David P. Kennedy

Photo of David Kennedy
Senior Behavioral and 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 anthropology & 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 is currently developing innovative methods for targeting social network and romantic relationship factors in health interventions. He is also developing software for the collection of social network data and for use in social network interventions. Kennedy has conducted research on various mental health topics, including depression, PTSD, and ADHD, other chronic and infectious illnesses including HIV/AIDS, diabetes, kidney disease, 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; homeless men, women, and children in Los Angeles; and civilian employees of an Air Force base.

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, and mental health.

Kennedy received his Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Florida.

Recent Projects

  • Enhancing Housing First Programs with a Social Network Substance Use Intervention
  • A natural experiment of College-Ready Programs on social networks and health behaviors of high school students
  • Building an Inter-Disciplinary Network on Culture and HIV Risk Perception
  • A Social Network Analysis Of Racial Disparities In Marital Outcomes
  • Modeling the Coupled Dynamics of Influenza Transmission and Vaccination Behavior

Selected Publications

DP Kennedy, R Brown, S Wenzel, JS Tucker, H Green, D Golinelli, B Ewing., "Masculinity and HIV Risk among Homeless Men in Los Angeles.," Psychology of Men and Masculinity., 14(2), 2013

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

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