Michele Ybarra, MPH, Ph.D., works in the field of Internet victimization, including cyberbullying and Internet harassment and unwanted sexual solicitation, and has published on the psychosocial characteristics related to these experiences by youth. She earned her doctorate in child mental health services research and evaluation from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Additionally, she was a pre-doctoral fellow of the National Institutes of Mental Health and was a joint fellow of the American Schools of Public Health/Centers for Disease Control.
Ybarra is the Principal Investigator (PI) for Growing up with Media, a national, longitudinal survey of adolescents in the United States to identify the associations between violence in new media (e.g., Internet and mobile phones) and seriously violent behavior funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This study has recently been extended to examine characteristics associated with the manifestation of sexually violent behavior over time. Ybarra also led a team of researchers in conducting the first-of-its-kind national survey to better understand the benefits as well as risks posed by the Internet for LGBT youth. The project was funded by the National Institutes of Health.
In addition to epidemiological surveys, Ybarra leads technology-based intervention studies. She is the PI for the CyberSenga project in Mbarara, Uganda, an Internet-based HIV Prevention program for secondary school students. She has also led the development and testing of a text messaging-based smoking cessation program for adults in Ankara, Turkey; and young adults in the United States. Ybarra is also leading an effort to develop and test a text messaging-based HIV prevention program for gay and bisexual adolescent males in the United States. All intervention projects were funded by the National Institutes of Health.