.

González-Figueroa, E., Koniak-Griffin, D., Tello, J., Kappos, B., Castañeda, M., Corea-London, B., & Morgan, X. (2007). ¿Quién soy, cómo soy?: Perceptions of cultural influence on health behaviors of Latino adolescent parents. Hispanic Health Care International.

Koniak-Griffin, D., Nyamathi, A., Tallen, L., González-Figueroa, E., & Dominick, E. (2007). Breaking the silence: What homeless youth say about HIV vaccine trials. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 18, 687-698.

Lesser, J., Koniak-Griffin, D., González-Figueroa, E., Huang, R., & Cumberland, W. G. (2007). Childhood abuse history and risk behaviors among teen parents in a culturally rooted, couple-focused HIV prevention program. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 18, 18-27.

Nyamathi, A., & Koniak-Griffin, D. (Eds.) (2007). Annual review of nursing research: Vulnerable populations (Vol. 25). New York: Springer

Nyamathi, A., Koniak-Griffin, D., & Greengold, B. A. (2007). Development of nursing theory and science in vulnerable populations research. In A. Nyamathi & D. Koniak-Griffin (Eds.), Annual review of nursing research, Vol. 25, Vulnerable populations (pp. 3-25). New York: Springer.

Villarruel, A. M., & Koniak-Griffin, D. (2007). Lifestyle behavior interventions with Hispanic children and adults. In A. Nyamathi & D. Koniak-Griffin (Eds.), Annual review of nursing research, Vol. 25, Vulnerable populations (pp. 51-81). New York: Springer.

Koniak-Griffin, D., Logsdon, M. C., Hines-Martin, V., & Turner, C. C. (2006). Contemporary mothering in a diverse society. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing, 35, 671-678.

Koniak-Griffin, D., & Stein, J. A. (2006). Predictors of sexual risk behaviors among adolescent mothers in an HIV prevention program. Journal of Adolescent Health, 38, 297.e1-297.e11.

Koniak-Griffin, D., Flaskerud, J. H., & Nyamathi, A. (2005). Vulnerable populations research: A Center for Excellence. In M. de Chesnay (Ed.), Caring for the vulnerable: Perspectives in nursing theory, practice, and research. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett.

Koniak-Griffin, D., Lesser, J., Nyamathi, A., Uman, G., Stein, J., & Cumberland, W. (2003). Project CHARM: An HIV prevention program for adolescent mothers. Family and Community Health, 26, 94-107.

Koniak-Griffin, D., Lesser, J., Uman, G., & Nyamathi, A. (2003). Teen pregnancy, motherhood, and unprotected sexual activity. Research in Nursing and Health, 26, 4-19.

Koniak-Griffin, D., Verzemnieks, I. L., Anderson, N. L. R., Brecht-M.L., Lesser, J., Kim, S., & Turner-Pluta, C. (2003). Nurse visitation for adolescent mothers: Two-year infant health and maternal outcomes. Nursing Research, 52, 127-136.

Koniak-Griffin, D. (1993). Maternal role attainment: A theoretical and empirical review. Image, 25, 261-266