David P. Kennedy

Photo of David Kennedy
Social Scientist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in anthropology, University of Florida


David Kennedy is a social scientist at the RAND Corporation and professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Kennedy was trained as a medical anthropologist and received his Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Florida. He has conducted research on the intersection of culture, social networks and health; and on various mental health topics, including depression, PTSD, and ADHD, other chronic and infectious illnesses including HIV/AIDS, diabetes, kidney disease, and abuse of substances such as tobacco, alcohol and drugs. For his research, he has examined a variety of populations, including international fieldwork in Latin America and Africa, homeless men, women and children in Los Angeles and civilian employees of an Air Force base.

As a methodologist, Kennedy specializes in the collection and analysis of qualitative data and in developing innovative research designs that integrate qualitative and quantitative methodologies. In particular, he specializes in innovative methods for collecting and analyzing social network data in conjunction with qualitative data and methods for partnering with community organizations in the collection and analysis of qualitative data. He has conducted research with both adolescents and adults on the effects of romantic relationships on health, including issues related to childbearing, sexually transmitted infections, substance use, and mental health. He has also developed innovative methods for targeting social network and romantic relationship factors in health interventions. He is also involved in training members of the Army's Human Terrain System in research methods.

Recent Projects

  • Social Context of Smoking in Adolescence and Young Adulthood
  • Drug Use, Social Context, and HIV Risk in Homeless Youth
  • Friendship Networks and Alcohol Use in Adolescence and Young Adulthood
  • Heterosexual HIV Risk Behavior in Homeless Men
  • Reducing Health Inequalities through Social and Educational Change

Selected Publications

Kennedy, DP, "Cognitive Models of Fertility Decline in Oaxaca City, Mexico," Population and Environment

Kennedy, DP, "Ethnography and Scale Adaptation," Field Methods

Tucker, JS, DP Kennedy, GW Ryan, SL Wenzel, D Golinelli, J Zazzali, and C McCarty, "Homeless Women's Personal Networks: Implications for Understanding Risk Behavior," Human Organization

Kennedy DP, HD Green, C McCarty, JS Tucker, "Non-experts' Recognition of Structure in Personal Network Data.," Field Methods

Kennedy DP, BO Cowgill, LM Bogart, R Corona, GW Ryan, DA Murphy, T Nguyen and M Schuster, "Parents and Children Discuss the Disclosure of a Parent's HIV Status," AIDS and Behavior

Derose KP, DE Kanouse, DP Kennedy, K Patel, A Taylor, A Martínez,, The role of faith-based organizations in HIV prevention and care in Central America., RAND Publication (MG-891)

Kennedy, DP, SL Wenzel, JS Tucker, HD Green, D Golinelli, GW Ryan, R Beckman and A Zhou, "Unprotected Sex of Homeless Women Living in Los Angeles County: An Investigation of the Multiple Levels of Risk," AIDS and Behavior

Kennedy, DP and SG Perz, "Who are Brazil's 'Indígenas'? Contributions of Census Data Analysis to an Anthropological Demography of Indigenous Populations," Human Organization