Terry L. Schell

Terry L. Schell
Senior Behavioral Scientist


Ph.D. in social psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara; M.A. in psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara; B.A. in psychology, Reed College

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Terry L. Schell is a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation. Much of his research has focused on violence and psychological trauma. This includes work documenting posttraumatic stress disorder among civilian survivors of trauma and military service members; estimating the effects of gun laws on firearm deaths; estimating rates and risk factors for sexual assault in the U.S. military; estimating the prevalence of sexual harassment; documenting the long-term effects of violence on mental health; assessing the relationship between traumatic stress and substance use; and assessing racial equity in policing.  He has also worked on a range of program evaluations, including evaluating the effectiveness of criminal rehabilitation programs, terrorism security measures, and drug treatment programs. His research has been published in a wide array of academic journals, including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Addiction, and Journal of Traumatic Stress. Schell received his Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he received training in advanced multivariate statistics and psychological measurement.

Selected Publications

Terry L. Schell, Matthew Cefalu, Coreen Farris, Andrew R. Morral, The Relationship Between Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment in the U.S. Military Findings from the RAND Military Workplace Study, RAND (RR-3162), 2021

Terry L. Schell, Matthew Cefalu, Beth Ann Griffin, Rosanna Smart, Andrew R. Morral,, "Changes in firearm mortality following the implementation of state laws regulating firearm access and use," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, (26), 2020

Terry L. Schell, Samuel Peterson, Brian G. Vegetabile, Adam Scherling, Rosanna Smart, Andrew R. Morral, State-Level Estimates of Household Firearm Ownership, RAND (TL-354), 2020

Terry L. Schell, Beth Ann Griffin, Andrew R. Morral, Evaluating Methods to Estimate the Effect of State Laws on Firearm Deaths A Simulation Study, RAND (RR-2685), 2018

Morral, Andrew R., Terry L. Schell, Matthew Cefalu, Jessica Hwang, and Andrew Gelman, Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment in the U.S. Military: Volume 5. Estimates for Installation- and Command-Level Risk of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment, RAND (RR-870/7), 2018

G. N. Marshall et al., "Mental Health of Cambodian Refugees 2 Decades After Resettlement in the United States," Journal of the American Medical Association, 295(5), 2005

T. L. Schell et al., "All Symptoms Are Not Created Equal: The Prominent Role of Hyperarousal in the Natural Course of Posttraumatic Psychological Distress," Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 113(2), 2004

Terry L. Schell and Grant N. Marshall "Survey of Individuals Previously Deployed for OEF/OIF," in Tanielian, Terri, Lisa H. Jaycox (Eds.), Invisible Wounds of War Psychological and Cognitive Injuries, Their Consequences, and Services to Assist Recovery, RAND (MG-720), 2008


  • Sexual Assault

    Military Must Better Understand Sexual Assaults to Combat Them

    Sexual minorities in the U.S. military represent about 12 percent of the active-duty population. But they account for an estimated 43 percent of those who are sexually assaulted. This raises critical questions for the Pentagon as it tries to reduce the 20,000 sexual assaults in the ranks each year.

    Jun 22, 2021

    The Hill

  • Violence

    Can Improved Mental Health Care Prevent Gun Crimes? The Truth Is, We Don't Know

    If policymakers and the public expect the mental health community to play a significant role in preventing future incidents like Newtown, the mental health research agenda must become a higher national priority in future federal funding decisions, writes Terry Schell.

    Jan 17, 2013

    The RAND Blog

  • Veterans Health Care

    War's Invisible Wounds

    Nearly 300,000 Iraq and Afghanistan service veterans who have returned home -- about one in five -- may suffer from combat-stress-related mental health problems. Our veterans ought to get the best available treatments our nation can offer, but they don't, write authors Terry Schell, Terri Tanielian and Lisa Jaycox.

    Sep 28, 2008

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette