Jennifer M. Whitehill

Associate Professor
338 Arnold House


B.S., Tufts University, 2004; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 2011; Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Washington, 2011-2013

Area(s) of Specialization: 

Injury prevention; Substance Use; Cannabis policy; Social Media; Mobile Technology and Health (mHealth)

Research Description: 

My research centers on preventing both intentional and unintentional injuries, especially among youth and young adults. My work examines substance use (cannabis, alcohol, and other drugs) and a range of outcomes including motor vehicle crashes, depression, and youth violence. My current projects relate to relationships between cannabis policies and a variety of health and social outcomes. I’m particularly interested in the ways that such policies negatively or positively impact health equity and social determinants of health. I use mixed methods, incorporating qualitative and quantitative research approaches.

In the Media:

Cannabis-related poison control calls about kids increase (WAMC Northeast Public Radio)

Poison center calls spike after medical marijuana legalized (Medscape)

Study finds one in five Massachusetts adults recently consumed marijuana (New England Public Radio)

Why do more teens report driving stoned than drunk? (Boston Globe)

UMass Researchers contribute to key statewide marijuana study (Daily Hampshire Gazette)

Key Publications: 

Whitehill JM, Trangenstein P, Jenkins MC, Jernigan DH, Moreno MA. Exposure to cannabis marketing in social and traditional media and past-year use among adolescents in states with legal retail cannabis. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2019 Nov.

Whitehill JM, Harrington C*, Lang CJ, Chary M, Bhutta WA, Burns MM. Marijuana-related exposures among youth age 0-19 years before and after medical marijuana legalization in Massachusetts. JAMA Network Open. 2019 Aug 16. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.9456

Whitehill JM, Wilner M, Rataj S, Moreno MA. College students’ use of transportation network companies: An opportunity to decrease substance-impaired driving. Journal of American College Health. 2018 Sep 21:1-4.

Whitehill JM, Rodriguez-Monguio R, Doucette M*, Flom EA. Driving and riding under the influence of recent marijuana use: Risk factors among a racially diverse sample of young adults. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse. 2018 Feb. 2019 Oct-Dec; 18(4):594-612. PMID: 29432083.

Select Government reports:

Thomas FD, Berning A, Darrah J, Graham L, Blomberg R, Griggs C, Crandall M, Schulman C, Kozar R, Neavyn M, Cunningham, K., Ehsani, J, Fell J, Whitehill J, Babu K, Lai J, and Rayner M. (2020 October). Drug and alcohol prevalence in seriously and fatally injured road users before and during the COVID-19 public health emergency (Report No. DOT HS 813 018). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Whitehill JM, Geissler KG, Doonan SM, Johnson JK. Special Report: Evaluating the Impact of Cannabis Legalization in Massachusetts—State of the Data. Boston, MA: Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission.