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Dr. Clea McNeely

Clea McNeely, MA, DrPH

Adjunct Professor


Clea McNeely, MA, DrPH also holds an adjunct faculty appointment at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research focuses on how youth make successful transitions to adulthood in regions of political conflict around the globe and in regions of economic and social distress within the United States. She has a particular interest in how schools can promote positive youth functioning. As part of this research agenda, she evaluates programs and policies to promote the health of young people. 

She uses multiple research methods including survey research, causal models, and qualitative methods. Her work has been supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute for Child Health and Development, the National Institute of Justice, the William T. Grant Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Jacobs Foundation, and many other foundations and organizations.

In addition to peer-reviewed publications, she is co-author of The Teen Years Explained: A Guide to Healthy Adolescent Development (2010, Johns Hopkins University). A free downloadable version of the book is available at

Curriculum Vitae


Grant Funding (Last 5 Years)
  • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) Prevention in East Tennessee: An Innovative Public Health Initiative to Increase Contraceptive Access in High-Risk Populations. 7/1/16 – 6/30/17; University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Office of Community Engagement. McNeely, C. P.I. $1,900.
    • Using community service learning, the project evaluates the quality and impact of the East Tennessee Regional Health Office’s program to provide voluntary, reversible, long-acting contraception to women at high risk of drug use during pregnancy.
  • Finding Cost-Effective Ways to Reduce Truancy and Crime: An Evaluation of the Ramsey County Truancy Intervention Programs. 1/1/15 – 12/31/17; National Institute of Justice; Renner, L, and McNeely, C., co-PIs, $552,000.
    • The project evaluates the long-term effects on educational attainment and criminal behavior of two innovative truancy intervention programs in Ramsey County, Minnesota serving students in all county schools in grades K-12.
  • Prescription Drug Use among Young Adults in East Tennessee.  7/1/2011 - 12/1/14; PlanET Subcontract, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); McNeely, C., PI. $30,000.
    • Assist with the overall evaluation of PlanET and conduct qualitative assessment of the reasons why young adults are using prescription drugs off label in East Tennessee.
  • Effective Strategies for Promoting School Success for Adolescent Refugees: New Directions for Practice and Research. 7/1/12—6/30/13; Center for Health Policy and Services Research, Center for the Study of Youth and Political Conflict, and Department of Public Health; McNeely, CA, PI, $17,000.
    • This grant was used to convene an interdisciplinary and culturally diverse group of policy makers, service providers, refugees, and scholars to identify critical gaps in knowledge about effective strategies to foster school success among newly-arrived adolescent refugees and immigrants and propose a research agenda to address those critical gaps.
  • Evaluation of Southern REACH. 7/1/11—6/30/12; AIDS United; McNeely, CA, PI, $35,000.
    • This grant was obtained as a mechanism to train doctoral students in evaluation. Southern REACH supports the capacity of 27 communities in nine southern states to address HIV/AIDS for marginalized and underserved populations.
  • Egypt’s Miracle: the Youth-Lead 2011 Revolution. 4/15/11—4/14/14; Jacobs Foundation; Barber, BK, PI, $450,000. Role: co-PI.
    • This research will prospectively document the revolution with the goal of learning both what happened and what is and will be happening to Egyptian youth as they move forward in and with their “New Egypt.”
  • The Impact of Political Conflict on Youth: Assessing Long-Term Well-Being via an Event History-Resource Model. 12/15/09 – 12/14/12; Jacobs Foundation; Barber, BK, PI, $1,000,000. Role: co-Investigator.
    • The basic research question for this grant is “What is the impact of political conflict on youth, especially as they transition to adulthood?” The project focuses on Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza strip.
  • Center for the Study of Youth and Political Conflict. 7/1/11- 6/30/12; University of Tennesee, Knoxville, Office of Research; Barber, PI, $25,000. Role: co-PI.
    • This seed grant was used to support the development of grant proposals by faculty associates of the Center for the Study of Youth and Political Conflict.


  • DrPH - University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Community Health Sciences, School of Public Health; Public Health, 1995       
  • MA - Graduate School of International Studies, University of Miami, Miami, Florida; International Studies, 1987
  • BA -  Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota; International Relations, 1986

Postdoctoral Training

1995-1997  Labor and Population Program, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California. Funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Awards and Recognitions

  • 2016   Faculty Mentor Award, College of Education, Health and Human Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  
    • Awarded for superior mentorship of junior faculty.
  • 2005   Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Faculty Innovation Award. 
    • Career development award.
  • 2002–2007   William T. Grant Scholar Award. 
    • Career development award for research in healthy youth development.
  • 1996   Dorothy S. Thomas Award. 
    • Awarded by the Population Association of America for best graduate student paper.
  • 1995   UCLA Dissertation Year Fellowship
    • Awarded for research during final year of doctoral studies.
  • 1993   Health Net Wellness Grant. 
    • Awarded for research to improve community wellness.
  • 1992   UCLA Alumni Distinguished Scholar Award.
    • Awarded for academic achievement and community service.
  • 1991   Charles M. Wacker Memorial Fellowship
    • Awarded for humanism in health care.
  • 1989–1992   Fred H. Bixby Population Fellowship.
    • Awarded for doctoral studies in population dynamics.


