Headshot of Janet Welsh

Janet Welsh

Research Professor; Principal Investigator, EPIS and SPEP

320F BBH Building
814-865-3691
jaw900@psu.edu

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Introduction & Projects

Janet Welsh has been working in prevention research since 1994. She chose this career path because she wanted to see scientific ideas developed in academia put to good use in the real world.

Her research interests include the translation of evidence-based interventions (EBI) into community settings, understanding the factors that contribute to the success or failure of an EBI when introduced into new contexts, and adaptations of EBI’s within special populations, including the U.S. military and Native Americans. She is particularly passionate about helping disenfranchised communities to adopt best practices with children, families, and youth.

Janet has been an investigator on the PROSPER study for the past 15 years, studying issues related to the sustainability and dissemination of universal substance abuse prevention programs. She has worked on Head Start REDI, Focus on Learning, Safe Schools, Healthy Students, and FAST Track, and numerous projects with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Department of Defense.

Some of Janet’s recent research awards include the REDI-BKC project with colleagues Karen Bierman and Claudia Mincemoyer, the PROSPER dissemination project recently funded by Department of Agriculture, and the Tribal REDI project in partnership with South Dakota State University and the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribal College in Sisseton, South Dakota.

When Janet is not immersed in a current research project or teaching undergraduate and graduate courses here at Penn State, you might find her swimming, playing baseball with her son and his friends, or responding to a fire emergency with the Alpha Fire Company in State College.

Prevention-related Projects

Recent Publications

Sustained effects of a school readiness intervention: Fifth grade outcomes of the Head Start REDI program

Welsh, J.A., Bierman, K.L., Nix, R.L., Heinrichs, B., & Gest, S.D. (2020). Sustained effects of a school readiness intervention: Fifth grade outcomes of the Head Start REDI program. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 53, 151-160.

Important issues in estimating costs of early childhood educational interventions: An example from the REDI program

Jones, D.E., Bierman, K., Crowley, D.M., Welsh, J., & Gest, J. (2019). Important issues in estimating costs of early childhood educational interventions: An example from the REDI program. Child and Family Services Review, 207, 104498.

Examining the highs and lows of the collaborative relationship between technical assistance providers and prevention implementers

Chilenski, S. M., Welsh, J., Olson, J., Hoffman, L., Perkins, D., & Feinberg, M. E. (2018). Examining the highs and lows of the collaborative relationship between technical assistance providers and prevention implementers. Prevention Science, 19, 250-259.

Effect of preschool home visiting on school readiness and need for services in elementary school: A randomized clinical trial

Bierman, K.L., Welsh, J.A., Heinrichs, B.S., & Nix, R.L. (2018). Effect of preschool home visiting on school readiness and need for services in elementary school: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Pediatrics, 172(8), e181029.

The power of a collaborative relationship between technical assistance providers and community prevention teams: A correlational and longitudinal study

Chilenski, S., Perkins, D. F., Olson, J. R., Hoffman, L., Feinberg, M. E., Greenberg, M. T., Welsh, J. A., Crowley, D. M., & Spoth, R. L. (2016). The power of a collaborative relationship between technical assistance providers and community prevention teams: A correlational and longitudinal study. Evaluation and Program Planning, 54(1), 19-29. doi:10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2015.10.002

Universal prevention exposure as a moderator of the community context: Findings from the PROSPER project

Chilenski, S., Welsh, J. A., Perkins, D. F., Feinberg, M. E., & Greenberg, M. T. (2016). Universal prevention exposure as a moderator of the community context: Findings from the PROSPER project. American Journal of Community Psychology, 57(12), 819. doi: 00910562

Thriving in school: The role of sixth grade adolescent-parent-school relationships in predicting eighth grade academic outcomes

Welsh, J. A., Chilenski, S., Johnson, L. E., Perkins, D. F., Greenberg, M. T., Berrena, E., & Spoth, R. L. (2016, In Press). Thriving in school: The role of sixth grade adolescent-parent-school relationships in predicting eighth grade academic outcomes. Youth & Society.

Pathways to sustainability: 8-year follow-up from the PROSPER project

Welsh, J. A., Chilenski, S., Johnson, L., Greenberg, M. T., & Spoth, R. L. (2016). Pathways to sustainability: 8-year follow-up from the PROSPER project. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 37(3), 263-286. doi: 0278095X

Promoting resilience: A preschool intervention enhances the adolescent adjustment of children exposed to early adversity

Sanders, M., Welsh, J.A., Bierman, K.L., & Heinrichs, B. (in press). Promoting resilience: A preschool intervention enhances the adolescent adjustment of children exposed to early adversity. School Psychology.

Related News

February 22, 2021

Prevention coalitions benefit from regular technical assistance, new study shows

There is powerful evidence that regularly scheduled contact between technical assistance providers and community prevention coalitions is important to the coalitions’ success, according to a new study led by Sarah Chilenski, Senior Research Associate and Associate Research Professor at the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center (PRC). 

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preschool girl playing on playground

December 10, 2020

Preschool program linked with better social and emotional skills years later

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A preschool enrichment program developed at Penn State helps boost social and emotional skills that still have positive effects years later during middle and high school, according to a new study.

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Image of Med-Return Box for Drug Take-Back Program

November 30, 2020

Building bridges to improve drug misuse prevention

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Many agencies at the national, state and local levels are working to address the nation’s drug and alcohol misuse crisis. While this provides numerous opportunities for individuals to receive support, efforts across these agencies are often not closely coordinated.

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EPIS logo

August 10, 2020

EPIS leads evidence-based prevention of youth recidivism in PA

A recent validation study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Florida International University suggests that the implementation of the Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP™) has positive results for Pennsylvania juvenile justice services, finding that improvement in SPEP™ scores between initial assessment and reassessment is associated with better recidivism outcomes. The study is the first to encompass all four dimensions of service provider program operations covered in a SPEP™ assessment, all of which have been shown to predict reduced youth recidivism: 

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Photo of Janet Welsh

July 13, 2020

Janet Welsh promoted to full Research Professor

The PRC is thrilled to announce that Dr. Janet Welsh has been promoted to Research Professor. This is a tribute to the scientific leadership Janet has provided around the development and implementation of universal prevention programs designed to promote youth development across the state and the country. Dr. Welsh has provided PI leadership on many externally-funded projects, working in close partnership with funders and communities to ensure that evidence-based prevention programs are available to those in need and sustained by communities for lasting change and impact. Her tireless effort and translational work helps to ensure that proven prevention programs work in real-world settings for diverse populations, and she remains steadfastly devoted to impacting public well-being in diverse populations.

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