Joshua Breslau

Photo of Joshua Breslau
Senior Behavioral and Social Scientist
Pittsburgh Office


Ph.D. in anthropology, Harvard University; Sc.D. in epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health; B.A. in anthropology, University of Chicago

Media Resources

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Joshua Breslau, is a senior behavioral and social scientist at the RAND Corporation whose work focuses on social and cultural influences on psychiatric disorders and their treatment. An anthropologist and epidemiologist with over two decades of research experience, Breslau's research examines racial/ethnic disparities in risk for psychiatric disorders and treatment use, life course consequences of psychiatric disorders, and impacts of policy on treatment for people with behavioral health conditions. 

Breslau's work has been continuously supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health for over 15 years. He is currently principal investigator of NIH funded studies of integrated primary and mental health care for adults with serious mental illness and policy impacts on racial/ethnic disparities in behavioral health service use. He also leads the RAND team in the national evaluation of the Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers demonstration project.  

Breslau has published in leading peer-reviewed journals in psychiatry, public health, pediatrics and health policy, and he is a fellow and council member of the American Psychopathological Association. He earned his Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University and his Sc.D. in epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health.

Recent Projects

  • Mexico-US Migration and Mental Health
  • Access to Mental Health Care for Rural/Remote Servicemembers and their Families

Selected Publications

Breslau, Joshua; Stein, Bradley D.; Yu, Hao; Burns, Rachel; Han, Bing, "Impacts of the Dependent Care Expansion on the Allocation of Mental Health Care," Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Health Services Research, 46, 2016

Breslau, Joshua; Elliott, Marc N.; Haviland, Amelia M.; Klein, David J.; Dembosky, Jacob W.; Adams, John L.; Gaillot, Sarah; Horvitz-Lennon, Marcela; Schneider, Eric C. , "Racial/Ethnic Differences in Attainment of Behavioral Health Quality Measures in Medicare Advantage Plans," Health Affairs, 37(10), 2018

Breslau, Joshua; Leckman-Westin, Emily; Han, Bing; Pritam, Riti; Guarasi, Diana; Horvitz- Lennon, Marcela; Scharf, Deborah M.; Finnerty, Molly; Yu, Hao, "Impact of a mental health based primary care program on emergency department visits and inpatient stays," General Hospital Psychiatry, 52, 2018

Breslau, Joshua ; Yu, Hao; Han, Bing; Pacula, Rosalie L.; Burns, Rachel M.; Stein, Bradley D. , "Did the Dependent Coverage Expansion Increase Risky Substance Use Among Young Adults?" Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 178, 2017

Breslau, Joshua; Cefalu, Matthew; Wong, Eunice; Burnam, Audrey; Hunter, Gerald, Florez, Karen, Collins, Rebecca, "Racial/ethnic differences in perception of need for mental health treatment in a US national sample," Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 52(8), 2017

Breslau, Joshua; Gilman, Stephen; Stein, Bradley D.; Ruder, Teague; Gmelin, Theresa; Miller, Elizabeth, "Sex Differences in Recent First Onset Depression in an Epidemiological Sample of Adolescents," Translational Psychiatry , 7(5), 2017


  • Therapist Heather Guinn conducts a virtual session with a patient via telemedicine, April 22, 2020, photo by MaCabe Brown/Courier & Press/Reuters

    Patients Log On to See Their Own Doctors During the Pandemic

    Telehealth use has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Can this form of high-quality, low-cost care be maintained over the long term? As discussion of post-pandemic policies begins, lessons from patients' use of telehealth will provide valuable guidance.

    Jan 7, 2021 The RAND Blog