Terry L. Schell

Photo of Terry Schell
Senior Behavioral Scientist
Santa Monica Office


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

Media Resources

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Terry L. Schell is a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation. Much of his research has focused on posttraumatic stress disorder, among civilian survivors of community violence as well as service members who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. That research has been published in a wide array of peer-reviewed journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, and Journal of Traumatic Stress. Schell has worked on a variety of projects as a social psychologist and psychometrician across all units of RAND. This includes research that investigates the effects of gun laws on firearm deaths, sexual assault in the U.S. military, the long-term effects of violence on mental health, the effects of advertising on adolescent drinking, the effectiveness of criminal rehabilitation programs, the effectiveness of terrorism security measures, the evaluation of drug treatment programs, the relationship between traumatic stress and substance use, racial equity in policing. 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 specialized training in advanced multivariate statistics and psychological measurement.

Recent Projects

  • Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment in the US military
  • Guns in America
  • Longitudinal Study of PTSD, TBI, and Functional Impairment among OEF/OIF Veterans.
  • Cambodia Trauma Survivors: Prevalence and Consequences.
  • Multisample Study of the Natural Course of PTSD Symptoms

Selected Publications

T. L. Schell et al., "Dynamic Effects Among Patients' Treatment Needs, Beliefs, and Utilization: A Prospective Study of Adolescents in Drug Treatment," Health Services Research, 40(4), 2005

T. L. Schell et al., "Measuring Developmental Changes in Alcohol Expectancies," Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 19(2), 2005

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

M. Chinman et al., "Computer-Assisted Self-Assessment in Persons with Severe Mental Illness," Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 65(10), 2004


  • depressed teenage boy with handgun

    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

  • A soldier hugging his wife or girlfriend upon his return from deployment

    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