Tracy M. Scull, PhD
iRT Research Scientist
Doctorate in Developmental Psychology, Duke University
Tracy M. Scull, Ph.D., is a Research Scientist at innovation Research & Training, Inc. She received her doctorate in Developmental Psychology from Duke University and has extensive basic and applied research experience in the area of child development. At iRT, Dr. Scull’s work has concentrated on the prevention of risk behaviors (e.g., substance use experimentation and early/risky sexual behaviors) in children and adolescents using media literacy education.
Current projects and responsibilities:
- Principal Investigator - Media Detective Family (Phase II SBIR contract)
- This project continues the development of Media Detective Family (MDF), a web-based media literacy education program for families with elementary school-aged children. The goal of MDF is to encourage families to practice critical thinking skills about the media that they encounter every day, so that children will be more likely to make healthy decisions to abstain from alcohol and tobacco use.
- Principal Investigator - Media World Relationships (Phase II SBIR grant)
- This project will complete the development of Media World Relationships, a prevention program that focuses on teaching media literacy education to students in grades 7-9 to increase critical thinking skills about media messages, increase intentions to abstain from sexual activity, and increase the likelihood of safe behaviors should sexual activity occur. The ultimate goals of the program are to prevent early sexual behaviors, STI transmission, and teen pregnancy.
- Principal Investigator - Media Literacy for Sexual Health in Older Adolescents (R21 grant)
- This project is to create and test the feasibility of a brief web-based media literacy education intervention to reduce risky sexual practices (e.g., intoxicated sex, unprotected sex, sex with multiple partners, sexual violence) in community college students. The long-range goals of this project are twofold: to advance the science of prevention by better understanding the cognitive mechanisms (e.g., media-related cognitions) associated with substance use in relation to sexual behaviors in older adolescents and to develop an evidence-based substance abuse and sexual health preventive intervention program that can be easily scaled and readily disseminated through internet delivery and partnerships with community colleges.
- Co-Investigator - Media World (Phase II SBIR grant)
- The goal of this project is to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of a media literacy, substance abuse prevention program for use with high school-aged students.
Previous projects and responsibilities:
- Principal Investigator - Media World Relationships (Phase I SBIR contract)
- Principal Investigator - Media Detective Family (Phase I SBIR contract)
- Principal Investigator - Media Detective Parent Night (Phase I SBIR grant)
- Principal Investigator - Evaluation of the TV show ’16 and Pregnant’ (National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy contract)
- Project Director - Media Detective (Phase II SBIR grant)
- Project Director - Media Ready (NC state contract)
- Project Director - Media World (Phase I SBIR grant)
Overall, Dr. Scull has extensive experience developing and implementing research studies with children and adolescents; working with teachers, principals, and school district personnel; collecting and managing large data sets; managing project staff; conducting parametric and non-parametric statistical analysis; writing technical reports and peer-reviewed publications; and disseminating research findings.
Dr. Scull has presented numerous workshops and trainings on media literacy and media literacy education programs to diverse local and national audiences including teachers, parents, researchers, prevention specialists, and community anti-drug coalition members. Presentations have been conducted at meetings like the Community Anti-drug Coalitions for America (CADCA) Mid-Year Training; the National Prevention Network (NPN) Annual Prevention Research Conference; the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) Safe, Orderly, & Caring Schools Conference; the North Carolina Foundation for Alcohol and Drug Studies (NCFADS) Summer Training Session; the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) Research Summit; and the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescents.
SELECTED PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS (formerly Tracy M. Barrett):
Kupersmidt, J.B., Scull, T.M., & Benson, J.W. (2012). Improving media message interpretation processing skills to promote healthy decision making about substance use: The effects of the middle school Media Ready curriculum. Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives, (doi:10.1080/10810730.2011.635769)
Scull, T.M. & Kupersmidt, J.B. (2011). An evaluation of a media literacy program training workshop for late elementary school teachers. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 2(3). 199-208.
Kupersmidt, J.B., Scull, T.M., & Austin, E.A. (2010). Media literacy education for elementary school substance use prevention: Randomized efficacy study of Media Detective. Pediatrics published online: August 23, 2010 (doi: 10.1542/2010-0068).
Scull, T.M., Kupersmidt, J.B., Parker, A.E., Elmore, K.C., & Benson, J.W. (2010). Media-related cognitions and adolescent substance use in the context of parental and peer influences. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 31(1), 1-9. (doi: 10.1007/s10964-009-9455-3)
Barrett, T.M., Traupman, E., & Needham, A. (2008). Infants’ visual anticipation of object structure in grasp planning. Infant Behavior & Development.
Barrett, T.M. & Needham, A. (2008). Developmental differences in infants’ use of an object’s shape to grasp it securely. Developmental Psychobiology.
Barrett, T.M., Davis, E.F., & Needham, A. (2007). Learning about tools in infancy. Developmental Psychology, 43(2), 352-368.
Lewis, M.A., Kalinowski, C.T., Sterba, K.R., Barrett, T.M., & DeVellis, R.F. (2006). Interpersonal Processes and Vasculitis Management. Arthritis Care & Research, 55(4), 670-675.
Needham, A., Barrett, T., & Peterman, K. (2002). A pick-me-up for infants’ exploratory skills: Early simulated experiences reaching for objects using ‘sticky mittens’ enhances young infants’ object exploration skills. Infant Behavior and Development, 25(3), 279-295.