David P. Kennedy

David P. Kennedy
Senior Behavioral / Social Scientist
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in cultural anthropology, University of Florida; M.A. in cultural anthropology, University of Florida; B.A. in cultural athropology & computer applications, University of Notre Dame


David Kennedy is a senior social and behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation. He was trained as a medical anthropologist and has conducted research on the intersection of culture, social networks, and health.

Kennedy has developed a behavior change intervention approach that combines motivational interviewing with personal network visualization. He is leading several studies testing or adapting this approach, including studies with emerging adults experiencing homelessness, American Indian / Alaska Native adolescents and emerging adults, and adolescents involved in the justice system. He is leading the development of software for the collection of social network data and for use in social network interventions (egoweb.info). Kennedy has conducted research on various mental health topics, including depression and PTSD, as well as other chronic and infectious illnesses including HIV/AIDS and seasonal influenza, and abuse of substances such as tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. He has conducted research with a variety of populations, including international fieldwork in Latin America and Africa; people exerpiencing homelessness in Los Angeles, newlywed couples living in low-income neighborhoods, high school students attending charter schools.

As a methodologist, Kennedy specializes in the collection and analysis of qualitative data and in developing innovative research designs that integrate qualitative and quantitative methodologies. In particular, he specializes in innovative methods for collecting and analyzing social network data in conjunction with qualitative data and methods for partnering with community organizations in the collection and analysis of qualitative data. He has conducted research with both adolescents and adults on the effects of romantic relationships on health, including issues related to childbearing, sexually transmitted infections, substance use, informal caregiving, and mental health.

Kennedy received his Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Florida and completed a postoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina Population Center on adolescent romantic relationships. 

Recent Projects

  • Comparative Effectiveness of Two Culturally Centered Suicide Interventions for Alaska Native Youth
  • A Social Network AOD Intervention for Homeless Youth Transitioning to Housing
  • The Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth (JJIY) Innovation and Impact Network: Developing Innovative Teen Pregnancy Prevention Interventions Targeting Juvenile Justice Involved Youth.
  • Development and Implementation of a Culturally Centered Opioid Prevention Intervention for American Indian/Alaska Native Young Adults in California
  • Health, Wellbeing, and the Social Networks of Family Caregivers of People with Alzheimer's Disease.

Selected Publications

DP Kennedy, SL Wenzel, RA Brown, JS Tucker, D Golinelli., "Unprotected Sex Among Heterosexually Active Homeless Men: Results from a Multilevel Dyadic Analysis," AIDS and Behavior, 17(5), 2013

DP Kennedy, Tucker JS, Green HG, Golinelli D, Ewing, B, "Unprotected Sex of Homeless Youth: Results from a Multilevel Analysis of Individual, Social Network, and Relationship Factors," AIDS and Behavior, 16(7), 2012

DP Kennedy, BO Cowgill, LM Bogart, R Corona, GW Ryan, DA Murphy, T Nguyen and M Schuster, "Parents Disclosure of Their HIV Infection to Their Children in the Context of the Family," AIDS and Behavior, 14(5), 2010

DP Kennedy, SL Wenzel, JS Tucker, HD Green, D Golinelli, GW Ryan, R Beckman and A Zhou, "Unprotected Sex of Homeless Women Living in Los Angeles County: An Investigation of the Multiple Levels of Risk," AIDS and Behavior, 14(4), 2010

Kennedy, DP, Osilla, KC, Hunter, SB, Golinelli, D, Maksabedian, E, & Tucker, JS, "A Pilot Test of a Motivational Interviewing Social Network Intervention to Reduce Substance Use among Housing First Residents," Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 86, 2018

DP Kennedy, GL Jackson, HD Green, TN Bradbury, BR Karney, "The Analysis of Duocentric Social Networks: A Primer," Journal of Marriage and Family (forthcoming)

DP Kennedy, SB Hunter, KC Osilla, E Maksabedian, D Golinelli, & JS Tucker, "A computer-assisted motivational social network intervention to reduce alcohol, drug and HIV risk behaviors among Housing First residents," Addiction science & clinical practice, 11(1), 2016

Kennedy, DP, KC Osilla, SB Hunter, D Golinelli, E Maksabedian, & JS Tucker, "Restructuring personal networks with a Motivational Interviewing social network intervention to assist the transition out of homelessness: a randomized control pilot study," PLOS ONE, 17(1), 2022

Honors & Awards

  • Researcher Initiated Research Methods Lab Grant, 2013-2014, RAND Corporation
  • Bronze Medal for developing EgoWeb 2.0, 2015, RAND Corporation


English (native) and Spanish