Elizabeth J. D'Amico

elizabeth d'amico
Senior Behavioral Scientist
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in clinical psychology, University of Texas

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 media@rand.org.

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Elizabeth D'Amico is a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation and a licensed clinical psychologist. D'Amico is nationally recognized for her work developing, implementing, and evaluating interventions for adolescents. She is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) and the interventions she has developed all utilize motivational interviewing (MI).

D'Amico currently has several grants in the field that evaluate MI interventions with youth in a variety of settings, including middle schools, primary care, teen court, and a new grant focused on developing and testing an integrated healing and MI group intervention for Native American youth in urban settings. She also has a longitudinal study that examines substance use patterns over eight years among a large sample of youth from middle school through high school.

In 2009, D'Amico received the Mentor of the Year award at RAND for her work mentoring junior investigators. She was also editor for the APA Division 50 (Society of Addiction Psychology) newsletter from 2007 to 2010. D'Amico received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Texas.

Recent Projects

  • Development and testing of an integrated healing and motivational interviewing group intervention for urban Native American youth
  • Testing a brief motivational interviewing intervention for at-risk adolescents in four primary care settings
  • Development and testing of a group motivational intervention for adolescents with a first-time alcohol and drug offense

Selected Publications

D'Amico, E.J., Parast, L., Meredith, L.S., Ewing, B.A., Shadel, W.G., & Stein, B.S., "Screening in primary care: What is the best way to identify at-risk youth for substance use?" Pediatrics (forthcoming)

D'Amico, E.J., Tucker, J.S., Miles, J.N.V., Ewing, B.A., Shih, R.A., & Pedersen, E.R, "Alcohol and marijuana use trajectories in a diverse longitudinal sample of adolescents: Examining use patterns from age 11 to 17.," Addiction, 111(10):1825-1835, 2016

Troxel, W.M., Ewing, B. & D'Amico, E.J., "Examining racial/ethnic disparities in the association between adolescent sleep and alcohol or marijuana use.," Sleep Health, 1:104-108, 2015

D'Amico, E.J., Miles, J.N.V., & Tucker, J.S., "Gateway to curiosity: Does exposure to medical marijuana ads affect intention and use during middle school?" Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 29(3):613-619, 2015

Dickerson, D. L., Brown, R. A., Johnson, C. L., Schweigman, K., & D'Amico, E. J., "Integrating motivational interviewing and traditional practices to address alcohol and drug use among urban American Indian/Alaska Native youth.," Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 65:26-35, 2015

D'Amico, E.J., Houck, J.M., Hunter, S.B., Miles, J.N.V., Osilla, K.C., & Ewing, B.A., "Group motivational interviewing for adolescents: Change talk and alcohol and marijuana outcomes," Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83(1):68-80, 2014

D'Amico, E.J., Tucker, J.S., Miles, J.N.V., Zhou, A.J., Shih, R.A, & Green, H.D., "Preventing alcohol use with a voluntary after school program for middle school students: Results from a randomized controlled trial of CHOICE," Prevention Science, 13(4):415-425, 2012

Honors & Awards

  • Mentor of the Year, RAND Health

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: CNN; KPBS/NPR; Los Angeles Times; Time Magazine; Washington Post


  • A closeup of cannabis

    What Your Kids Need to Know About Marijuana, Legalized or Not

    If you are a parent, no matter how you feel about legalizing marijuana, you need to be prepared to talk about the drug with your kids.

    Sep 21, 2016 Los Angeles Times

  • young people having a group discussion in a park

    Group Motivational Interviewing Can Help Teens Make Healthy Choices

    Group motivational interviewing is a guided therapeutic approach that helps people think about their motivations for behavior and their commitment to change. It is an excellent fit for adolescents, because it engages them about their personal experiences while eliciting ideas about how they can change and make healthy choices.

    Oct 29, 2013

  • young woman smoking and drinking coffee

    Teen Employment May Not Always Be a Boon for At-Risk Youth

    For all teens, and especially those who have already experienced problems related to alcohol and drug use, it is essential to monitor the quality of work experiences and keep in mind that some work environments might increase risk for substance use.

    Dec 18, 2012