Oregon Social Learning Center
Gracelyn Cruden, PhD is an early career scientist at Oregon Social Learning Center. Dr. Cruden is a Policy Research Fellow of the program jointly conducted by the Implementation Research Institute and IDEAS Center, funded by an ALACRITY Center grant. She holds a Masters of International Administration in Public Health from the University of Miami. Dr. Cruden joined Oregon Social Learning Center upon completing her doctoral studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s Department of Health Policy and Management in August 2019. Her dissertation focused on defining local context as it relates to the risk and protective factors for child maltreatment so as to support decision makers in selecting which evidence-based programs, community interventions, and policies could most effectively prevent child maltreatment.
Her research utilizes systems science informed methods such as participatory system dynamics or Group Model Building, multi-criteria decision analysis, and statistical methodologies such as latent class analyses and linear or non-linear regression. Using her training as a health services researcher, she analyzes secondary datasets such as the National Survey on Drug Use and Health to understand unmet mental health service needs and the impact of state and federal policies on mental health and substance misuse services and individual-level outcomes. Beginning with her time as a research assistant at the University of Miami and Northwestern University, Dr. Cruden built extensive experience in conducting structured and systematic reviews to understand the current state of research on important topics such as adolescent depression prevention and the integration of parenting interventions in primary care. Ultimately, she hopes that her research can contribute to the development and effective implementation of interventions that meet community needs and empower individuals so as to support positive mental health across the life course and reduce inequality.