Dana Prince, PhD

Associate Professor
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

Prior to joining the faculty at the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, Dr. Prince completed her NIDA-funded T32 postdoctoral fellowship at the Yale School of Medicine in 2016. Dr. Prince has developed a robust program of health disparities research that focuses on the transition to adulthood for vulnerable and marginalized youth, most notably substance use, incarceration, and homelessness, among adolescents and young adults transitioning from foster care. Subgroups of youth in foster care, notably sexual and gender minority (SGM) youth face additional risks.

Dr. Prince is actively engaged in community- and system-based research to impact services and outcomes for sexual and gender minority youth in foster care. Read more about her active research and study team.

Curriculum Vitae
Google Scholar

Teaching Information

Courses Taught

SASS 440. Human Development Children & Adolescence
SASS 614. Qualitative Research Methods

Research Information

Research Interests

I have developed a robust program of health disparities research that focuses on the transition to adulthood for vulnerable and marginalized youth. My research agenda is motivated by over six years of direct practice experience in West Philadelphia public schools where I developed, implemented, and evaluated initiatives to address the physical and mental health needs of low-income racial and ethnic minority youth. While working in the public education sector, I saw how multiple systems (education, child welfare, and juvenile justice) collectively impacted the day-to-day lives of my students, and the vital need for cross-sector collaboration to improve health. These experiences propelled me to pursue training in public health (MPH, University of Pennsylvania), social welfare (PhD, University of Washington), and Prevention and Community Research (NIH/NIDA-funded postdoctoral fellow, Yale School of Medicine).

Across my work, I use a cumulative disadvantage framework to understand the multiple factors that inform youth risk behavior in the context of adversity, and to identify protective factors germane to vulnerable youth. My goal is to identify and implement primary and secondary prevention efforts aimed at reducing the impact of social and structural inequalities on youth wellbeing.

Research Projects

Current projects include:

  1. NIH-National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities LRP supported “Pathways to Wellbeing for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care”, which examines the role of individual- and state-level risk and protective factors on homelessness, substance abuse, criminal justice involvement and pregnancy for a national cohort of youth exiting foster care
  2. I am partnered with Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services, the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, YWCA A Place for Me, and Kinnect on a four-year site implementation grant funded through the Administration of Children and Families to improve services and outcomes for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, and questioning youth in foster care.


Doctor of Philosophy
University of Washington – Seattle
Master of Public Health
University of Pennsylvania
Bachelor of Arts
Oberlin College

Residencies, Internships and Fellowships

Postdoctoral Fellowship
Yale University

Additional Information


  • Children, Youth and Families
  • Mental Health

Affiliations and Activities