Atika Khurana

Atika Khurana profile picture


Dr. Khurana is an Associate Professor in the Counseling Psychology and Human Services Department and Research Scientist at the Prevention Science Institute.

Dr. Khurana's research takes a developmental-ecological approach to understanding and preventing maladaptive risk-taking during adolescence, including substance abuse and dependence, sexual risk-taking, aggression, and academic disengagement. Her recent work has focused on the development of self-regulation and its role in predicting adolescent risk behavior trajectories. Another strand of her research focuses on examining media and technology effects on adolescent health and risk behaviors, in the context of personality factors (e.g., impulsivity, sensation seeking) and parenting behaviors. She also has expertise in latent variable and multi-level modeling, mediation and moderation analysis, missing data and longitudinal data analysis. Dr. Khurana's research has been funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and the Instititute of Education Sciences (IES), and featured on NIDA website and mainstream media outets like National Public Radio (NPR).


Post-doc, 2010-2012, Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania
Ph.D., 2010,  The Ohio State University
Major: Human Development and Family Science
Minor: Quantitative Psychology

Honors and Awards

2014 National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Early Career Poster Award, 2014 American Psychological Association (APA) Annual Convention.
2013 Distinguished Research Fellow, The Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania
2013 Faculty Research Award, University of Oregon, Office of Research, Innovation, and Graduate Education, University of Oregon
2010 Graduate Associate Teaching Award, The Ohio State University, University’s highest recognition of exceptional teaching by a graduate student
2009 Professional/Graduate Student Research Award, Criminal Justice Research Center, The Ohio State University
2008 Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University


Khurana, A., Bleakley, A., Ellithorpe M. E., Hennessy, M., Jamieson, P., & Weitz, I. (2019). Sensation seeking and impulsivity can increase exposure to risky media and moderate its effects on adolescent risk behaviors. Prevention Science, 20(5), 776-787.
Khurana, A., Bleakley, A., Ellithorpe M. E., Hennessy, M., Jamieson, P., & Weitz, I. (2019). Media violence exposure and aggression in adolescents: A risk and resilience perspective. Aggressive Behavior, 45(1), 70-81.
Defoe, N. I., Khurana, A., Romer, D., Betancourt, L., & Hurt, H. (2019). Disentangling longitudinal relations between youth cannabis use, peer cannabis use, and conduct problems: Developmental cascading links to cannabis use disorder. Addiction, 114(3), 485-493
Khurana, A., Romer, D., Betancourt, L., & Hurt, H. (2018). Modeling trajectories of sensation seeking and impulsivity dimensions from early to late adolescence: Universal trends or distinct sub-groups? Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 47(9), 1992-2005.
Santillan, J., & Khurana, A. (2018). Developmental associations between bilingual experience and inhibitory control trajectories in Head Start children. Developmental Science, 21(4), e12624.
Khurana, A., Romer, D., Betancourt, L., & Hurt, H. (2017). Working memory ability and early drug use progression as predictors of adolescent substance use disorders. Addiction, 112(7), 1220-1228.
Khurana, A., Romer, D., Betancourt, L. M., Brodsky, N. L., Giannetta, J. M., & Hurt, H. (2015). Stronger working memory reduces sexual risk-taking in adolescents, even after controlling for parental influences. Child Development, 86(4), 1125-1141.