Lawrence Palinkas is the Albert G. and Frances Lomas Feldman Professor of Social Policy and Health and chair of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families in the School of Social Work at the University of Southern California. He also holds secondary appointments as professor in the departments of Anthropology and Preventive Medicine at USC.
A medical anthropologist, his primary areas of expertise are mental health services research and behavioral health and prevention science. Palinkas is particularly interested in the sociocultural and environmental determinants of health and health-related behavior with a focus on disease prevention and health promotion, child welfare and child mental health, translational and implementation science, immigrant and refugee communities, global health and health disparities, and health behavior in extreme environments and disasters. His research has included studies of the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices for delivery of mental health services and prevention programs to children, adolescents and underserved populations; psychosocial adaptation to extreme environments and manmade disasters; mental health needs of older adults; cultural explanatory models of mental illness and service utilization; HIV and substance abuse prevention in Mexico; evaluation of academic-community research practice partnerships; and acculturation and chronic disease risk in immigrant and refugee populations. This work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, NASA, National Institutes of Health, MacArthur Foundation and William T. Grant Foundation. His current research encompasses mental health services, prevention science, immigrant health and global health. He also provides expertise to students and colleagues in the use of qualitative and mixed research methods.