Steven C. Martino

Photo of Steven Martino
Senior Behavioral Scientist
Pittsburgh Office


Ph.D. in psychology, University of Minnesota; B.A. in psychology, Boston College

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

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Steven Martino is a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation. He is an expert in the application of psychological and measurement theory to understand decisions and actions related to health and health care. His recent research focuses on health care disparities, vulnerable patient populations, and the assessment and reporting of information on health care quality.

Much of his research has focused on psychosocial aspects of adolescent substance use, social cognitive processes involved in adolescent sexual behavior, and the influence of various media (including television, movies, music, and various forms of advertising) on adolescents' beliefs and behaviors regarding sex and substance use. Martino also has experience conducting research on informational interventions for health care consumers using cognitive testing, surveys, focus groups, lab studies, and field evaluations.

For the past 15 years, he has led reporting efforts on several of RAND's CAHPS and CAHPS-related projects, directing development and testing of consumer reports on health care quality, conducting lab studies of how consumers use quality reports in decisionmaking, and developing and testing physician feedback reports. More recently, he has focused on the measurement, understanding, and reporting of health care disparities, and on the development of methods for reducing those disparities.

Martino received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Minnesota.

Recent Projects

  • An Experience-Sampling Study of Exposure to Alcohol Marketing and Youth Drinking
  • Testing the Impact of Tobacco Product Graphic Warning Labels at Retail Point-of-Sale
  • Health Equity Innovation Incubator to Improve Quality in Medicare
  • National Implementation of Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan CAHPS Surveys
  • Continuation of Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, CAHPS V

Selected Publications

Martino, S.C., Mathews, M.E., Agniel, D., Orr, N., Wilson-Frederick, S., Ng, J., Ormson, A.E., & Elliott, M.N., "National racial/ethnic and geographic disparities in adult Medicaid beneficiaries’ experiences with health care," Health Services Research, 54

Martino, S.C., Weinick, R.N., Kanouse, D.E., Brown, J.A., Haviland, A.M., Goldstein, E., Adams, J.L., Hambarsoomian, K., Klein, D.J., & Elliott, M.N., "Reporting CAHPS and HEDIS data by race/ethnicity for Medicare beneficiaries," Health Services Research, 48(2), 2013

Martino, S.C., Elliott, M.N., Beckett, M.K., Haviland, A.M., Mallett, J.S., Orr, N., & Gaillot, S., "Speaking up and walking out: Are vulnerable patients less likely to disagree with or change doctors?" Medical Care, 56

Martino, S.C., Kovalchik, S., Collins, R.L., Becker, K., Shadel, W.G., & D’Amico, E.J., "Ecological momentary assessment of the association between exposure to alcohol advertising and early adolescents’ beliefs about alcohol," Journal of Adolescent Health, 58, 2016

Martino, S.C., Setodji, C.M., Collins, R.L., D’Amico, E.J., Shadel, W.G., Tolpadi, A., & Becker, K.M., "Persistence of belief shifts associated with exposure to alcohol advertising among adolescents," Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 79

Martino, S.C., Elliott, M.N., Corona, R., Kanouse, D.E., & Schuster, M.A., "Beyond the “Big Talk”: The roles of breadth and repetition in parent-adolescent communication about sexual topics," Pediatrics, 121, 2008

Martino, S.C., Collins, R.L., Elliott, M., Strachman, A., Kanouse, D.E., & Berry, S.H., "Exposure to degrading versus non-degrading music lyrics and sexual behavior among youth," Pediatrics, 118(2), 2006

Martino, S.C., Collins, R.L., Kanouse, D.E., Elliott, M., & Berry, S.H., "Social cognitive mediators of the relationship between exposure to television’s sexual content and adolescents’ sexual behavior," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 2005


  • Gabor Kovacs of 'smoke no smoke' displays e-cigarettes that his shop sells at Camden in London

    FDA's New Tobacco Rules Go Far Enough—For Now

    At this point, asking the FDA to restrict marketing or to ban flavored products would be premature. The base of scientific evidence is growing but it doesn't support additional regulatory action beyond what the FDA has already proposed.

    Jun 12, 2014 The Hill

  • woman smoking an electronic cigarette

    Where There's Vapor, Is There Fire? We Need Evidence on E-Cigarettes

    Currently, evidence for the safety, harmfulness, utility, and addictiveness of e-cigarettes is lacking. The questions that research needs to answer, however, are clear as day—particularly since business is booming.

    Mar 4, 2014 The Health Care Blog

  • Virginity Pledges Work for Some Teens

    Essentially, the available research suggests that teaching abstinence alone to teenagers does not work — they are no more likely to delay the start of sexual activity than other teenagers. But research has not been so clear regarding virginity pledges specifically, writes Steven Martino.

    Apr 1, 2009 Providence Journal