Areas of Expertise
Attitude theory and decision making; adolescent problem behaviors; parent-adolescent communication; psychometrics; theory construction
James Jaccard is a Professor at NYU Silver. Dr. Jaccard was initially trained as a psychologist with specialties in attitude change and decision making, but later expanded his research program to embrace social work and public health. His research focuses on adolescent and young adult problem behaviors, particularly those related to unintended pregnancy and substance use, broadly defined. He has developed parent-based interventions to teach parents how to more effectively communicate and parent their adolescent children so as to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancies and problems due to substance use. He also has developed protocols for contraceptive counseling of young adults in health clinics. He was involved in the seminal work on the influential Theory of Reasoned Action and has extended that theory to emphasize split second decision making dynamics. Dr. Jaccard also has active research programs on the assessment of implicit prejudice and its role in predicting discriminatory behavior. He is collaborating with Dr. Michelle Munson on mental health engagement in young adults and in the role of cognitive behavior therapy in a wide range of treatment settings.
Dr. Jaccard also has an extensive background in psychometrics and statistical methods. He has written numerous books and articles on the analysis of interaction effects in a wide range of statistical models, and teaches advanced graduate courses on structural equation modeling. He has written several influential articles on the issue of arbitrary metrics in social science research. Dr. Jaccard also has written about theory construction and how to build conceptual models. He recently completed a book with Professor Jacob Jacoby that gives social scientists practical, hands-on approaches for generating ideas, thinking about solutions to problems, and translating these ideas into coherent, scientific theories.
He received his AM and PhD in psychology with a minor in quantitative psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana. He received his AB in psychology with a minor in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.