  • Peer-Reviewed
    • McNeely, C.A., L. Morland., S.B. Doty, L.L. Meschke, S. Awad, A. Husain, A. Nashwan (forthcoming) How Schools Can Promote Healthy Transitions to Adulthood for Newly-Arrived Immigrant and Refugee Adolescents: Research Priorities. Journal of School Health.
    • Barber, B.K., C.A. McNeely, E. El Sarraj, M. Daher, R. Giacaman, C. Arafat, W. Barnes, M. Abu Mallouh (2016) Mental suffering in protracted political conflict: Feeling broken or destroyed. PLOS ONE, 11(5): e0156216.
    • Barber, B.K., C.A. McNeely, C.D. Allen, R.F. Bellie, R. Giacaman, M. Daher, E. El Sarra, M. Abu Mallou (2016) Whither the “Children of the Stone”? An entire life under occupation. Journal of Palestine Studies, 45(2):77-108.
    • Barber, B.K., C.A. McNeely, J.A. Olsen, R. Belli, S.B. Doty. (2016) Long-term exposure to political violence: The particular injury of persistent humiliation. Social Science and Medicine, 156:154-166.
    • Allen, C.D., C.A. McNeely, C.A., J. Orme. (2016) Self-rated health is a comparable measure across race, ethnicity, and immigration status for US adolescents and young adults. Journal of Adolescent Health, 58: 47-56.
    • McNeely, C.A., L. Morland. (2015) The Health of the Newest Americans: Examples of how US Public Health Systems Can Support Syrian Refugees. American Journal of Public Health, 106(1):13-15.
    • McNeely, C.A., B.K. Barber, C. Spellings, R. Belli, R. Giacaman, C. Arafat, M. Daher, E. El Sarraj, M. Abu Mallouh. (2015) Political Imprisonment and Adult Functioning in Palestinian Men: Using Life Event Histories. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 28, 223–231.
    • Erwin, P.C., C.A. McNeely, J.H. Grubaugh, J. Valentine, M.D. Miller, M. Buchanan. (2015) A Logic Model for Evaluating the Academic Health Department. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.
    • Barber, B.K., C. Spellings, C.A. McNeely, P.D. Page, R. Giacaman, C. Arafat, M. Daher, E. El Sarraj, M. Abu Mallouh. (2014). Politics Drives Human Functioning, Dignity, and Quality of Life. Social Science and Medicine.
    • McNeely, C, B.K. Barber, C. Spellings, R. Giacaman, C. Arafat, E. El Sarraj, M. Daher, M. Abu Mallouh. (2014) Human Insecurity, Chronic Economic Constraints and Health in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Global Public Health, 9:495-515.
    • McNeely, C, B.K. Barber, C. Spellings, R. Giacaman, C. Arafat, E. El Sarraj, M. Daher, M. Abu Mallouh. (2013) Prediction of Health with Human Insecurity and Chronic Economic Constraints in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: A Cross-Sectional Survey. Lancet, 384: S4, 25.
    • Barber, B.K., C.A. McNeely, C. Spellings. (2012) Assessing Contemporary Palestinian Adult Functioning: Evidence for the Primacy of Political, Family, and Economic Domains. Lancet, 380:S17.
    • Barber, B.K., M. Xia, C.A. McNeely, J.A. Olsen,and K. Bose. (2012) Feeling Disrespected by Parents: Refining the Measurement and Understanding of Psychological Control. Journal of Adolescence, 35, 273–287. doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2011.10.010.
    • Hill, W. and C.A. McNeely,. (2011) HIV/AIDS Disparity between African-American and Caucasian Men Who Have Sex with Men: Intervention Strategies for the Black Church. Journal of Religion and Health. Online first, May 3, 2011. DOI: 10.1007/s10943-011-9496-2.
    • Hunter, S., B.K. Barber, J. Olsen, K. Bose, and C.A. McNeely (2011) Adolescents’ Self-Disclosure to Parents across Cultures: Who Discloses and Why. Journal of Adolescent Research, Online First, doi 10.1177/0743558411402334.
    • McNeely, C.A. and B.K. Barber (2010) How Do Parents Make Adolescents Feel Loved? A Cross Cultural Comparison from the Adolescent Perspective. Journal of Adolescent Research, 25: 601-631
    • Joffe, A., C.A. McNeely, E. Colantuoni, M.An, W. Wang, and D. Scharfstein (2009) Evaluation of School-based Multi- versus Single-session Group Smoking Cessation Interventions for Self-described Adolescent Smokers. Pediatrics 124, e187-e194; originally published online Jul 27, 2009.
    • Falci, C.* and C.A. McNeely (2009) Too many friends: Social Integration, Social Cohesion and Adolescent Depressive Symptoms. Social Forces 87:2031-2061.
