Lisa Sontag-Padilla

Photo of Lisa Sontag-Padilla
Behavioral and Social Scientist
Pittsburgh Office


Ph.D. in developmental psychology, University of Florida; B.S. in psychology, Tulane University


Lisa Sontag-Padilla is a behavioral and social scientist at the RAND Corporation. She has expertise in child and adolescent health and development, parent-child relationships, as well as research design, strategic planning, data collection and analysis, and program evaluation. Her work involves examinations of individual differences in stress and resilience, interpersonal relationships, and pubertal development in youth; evaluations of large federally funded public health and mental health programs; and evaluations of locally funded programs targeted at high-risk youth and families. Sontag-Padilla's research has appeared in top-tier, peer-reviewed journals and has been presented at nationally and internationally recognized peer-reviewed conferences. She completed her post-doctoral training in primary care research at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Sontag-Padilla earned her Ph.D. in developmental psychology and a graduate certificate in social science methodology and statistics from the University of Florida.

Recent Projects

  • Evaluation of California Mental Health Prevention and Early Intervention Initiatives
  • Evaluation of New York City Community School Initiative
  • Cincinnati Child Poverty Task Force Action Plan Study
  • Conditions Affecting Neurocognitive Development and Learning in Early Childhood (CANDLE) Study
  • Evaluation of the Heinz Endowments' African American Men and Boys Task Force Grantees

Selected Publications

Graber, J. A., & Sontag, L. M. "Internalizing problems during adolescence," in R. M. Lerner & L. Steinberg, Handbook of Adolescent Psychology, 3rd Ed: Volume 1 Individual Bases of Adolescent Development, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2009

Sontag, L. M., Lynne, S. D., Clemans, K. H., & Graber, J. A. "Childhood depression," in R. Ingram, The International Encyclopedia of Depression, Springer Publishing Company, 2009

Sontag, L. M., Clemans, K. H., Graber, J. A., & Lyndon, S. T., "Traditional and cyber aggressors and victims: A comparison of psychosocial characteristics," Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40, 2011

Sontag, L. M. & Graber, J. A., "Coping with perceived peer stress: Gender specific and common pathways to symptoms of psychopathology," Developmental Psychology, 46, 2010

Sontag, L. M., Graber, J. A., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Warren, M. P., "Coping with social stress: Implications for psychopathology in young adolescent girls," Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 36, 2008

Sontag, L. M., Dorn, L, D., Tissot, A., Susman, E. J., Beers, S., & Rose, S., "Executive functioning, cortisol reactivity, and symptoms of psychopathology in girls with premature adrenarche," Development and Psychopathology (forthcoming)

Sontag, L. M., Graber, J. A., & Clemans, K. H., "The role of peer stress and pubertal timing on symptoms of psychopathology in early adolescence," Journal of Youth and Adolescence

Sontag-Padilla, Lisa; Woodbridge, Michelle W.; Mendelsohn, Joshua.; D'Amico, Elizabeth J.; Osilla, Karen Chan.; Jaycox, Lisa.; Eberhart, Nicole K.; Burnam, M. Audrey; Stein, Bradley D., "Factors affecting mental health service utilization among California public college and university students," Psychiatric Services, 67(8), 2016