Regina A. Shih

Photo of Regina Shih
Senior Behavioral and Social Scientist
Off Site Office


Ph.D. in psychiatric epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; B.A. in neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

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Regina Shih is a senior behavioral and social scientist at the RAND Corporation. She conducts research at the intersection of environmental health and behavioral health. Her work focuses on environmental risk factors that contribute to the development and trajectory of mental health and substance use disorders across the lifespan. She is currently leading a project funded by NIA to develop a national database of neighborhood environment indicators over two decades and to examine whether demographic, social, economic, and physical characteristics of neighborhoods influence cognitive aging and dementia risk. Shih's other NIH-funded work includes examination of school and neighborhood characteristics that contribute to racial/ethnic disparities in adolescent substance use and neighborhood factors that lead to cardiovascular disease. She has led a variety of other environmental health projects for domestic and international clients including studies that assessed the health and mental health effects of lead exposure and ambient air pollution, and conducted risk assessments to develop a national environmental health strategy for the United Arab Emirates. She is also co-leading a project funded by the Department of Defense to examine the mental and physical health consequences of poor sleep among military servicemembers and identify programs and policies to mitigate those consequences. Shih is skilled at leading sophisticated mixed-methods studies that incorporate large epidemiological study design, qualitative data collection, and advanced statistical analyses including latent variable modeling.

Before joining RAND, Shih completed a post-doctoral fellowship in children's environmental health at NICHD while working on the National Children's Study.

Recent Projects

  • Supporting the Early Childhood Efforts of The Urban Child Institute
  • Neighborhood Characteristics and Cognitive Decline
  • Sleep in the Military: An Evaluation of Military Programs and Policies
  • Adolescent Substance Use Trajectories: The Role of Race and Ethnicity
  • Bi-directional Associations Between Cognitive Decline, Falls, and Fractures

Selected Publications

Griffin, BA, Eibner, C, Bird, CE, Jewell, A, Margolis, K, Shih, RA, Slaughter, ME, Whitsel, E, Allison, M, Escarce, J, "Street connectivity, urban sprawl and incident coronary heart disease in women," Health & Place, 2013

D'Amico EJ ,Tucker JS, Miles JNV, Zhou AJ, Shih RA, Green HD, "Preventing alcohol use with a voluntary after school program for middle school students: Results from a randomized controlled trial of Project CHOICE," Prevention Science, 2012

Shih RA, Miles JNV, Zhou AJ, Tucker JS, D'Amico EJ, "Racial/ethnic differences in the influence of cultural values, resistance self-efficacy, and alcohol expectancies on risk for alcohol initiation," Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 2012

Griffin BA, Anderson G, Shih RA, Whitsel EA, "Use of alternative time scales in Cox proportional hazard models involving environmental exposures which vary over calendar time," Statistics in Medicine, 2012

Shih RA, Griffin BA, Salkowski, N, Jewell A, Eibner C, Bird CE, Cushman M, Liao D, Eaton CB, Margolis HG, Whitsel EA, "Ambient particulate matter air pollution and venous thromboembolism in the Women's Health Initiative Hormone Therapy Trials," Environmental Health Perspectives, 2011

Shih RA, Ghosh-Dastidar M, Margolis KL, Slaughter ME, Jewell A, Bird CE, Eibner C, Denburg NL, Ockene J, Messina CR, Espeland MA, "Neighborhood socioeconomic status and cognitive function in women," American Journal of Public Health, 2011

Willis HH, MacDonald J., Shih RA, Geschwind S, Olmstead S, Hu J, Curtright AE, Cecchinie G, Moore M, "Concerns About Environmental Health Risks in the UAE," Risk Analysis, 2010

Shih RA, Miles JN, Tucker JS, Zhou AJ, D'Amico EJ, "Racial/ethnic differences in adolescent substance use: Mediation by individual, family, and school factors," Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 2010


  • Soldiers from the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment catch a few winks before jumping over North Carolina during a training exercise

    U.S. Soldiers Denied Sleep Suffer Major Health Effects

    More than 60 percent of service members don't get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night. About a third get by on five hours or less. The military, and society at large, needs to recognize the importance of sleep as a crucial link to physical and mental well-being.

    May 11, 2015 U.S. News & World Report

  • ballistic missile submarine USS Louisiana returns home to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor

    Quality Sleep at Sea

    The U.S. Navy may be waking up to something sleep experts have known for a long time: that people function best when they follow their natural sleep rhythms.

    May 8, 2014 U.S. News & World Report

  • Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks at the G8 Dementia Summit

    A Global Focus on Dementia

    The Group of 8 industrial nations is convening a special session to seek an international approach to dementia research at a time the disease is being recognized as a 21st century global health crisis of historic proportions.

    Dec 11, 2013 The RAND Blog

  • woman carrying umbrella looking up at sky

    Weather Forecasts, and Our Trust in Them, Need to Improve

    When scientists predict extreme weather that never materializes, lay people tend to wonder what went wrong. This is a natural tendency that is not tied to a failure of the science, but rather to differences in the way scientists and lay people view predictions about extreme events.

    Oct 8, 2013 The Star-Ledger

  • A mother on Staten Island straps a protective mask onto her baby after Hurricane Sandy

    Removing Road Blocks to Climate Change Adaptation Planning

    Despite increasing interest and investments in climate adaptation science, the implementation of adaptation plans through institutional policies or other actions designed to reduce health vulnerabilities has been slow. Institutionalized assumptions are an important roadblock.

    Oct 3, 2013 The RAND Blog