The Basic & Applied Prevention Science Lab

Dr. Leslie Leve

About Us

The Basic and Applied Prevention Science lab, under the direction of Leslie Leve, PhD, focuses on the translation of basic research to inform preventive interventions using a variety of developmental designs, such as a longitudinal parent-child adoption design, randomized control trials, and sibling studies.

Dr. Leve has led research grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health’s Office of the Director, and Institute of Education Sciences that focus on developmental pathways and intervention outcomes to identify risk and protective factors for youth and families. This includes preventive intervention studies with youth in foster care and with adolescents in the juvenile justice system aimed at preventing risk behaviors and improving public health outcomes, as well as adoption studies that examine the interplay between biological (genetic, hormonal), psychological, and social influences on development. Her published work in the area of gene-environment interplay emphasizes the translation of basic research findings to help refine the selection of malleable environmental targets in the context of prevention and intervention studies. She is also interested in issues specific to adjustment and outcomes for girls and women. Major areas of study include parenting, foster care, gene-environment interplay, and peer relationships.

Leslie Leve with HEAL group of individuals
image of Leslie Leve with a student poster presentation
image of Leslie Leve with group of people
Dr. Leslie Leve, Director


Professor Leve is the Lorry Lokey Chair in the College of Education and a “double duck,” receiving her masters and doctorate at the University of Oregon in the ‘90s in the College of Arts and Sciences and returning to the university in 2013 as a professor in the College of Education.

Lorry Lokey Chair in Education, Professor, and Department Head, Counseling Psychology and Human Services, College of Education; Scientist, Prevention Science Institute.

Professor Leve typically takes one new doctoral student, three masters students, and three undergraduate students each year and strongly encourages applications from students from diverse backgrounds.


Professor Leslie Leve, PhD, Lorry Lokey Chair


May 8, 2024

image of child holding a grown person's hand

Adoption study links child behavior issues with mother’s trauma

That was the case even though the children were raised by adoptive–not birth–parents. Research team, led by Leslie Leve, a professor in the UO College of Education and scientist with the Prevention Science Institute.

April 17, 2024

image of Leslie Leve and Maria Schweer-Collins

­­­UO study says early intervention key for young women avoiding criminal justice system

New research suggests that adolescence is the crucial intervention point for steering young women away from the criminal justice system. Leslie Leve, PhD, and Maria Schweer-Collins, PhD, involved in research.

April 16, 2024

image of Leslie Leve, PhD

Portland among top cities for childhood opportunity

A new analysis of childhood opportunity shows that Portland is a relatively good place to raise children. Leslie Leve, PhD, associate director of the Prevention Science Institute, gives expert commentary.

October 24, 2023

image of the backside of children beside a yellow school bus

Children’s mental health development study receives $1.9M infusion

The ECHO study will enables researchers to understand why some children are more resilient than others in the face of adversity, with the goal of improving prevention programs and services for those who are most vulnerable to negative outcomes.





All News  »

image of Leslie Leve with children using breathing devices

Prevention Science Institute

Leslie Leve, PhD, associate director of the Prevention Science Institute, focuses her research on interventions to prevent risk behaviors and improve well-being for youths in foster care and youths in the juvenile justice system, and adoption studies that examine the interplay between biological (genetic, hormonal), family, and contextual influences on development. 

The Prevention Science Institute at the University of Oregon is a multidisciplinary research institute focused on improving the lives of children, families, and adults through science, outreach, and program delivery. 

Leslie Leve Research


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