    • Cunningham, S.*, D.L. Kerrigan, C.A. McNeely, and J.M. Ellen (2009) The Role of Structure Versus Individual Agency in Churches’ Responses to HIV/AIDS: A Case Study of Baltimore City. Journal of Religion and Health 48:; originally published online 28 August.
    • McNeely, C.A. and R. Crosnoe (2008) Social Status, Peer Influence and Weight Gain in Adolescence: Promising Directions for Addressing the Obesity Epidemic. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Health 162(1): 91.
    • Crosnoe, R. and C.A. McNeely (2008) Peer Relations, Adolescent Behavior, and Public Health Research and Practive. Family and Community Health 31:S71-S80.
    • Bradshaw, C.P., L. M. O’Brennan, L.M., and C.A. McNeely (2008) Core competencies and the prevention of school failure and early school leaving. New Directions in Child Development 122:19-32
    • Nonnemaker, J.M., C.A. McNeely, R.W. Blum (2006) Public and Private Domains of Religiosity and Adolescent Smoking Transitions. Social Science & Medicine 62(12):3084-95.
    • Ohene, S.A.*, C.A. McNeely, M. Ireland, I. Borowsky (2006) Parental Expectations, Physical Punishment, and Adolescent Violence. Pediatrics 117(2):441-7.
    • Ohene, S.A.*, L. Halcon, M. Ireland, C.A. McNeely (2005) Sexual abuse history, risk behavior and sexually transmitted diseases: The impact of age at abuse. Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases 32(6):358-63.
    • Sieving, R., R. Fee, C.A. McNeely, W. Hellerstedt, and J. Snyder (2005) Reliability of Self-Reported Contraceptive Use and Sexual Behaviors among Adolescent Girls. Journal of Sex Research. 42(2):159-66.
    • Rock, E.M.*, M. Ireland, M. Resnick, C.A. McNeely (2005) A Rose by Any Other Name: Perceived Knowledge, Actual Knowledge, and Adolescent Sexual Risk Behavior. Pediatrics 115(3):667-72.
    • McNeely, C.A. and C. Falci (2004) School Connectedness and the Transition Into and Out of Health Risk Behavior among Adolescents: A Comparison of Social Belonging and Teacher Support. Journal of School Health 74(7):284-292.
    • Nonnemaker, J.M., C.A. McNeely and R.W. Blum (2003) Public and Private Domains of Religiosity and Adolescent Health Risk Behaviors: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Social Science and Medicine 57(11):2049-2054.
    • McNeely, C.A., M. Shew, T. Beuhring, R. Sieving, B. Miller and R.W. Blum (2002) Mothers’ Influence on Adolescents’ Sexual Debut. Journal of Adolescent Health 31:256-265.
    • McNeely, C.A., J.M. Nonnemaker and R.W. Blum (2002) Promoting Student Connectedness to School: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Journal of School Health 72(4):138–146.
    • Hellerstedt, W., R. Fee, C.A. McNeely, R. Sieving, M. Shew, and M. Resnick (2001) Pregnancy Feelings Among Adolescents Awaiting Pregnancy Test Results. Public Health Reports 116: Supplement 1: 180-93.
    • Blum, R.W., C.A. McNeely, J.M. Nonnemaker (2002) Vulnerability, Risk and Protection. Journal of Adolescent Health 31(1 Suppl):28-39.
    • Upchurch, D.M., C.S. Aneshensel, J. Mudgal and C.A. McNeely (2001) Sociocultural Contexts of Time to First Sex Among Hispanic Adolescents. Journal of Marriage and the Family 63(4):1158-69.
    • Sieving, R., C.A. McNeely, and R.W. Blum. (2000) Maternal Expectations, Mother-Child Connectedness, and Adolescent Sexual Debut. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 154:809-816.
    • Santelli, J., L. Duberstein Lindberg, J. Abma, C.A. McNeely, and M. Resnick (2000) A Comparison of Estimates and Trends in Adolescent Sexual Behaviors in Four Nationally Representative Surveys. Family Planning Perspectives 32:4.
    • Upchurch, D.M., C.S. Aneshensel, C.A. Sucoff and L. Levy-Storms (1999) Neighborhood and Familial Contexts of Adolescent Sexual Activity. Journal of Marriage and the Family 61:4.
    • Sucoff, C.A. and D.M. Upchurch. Neighborhood Context and the Risk of Adolescent Childbearing Among Metro-Area Blacks (1998) American Sociological Review 63:4.
    • Upchurch,  D.M., C.S. Aneshensel, C.A. Sucoff and L. Levy-Storms (1998) Gender and Race/Ethnic Differences in Time to First Sex Among Los Angeles Youth. Family Planning Perspectives   30:3.
