Emily Tanner-Smith

Emily Tanner-Smith profile picture
  • Title: Associate Professor
  • Additional Title: Associate Dean of Research
  • Phone: 541-346-2365
  • Office: 230 HEDCO Education Bldg.


Dr. Tanner-Smith is an Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Education at the University of Oregon, with appointments in the Counseling Psychology and Human Services Department and the Prevention Science Institute. Her Ph.D. is in sociology from Vanderbilt University with an emphasis on quantitative methods and statistics. She is an applied research methodologist with expertise in meta-analysis and research synthesis for evidence-based decision-making. Her scholarship focuses broadly on the prevention and treatment of substance use, delinquency, mental health, and academic problems among youth. She was awarded the Nan Tobler Award from the Society for Prevention Research in honor of her research synthesis contributions to the field of prevention science. Dr. Tanner-Smith serves as a Features Editor for Research Synthesis Methodsand previously served as a methods editor for Campbell Systematic Reviews and Systematic Reviews.  Her research has been funded by numerous foundations, state, and federal agencies, including the Institute of Education Sciences, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. 


Ph.D., 2009, Vanderbilt University
Major: Sociology
Advisor: Tony Brown, Ph.D.
M.A., 2007, Vanderbilt University
Major: Sociology
B.S., 2003, Belmont University
Major: Sociology
Minor: Psychology

Honors and Awards

2018    Leonard E. Gibbs Award for Production of Rigorous Systematic Review on Social Welfare Policy and Practice, Campbell Collaboration

2018    Nan Tobler Award for the Review of the Prevention Science Literature, Society for Prevention Research

2016    Early Career Researcher Recognition of Merit, Society for Research Synthesis Methodology

2015    Faculty Mentor Award, Community Research & Action Doctoral Program, Department of Human and Organizational Development, Vanderbilt University

2014    Junior Scholar Award, American Sociological Association, Section on Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco 


Tanner-Smith, E. E., Durlak, J. A., & Marx, R. M. (2018). Empirically based effect size distributions for universal prevention programs targeting school age youth: A review of meta-analyses. Prevention Science, 19, 1091-1101. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-018-0942-1

Clark, D. B., Tanner-Smith, E., Hostetler, A., Fradkin, A., & Polikov, V. (2018). Substantial integration of typical educational games into extended curricula. Journal of the Learning Sciences27, 265-318. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10508406.2017.1333431

Finch, A. J., Tanner-Smith, E., Hennessy, E., & Moberg, D. P. (2018). Recovery high schools: effect of schools supporting recovery from substance use disorders. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse44, 175-184. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00952990.2017.1354378

López‐López, J. A., Van den Noortgate, W., Tanner‐Smith, E. E., Wilson, S. J., & Lipsey, M. W. (2017). Assessing meta‐regression methods for examining moderator relationships with dependent effect sizes: A Monte Carlo simulation. Research Synthesis Methods8, 435-450. https://doi.org/10.1002/jrsm.1245

Tanner-Smith, E. E., Fisher, B. W., Addington, L. A., & Gardella, J. H. (2017). Adding security, but subtracting safety? Exploring schools’ use of multiple visible security measures. American Journal of Criminal Justice43, 102-119. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12103-017-9409-3

Tanner-Smith, E. E., & Lipsey, M. W. (2015). Brief alcohol interventions for adolescents and young adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 51, 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2014.09.001

Tanner-Smith, E. E., Tipton, E., & Polanin, J. R. (2016). Handling complex meta-analytic data structures using robust variance estimates: A tutorial in R. Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology, 2(1), 85-112. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40865-016-0026-5


Dr. Tanner-Smith’s research focuses broadly on the prevention and treatment of behavioral and mental health problems among youth, with emphasis on using research syntheses to advance evidence-based decision-making. Dr. Tanner-Smith runs the Applied Research Methods and Statisticslab within the Prevention Science Institute at the University of Oregon. Her current projects involve multiple meta-analyses examining the effectiveness of substance use interventions and treatments for youth; a pilot study exploring the effectiveness of collegiate recovery programs; a data development project aimed at identifying school, neighborhood, and contextual factors that inhibit or promote student well-being; and a project to support the statistical and methodological standards of the What Works Clearinghouse.