Profile picture of Leslie Leve

Leslie Leve

Lorry Lokey Chair in Education, Professor, and Department Head, Counseling Psychology and Human Services
Scientist, Prevention Science Institute 
College of Education, Counseling Psychology, Family and Human Services, Prevention Science
Phone: 541-346-9528
Office: 368 HEDCO Education Bldg


Professor Leve is the Lorry Lokey Chair in Education and a “double duck,” receiving her masters and doctorate at the University of Oregon in the ‘90s in the College of Arts and Sciences and returning to the university in 2013 as a professor in the College of Education.

Professor Leve is best known for her research on child and adolescent development, gene-environment interplay, and interventions for underserved children, families, and communities. This includes preventive intervention studies with youth in foster care or juvenile justice system, adoption studies that examine the interplay between biological and social influences on development, and COVID-19 testing outreach programs for Latinx communities. She co-directs a Center on parenting in the context of opioid use. Her work also focuses on outcomes for girls and women. To date, she has published more than 215 scientific articles and 20 book chapters. Her research has been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Justice, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Oregon Health Authority.

Professor Leve typically takes one new doctoral student, one new masters students, and three undergraduate students each year and strongly encourages applications from students from diverse backgrounds.

Meet Dr. Leslie Leve


Ph.D., 1995, University of Oregon
Major: Developmental Psychology
Advisor: Beverly Fagot, Ph.D.

M.S., 1991, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
Major: Psychology

B.A., 1990, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA
Major: Psychology

Honors and Awards

2022 Fellow, Society for Prevention Research

2021 Outstanding Researcher Award, University of Oregon

2017 Fund for Faculty Excellence Award, University of Oregon

2017 Alumni Faculty Professor, College of Education, University of Oregon

2011 Prevention Science Award, Society for Prevention Research


Publications (Sample)

DeGarmo, D. S., De Anda, S., Cioffi, C. C., Tavalire, H. F., Searcy, J. A., Budd, E. L., McWhirter, E. H., Mauricio, A. M., Halvorson, S., Beck, E. A., Fernandes, L., Currey, M. C., Ramírez García, J., Cresko, W. C., & Leve, L. (2022). Effectiveness of a COVID-19 testing outreach intervention for Latinx communities: A clustered randomized clinical trial. JAMA Network Open, 5(6):e2216796.

Leve, L., Anderson, D., Harold, G., Neiderhiser, J., Natsuaki, M., Shaw, D., Ganiban, J.M., Reiss, D. (2022). Developmental profiles of child behavior problems from 18 months to 8 years: The protective effects of structured parenting vary by genetic risk. Development and Psychopathology 34(5), 1716-1730.

Leve, L. D., Harold, G. T., Neiderhiser, J. M., Natsuaki, M. N., Shaw, D. S., Ganiban, J. M., & Reiss, D. (2022). The potential of children’s rearing environment to overcome genetic propensity for low reading achievement. Mind, Brain, and Education, 16(4), 352-359.

Leve, L. D., Schweer-Collins, M., & Bates, E. (2022). Criminal offense charges in women: A 10-year follow-up of an RCT of Treatment Foster Care Oregon. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 90, 901-910.

Cioffi, C. C. & Leve, L. D. (2020). Substance abuse treatment, parenting, and COVID-19. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 119, 108148.

Leve, L. D., Neiderhiser, J. M., Ganiban, J. M., Misaki, N. N., Shaw, D. S., & Reiss, D. (2019). The Early Growth and Development Study: A dual-family adoption study from birth through adolescence. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 22, 716 - 727.

Leve, L. D., Neiderhiser, J. M., Harold, G. T., Natsuaki, M. N., Bohannan, B. J. M, & Cresko, W. A. (2018). Naturalistic experimental designs as tools for understanding the role of genes and the environment in prevention research. Prevention Science, 19(1), 68–78. doi: 10.1007/s11121-017-0746-8 PMC: 5511771

Leve, L. D., Chamberlain, P., & Kim, H. K. (2015). Risks, outcomes, and evidence-based interventions for girls in the U. S. juvenile justice system. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 18(3), 252–279. doi: 10.1007/s10567-015-0186-6. PMC: 4536111


Professor Leve’s research is grounded by three core values.

First, collaborations that include individuals from a range of identities, career stages, and disciplinary perspectives are prioritized. When we have the opportunity to talk about and conduct research from multiple vantage points, we can generate new ideas and approaches that advance the field and make an impact on human health in exciting ways.

Second, advancing discoveries in the field of prevention science can be best achieved through both basic research and intervention studies. Ideally, the two approaches are integrated with feedback loops that inform one another.

Third, a priority focus is improving the wellbeing of underserved individuals and communities. There is indisputable evidence that current and historical policies and practices in the United States have precipitated inequities in access to quality health care, affordable and safe housing, educational opportunities, healthy and affordable food options, and exposure to environmental harms. These inequities contribute to significant disparities in health outcomes seen today. Accordingly, pursing research, interventions, and partnerships that have the potential to reduce the disparate behavioral health outcomes seen in children and adults in society today is a priority.

Professor Leve is currently focusing her research on: (1) promoting healthy outcomes for women with substance use histories; (2) incorporating genetic data to refine the understanding of how one’s family and contextual environment can promote healthy outcomes for children and adolescents; (3) examining the adult outcomes of juvenile justice involvement; and (4) delivering COVID-19 testing and health interventions to Latinx communities in Oregon. She collaborates with local, national, and international colleagues to conduct this research, including colleagues within the University of Oregon as well as external colleagues at Oregon Social Learning Center, Penn State, George Washington University, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of California, Riverside, and the University of Cambridge, UK. These collaborations include numerous students, postdocs, and research associates.