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Associate Professor

Kristin Mmari, DrPH, MA, assesses contextual factors and interventions influencing adolescent health in vulnerable adolescent populations, domestically and internationally.

Contact Info

615 N. Wolfe Street, Room E4620

Research Interests

adolescent health; risk and protective factors; implementation research; monitoring and evaluation; gender norms; early adolescents; opportunity youth
Experiences & Accomplishments
Tulane University
Case Western Reserve University
St. Olaf College
With a degree in medical anthropology and a doctorate in international health, Dr. Mmari has been extensively trained in cross-cultural research, qualitative methods and analysis, and program evaluation. Throughout her career, Dr. Mmari's has focused her work on vulnerable adolescent populations, both domestically and internationally. Specifically her research in adolescent health has proceeded along two often-overlapping fronts: assessing contextual factors that influence adolescent health and evaluating adolescent health interventions. In each of these lines of inquiries, Dr. Mmari uses a mixed methods approach that combines innovative technology and methods (i.e., Photovoice methodology and community mapping) to help understand the factors that influence adolescent health outcomes and programs. Currently, Dr. Mmari is the lead qualitative investigator on the Global Early Adolescent Study (GEAS), which is a 15-country study aimed at exploring how the acquisition of gender norms and gender socialization shapes very early adolescent relationships and health behaviors. Dr. Mmari was also the lead qualitative investigator on the WAVE study, which was one of the first global studies on adolescents living in disadvantaged urban environments to examine how health and the factors that influence adolescent health compare across different urban environments. Dr. Mmari has also provided technical assistance to numerous domestic and international organizations over the past two decades on adolescent monitoring and evaluation projects, including UNAIDS, UNICEF, WHO, and Pathfinder International, as well as the Center for Adolescent Health at Johns Hopkins and Parents Place of Maryland.
Honors & Awards
Johns Hopkins University, DSA Faculty Appreciation Mentor Award, 2017 Johns Hopkins University, Golden Apple Teaching Award, 2017 Johns Hopkins University Teach Excellence Award, 2012, 2015,2017,2019 National Institute of Health, Health Disparities Loan Repayment Award, 2009-2011 Faculty Grant Award, Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, 2005
Select Publications
Selected publications from the last 5 years:
  • Mmari, K., Mendelson, T, Blum, R, Catalano R., and Brindis, C. “Opportunity Youth: Insights and opportunities for a public health approach”. Public Health Reports 2018; 10.1177/0033354918799344 (special supplement for the Bloomberg American Health Initiative)
  • Mmari, K, Moreau C, Gibb S, et al. “Yea I’ve Grown; I can’t go out anymore”: Perceived risks for girls and boys entering adolescence. Culture, Health, and Sexuality 2017; DOI:10.1080/13691058.2017.1382718
  • Mmari, K., Kalamar, A. Brahmbhatt H, and Venables E. “The Influence of the Family on Adolescent Sexual Behavior: A Comparison between Baltimore and Johannesberg.” PLOS One 2016 11 (1).
  • Mmari, K., Lantos, H*, Blum, R., et al. “A Global Study on the Influence of Neighborhood Contextual Factors on Adolescent Health”. Journal of Adolescent Health 2014: S13-S20. DOI:
  • Mmari, K., Blum, R., Sonenstein, F. “Adolescents perceptions of Health from Disadvantaged Urban Environments: Findings from the Wave Study.” Social Science and Medicine 2014; 104:124-132.
Bloomberg American Health Initiative: Risks to Adolescent Health
Middle Grades Partnership Evaluation
Evaluation of Grads2Careers
PMA Adolescent
Global Early Adolescent Study-Longitudinal Phase
Performance Monitoring for Action (PMA)
FAB youth Study (Food assistance among Baltimore Youth)
Project Vital (Vacant Lot Improvement to Improve Adolescent Lives)
The Global Early Adolescent Study
Adolescent Health in the time of COVID