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Jordan Davis - USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Los Angeles, CA, US

Jordan Davis Jordan Davis

Assistant Professor and Assistant Director, USC Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society | USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work


Professor Davis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Children, Youth and Families.



Jordan Davis is an assistant professor in the department of Children, Youth and Families. He has devoted much of his career to research addressing substance use and the developmental needs of marginalized and vulnerable populations. Davis also focuses on the utility and development of longitudinal data analyses in the structural equation modeling framework.

Davis’ primary research focuses on substance use disorder treatment among marginalized youth. His intervention work mainly concentrates on Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention and how it can be utilized to address issues facing at-risk youth. Davis has conducted the first randomized controlled trial assessing Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention and the effect on stress, craving and substance use among at-risk young adults in residential treatment. Davis’ research spans to understanding both psychological and physiological stress responses and self-regulation, and how changes in these systems can alter treatment and developmental outcomes.

Recently, Davis has focused on understanding how the development of early life risk and protective factors are associated with sexual violence victimization and perpetration, as well as teen dating violence.

Davis has been funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Fahs Beck Fund for Experimentation, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has been named a Fahs-Beck scholar, a Society for Social Work Research Doctoral fellow, and has received numerous awards for his doctoral work on marginalized young adults.

To reference the work of Jordan Davis online, we ask that you directly quote their work where possible and attribute it to "Jordan Davis, a faculty at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work” (LINK: https://dworakpeck.usc.edu)

Education (3)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: PhD 2017

Syracuse University: MSW 2009

Auburn University: BS 2007

Accomplishments (6)

Doctoral Fellow, Society for Social Work Research (professional)


Scholar, Fahs-Beck (professional)


Student Merit Award, Research Soceity on Alcoholism (professional)


Award, Ernie Gullerud Dissertation (professional)


Fellowship, Society for Prevention Research (professional)


Graduate College Research Travel Award, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (professional)



Research Articles & Publications (25)

Protective Factors for Sexual Violence: Understanding How Trajectories Relate to Perpetration in High School

Prevention Science

Kathleen C. Basile1 & Whitney L. Rostad1 & Ruth W. Leemis1 & Dorothy L. Espelage2 & Jordan P. Davis3


Adolescent sexual violence (SV) perpetration is a significant public health problem. Many risk factors for perpetration are known, but less is known about what protects youth from perpetration, or how protective factors change over time. This longitudinal study reports trajectories of four potential protective factors for SV perpetration (empathy, parental monitoring, social support, and school belonging) across middle and high school and examines their relationship to SV perpetration in high school. Findings reveal that youth who identified as SV perpetrators had significantly lower mean empathy scores (d = − 0.18, 95%CI [−0.26,−0.10]) and social support scores (d = − 0.05, 95%CI [−0.14, −0.03]) at the beginning of middle school than non-perpetrators. We also found that youth who identified as SV perpetrators had a quicker deceleration in parental monitoring (slopes) and empathy from middle to high school, compared to non-perpetrators. Within-sex differences emerged; significant differences in slopes were detected for school belonging between male perpetrators and male non-perpetrators (Wald test = 3.76 (1), p = .05) and between female perpetrators and female non-perpetrators (Wald test = 3.95(1), p = .04). Significant differences in slopes for empathy between female perpetrators and female non-perpetrators (Wald test = 4.76(1), p = .03) were also detected. No differences were found between male and female SV perpetrators for either empathy or school belonging. These findings have implications for the content and timing of adolescent SV prevention efforts. Intervention in adolescence, involving parents and schools in a comprehensive, multi-level approach, may be effective in preventing SV perpetration.

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Substance use outcomes for mindfulness based relapse prevention are partially mediated by reductions in stress: Results from a randomized trial

Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment

Jordan P. Davisa,⁎, Daniel Berryb, Tara M. Dumasc, Ellen Ritterd, Douglas C. Smithe, Christopher Menardf, Brent W. Robertsg


Mindfulness based relapse prevention (MBRP) has demonstrated efficacy in alleviating substance use, stress, and craving but how MBRP works for marginalized young adults has not been investigated. The current study used a novel rolling group format for MBRP as an additional intervention for young adults in residential treatment. We tested the hypothesis that MBRP (plus Treatment as usual (TAU)) would reduce stress, craving, and substance use among young adults in residential treatment relative to treatment-as-usual plus 12-step/selfhelp meetings (TAU only). Further, we examined whether reduced stress during treatment was a potential mechanism of change operating in MBRP. Method: Seventy-nine young adults (Mage=25.3,SD=2.7;35%female) were randomly assigned to MBRP (n=44) or TAU (n=35). Follow-up assessments were conducted bi-monthly for self-reported measures of stress, craving, and substance use. Results: At treatment completion young adults receiving MBRP had lower substance use (d=−0.58, [−0.91, −0.26]), craving (d=−0.58, [−1.0, −0.14]), and stress (d=−0.77 [−1.2, −0.30]) relative to TAU condition. Reduced stress during treatment partially mediated observed outcome differences between MBRP and TAU for substance use (βindirect=−0.45 [−0.79, −0.11]). Conclusions: Results suggest that MBRP is a useful and appropriate intervention for marginalized young adults. Further, our results suggest that the effects of MBRP on long-term substance use outcomes may be partially explained by reduced stress.

