Catherine Walker O’Neal, has held the position of post-doctoral research fellow within the Department of Human Development and Family Science at the University of Georgia since completing her Ph.D. in 2011. Dr. O’Neal’s work has focused on social determinants of health and well-being during life stages or contexts typically defined by high levels of transition and change (for example, adolescence, later adulthood, and military families). Within the Family and Community Resilience Laboratory, she also manages the data collected from two expansive surveys of military youth and their families (almost 2,000 respondents in total) and oversees statistical analyses and publications stemming from these data.
Dr. O’Neal has published her research in periodicals such as Journal of Marriage and Family, Family Relations, Journal of Family Theory and Review, Journal of Health Psychology, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Journal of Adolescence, Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, and The Gerontologist. She is currently working with colleagues on a book that will serve as a practical guide to advanced statistical methods for social science researchers, namely higher-order growth curves and growth mixture modeling. Current and forthcoming publications are in Military Medicine, Health Psychology, Journal of Research on Adolescence, and Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.
Dr. O’Neal’s current research focuses on the use of advanced statistical techniques to shed new light on the influences of contextual risk and protective factors, primarily family and social environments, on physical, mental, and relational health outcomes with an emphasis on the interdependent nature of close relationships. In addition to active research projects with Dr. Jay Mancini, she is an investigator on a longitudinal project assessing change in marital quality and health in later life, which was recently-funded by the National Institute on Aging (through NIH).