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 has evaluated several MI interventions with adolescents and young adults in a variety of settings, including middle schools, primary care, homeless shelters, and teen court. She recently developed and tested a group intervention for urban Native American adolescents that integrated MI and traditional healing practices. She has also conducted epidemiological work to examine predictors and consequences of adolescent substance use. She is the principal investigator of a large longitudinal study that examines substance use patterns over 14 years among youth from sixth grade through age 24. Her most recent work has focused on the effects of medical marijuana advertising on adolescents' marijuana use. 

In 2016, D'Amico was recognized as a Fellow of the American Psychological Association for Division 50 (Society of Addiction Psychology). She recently expressed her views on how to talk to adolescents about marijuana legalization on the PBS news hour for the "In My Humble Opinion" (#IMHO) series. 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
  • AOD use trajectories from age 10 to 24: Multi-level predictors, health and behavioral functioning, and racial/ethnic disparities

Selected Publications

D’Amico, E. J., Tucker, J. S., Pedersen, E. R, & Shih, R. A, "Understanding rates of marijuana use and consequences among adolescents in a changing legal landscape," Current Addiction Reports, 4(4), 2017

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), 2016

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), 2015

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, 2015

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, 138(6), 2016

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, 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), 2014

Honors & Awards

  • Mentor of the Year, RAND Health
  • Fellow, American Psychological Association

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