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Early childhood adversity and emerging adult development

Emerging Adulthood

Davis, J.P., Dumas, T.M., & Roberts, R.W.

In Press

Effect of victimization on binge drinking and impulse control among serious juvenile offenders from adolescence through young adulthood

Journal of Youth and Adolescence

Davis, J.P., Dumas, T.M., Berey, B., Cimpinian-Robinson, J., Merrin, G.J., & Roberts, B.W.

In Press

Substance Use Prevention and Treatment Outcomes for Emerging Adults in Non-College Settings: A Meta-analysis

Psychology of Addictive Behaviors

Dumas, T.D., Maxwell-Smith, M., Davis, J.P., & Giulietti, P.A.


Lying or longing for likes? Narcissism, peer belonging, loneliness and normative versus deceptive like-seeking behavior on Instagram in emerging adulthood

Computers and Human Behavior

Dumas, T.D., Maxwell-Smith, M., Davis, J.P., & Giulietti, P.A.

In Press

A longitudinal examination of homophobic name-calling perpetration in middle school: bullying, traditional masculinity, and sexual harassment as predictors

Psychology of Violence

Espelage, D.L., Hong, J.S., Merrin, G.J., Davis, J.P., Rose, C.A., Little, T.D.

In Press

A longitudinal analysis of adolescent popularity motivations as a predictor of engagement in relational aggression and risk behaviors

Youth and Society

Dumas, T.M., Davis, J.P., & Ellis, W.E.

In Press

How to change conscientiousness: The sociogenomic trait intervention model

Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment.

Roberts, B.W., Hill, P., & Davis, J.P.

In Press

Predictive validity of a single item motivational measure for remerging adults in substance use disorder treatment

Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research

Smith, D.C., Davis, J.P., Mendoza, N., & Shang, S.

In Press

Testing a matching hypothesis for emerging adults in Project MATCH: During-treatment and 1-year outcomes

Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 78(1), 140-145

Davis, J.P., Bergman, B.B., Smith, D.C., & Kelly, J.


Social ecological determinants of substance use treatment entry among serious juvenile offenders

Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 71, 8-15.

Davis, J.P., Merrin, G.J., Dumas, T.M., & Berry, D, Wagner, E.F.


Young adulthood is the crucible of personality development

Emerging Adulthood

Roberts, B.W., & Davis, J.P.


Informed assent recall errors among adolescents in substance use treatment outcome research

Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse, 1-11.

Davis, J.P., Smith, D.C., Cleeland, L.R., & Lux, E.


The longitudinal associations between substance use, crime, and social risk among emerging adults: A longitudinal within and between-person latent variables analysis

Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 165(1), 71-78.

Merrin, G.J., Davis, J.P., Berry, D., D’Amico L.J, & Dumas, T.M.


Brief Motivational Interviewing and Normative Feedback for Adolescents: Change Language and Alcohol Use Outcomes

Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 65, 66-73.

Davis, J.P., Houck, J.M., Rowell, N., Benson, J., & Smith, D.C.


Six month outcomes of a peer-enhanced community reinforcement approach for emerging adults with substance misuse: A preliminary study

Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 61, 66-73.

Smith, D.C., Davis, J.P., & Dumas, T.M.


Cannabis withdrawal, post treatment abstinence, and days to first cannabis use among emerging adults in substance use treatment

Journal of Drug Issues, 46(1), 64-83.

Davis, J.P., Smith D.C., Morphew, J.W., Lei, X., & Zhang, S.


Examining within-person and between-person effects of victimization and social risk on cannabis use among emerging adults in substance use treatment

Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 30, 52-63.

Davis, J.P., Merriam, J., Berry, D., Dumas, T., Hong, J.S., & Smith, D.C.


[Review of the book The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma]

Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions 15(1), 131-133.

Davis, J.P., & Smith D.C.


Normative feedback and adolescent readiness to change: A small randomized trial

Research on Social Work Practice, 25(7), 801-814.

Smith, D.C., Davis, J.P., Ureche, D., & Tabb, K.M.


Racial Matching and Adolescent Self-Disclosure of Substance Use and Mental Health Symptoms

Ethnicity and Substance Use, 1-13.

Ureche, D., Smith, D.C., Davis, J.P., & Tabb, K.


Self-perceived emerging adult status and substance use

Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 28(3), 935.

Smith, D.C., Cleeland, L.R., Sensoy, Bahar, O., & Davis, J.P.


Motivational interviewing with and without normative-feedback for adolescents with substance use problems: A preliminary study

A preliminary study. Substance Abuse, 36(3), 350-358.

Smith D.C., Ureche, D., Davis, J.P., & Walters, S.T.


A conceptual framework for understanding the association between school bullying victimization and substance misuse.

The American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 84 (6) 696-710.

Hong, J.S., Davis, J.P., Sterzing, P.R., Yoon, J., Choi, S., & Smith, D.C.,