Rebecca L. Collins

Photo of Rebecca Collins
Chair, RAND Human Subjects Protection Committee; Senior Behavioral Scientist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D., M.A. in social psychology, University of California, Los Angeles; B.S. in psychology, University of Wisconsin

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

More Experts


Rebecca Collins is chair of the RAND Human Subjects Protection Committee and a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation. Her research examines the determinants and consequences of health risk behavior. In a line of research addressing media influences on health, she is leading an NIMH-funded evaluation of California's historic Mental Illness Stigma and Discrimination Reduction initiative, was principal investigator for a national longitudinal study that produced groundbreaking evidence linking exposure to sexual content in the media and adolescent sexual behavior and health, co-investigator on a series of investigations examining alcohol advertising and youth drinking, co-led a National Academy of Sciences panel examining the association between sexual content in media and child health and was a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) task force investigating the sexualization of young girls. She has served as key investigor on the PHRESH family of studies for the past nine years, examining the impact of the neighborhood environment on low-income African Americans' health. Her work on military health includes co-leading the Women's Health Survey and leading key chapters in RAND's report informing repeal of the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell Policy and the 2015 and 2018 HRBS on sexual health and LGB service members. Other areas of study involve adolescent/young adult sexual and substance use behavior and various aspects of living with HIV infection. Collins is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. She earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in social psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Recent Projects

  • A national study linking adolescents' media use with subsequent changes in sexual behavior and pregnancy risk
  • Effects of alcohol advertising on underage drinking
  • Evaluating the effects of efforts to reduce the stigma of mental illness in California
  • Department of Defense Women's Health Study

Selected Publications

P. L. Ellickson et al., "Does Alcohol Advertising Promote Adolescent Drinking? Results from a Longitudinal Assessment," Addiction, 100, 2005

R. L. Collins et al., "Watching Sex on TV Predicts Adolescent Initiation of Sexual Behavior," Pediatrics Electronic Pages, 114, 2004

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: BBC; CNN;; NBC; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Reuters; USA Today; Washington Post