    • Aneshensel, C.S. and C.A. Sucoff (1996) The Neighborhood Context of Adolescent Mental Health.  Journal of Health and Social Behavior 37:4.
  • Books
    • McNeely, C.A. and J. Blanchard (2010) The Teen Years Explained: Guide to Healthy Adolescent Development. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University.
  • Book Chapters
    • McNeely, C.A. (2014) Coding open-ended survey responses from 12 cultures: The development of cross-culturally valid measures of parental behaviors that make adolescents feel loved. In Brindle, P. (Ed.) SAGE Cases in Methodology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
    • McNeely, C.A. and K. Bose (2014) How Can the Science of Adolescent Social and Emotional Development Inform a Human Rights Framework? In Bhabha, J. (Ed.) Coming of Age: A New Framework for Adolescent Rights. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
    • McNeely, C.A. (2013) School Connectedness. In Hattie, J. and Anderman, E. (Eds.) International Handbook of Student Achievement. New York: Routledge Publishers.
    • McNeely, C.A., J. Whitlock, and H. Libbey (2009) School Connectedness and Adolescent Well Being. In Christianson, S. and A.L. Reschly (eds.), Handbook on School-Family Partnerships. New York: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates, Inc.
    • McNeely, C.A. (2004) Connection to School as an Indicator of Positive Youth Development. In Lippman, L. and Moore, K., eds., Indicators of Positive Youth Development. Search Institute Series on Developmentally Attentive Community and Society. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Press.
    • Blum, R.W., C.A. McNeely, and J.M. Nonnemaker (2001) Vulnerability, Risk and Protection. In Adolescent Risk and Vulnerability: Setting Priorities. Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, Institute of Medicine.
  • Monographs and Reports (selected)
    • Morland, L., N. Ives, N., C.A. McNeely, and C.D. Allen, C.D. (2016) Providing a Head Start: Improving Access to Early Childhood Education for Refugees. Washington, D.C.: Migration Policy Institute. Available at
    • McNeely, C.A., K. Sprecher, and D. Bates. (2010) Comparative Case Study of Caring Across Communities: Identifying Core Components of Comprehensive School-Linked Mental Health Services for Refugee and Immigrant Children. Report submitted to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Available at
    • McNeely, C.A. and K. Mmari (2010) Evaluation of Middle Grades Partnership. Report submitted to the Baltimore Community Foundation.
    • Sylvester, M S., D. Aughey, R. Sieving, C.A. McNeely, N. Singh, J. Oliphant, L. Fillingame, and E. Rock (2003) Preventive Care for Adolescents: A Training Plan for Primary Care Providers. Minneapolis: Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health, University of Minnesota.
    • McNeely, C.A., P.M. Rinehart. (2002) Improving the Odds: The Untapped Power of Schools to Improve the Health of Teens. Center for Adolescent Health and Development, University of Minnesota, 200 Oak St. SE, Suite 260, Minneapolis, MN.
    • McNeely, C.A. (2001) School Connectedness: The Relationship among Promoting Academic Success, Reducing Risky Behavior, and Increasing Civic Responsibility. Students Continually Learning: A Report of Presentations, Student Voices and State Actions. Washington, D.C.: Council of Chief State School Officers and The Forum for Youth Investment.
  • Articles not Peer Reviewed
    • McNeely, C.A. (2002) The Untapped Power of Schools to Improve the Health of Teens: The Importance of Students Feeling Connected to Their School. The State Education Standard, Autumn: 18-23.
    • Aneshensel, C.S. and C.A. Sucoff (2002) Neighborhood and Adolescent Mental Health: Structure and Experience.  In Socioeconomic Conditions, Stress and Mental Disorders: Toward a New Synthesis of Research and Public Policy. (Mental Health Statistical Improvement Program; Center for Mental Health Services in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). Pp. 41-77.
Dr. Clea McNeely

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