Maureen Walton, MPH, PhD

Toby Brzoznowski Research Professor, Psychiatry

Associate Chair for Research and Research Faculty Development / Professor, Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention

Department of Psychiatry Profile
Injury Prevention Center Profile
Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation Profile

Community Violence

Maureen Walton headshot

Dr. Walton is the Toby Brzoznowski Research Professor in the Department of Psychiatry. She is also Professor and Associate Chair for Research and Research Faculty Development in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Walton serves as Associate Chair for Child Research at the Addiction Center and Senior Associate Director at the U-M Injury Prevention Center. Dr. Walton’s career goal is to conduct innovative research to maximize public health impact on prevention and intervention for youth violence and substance use (e.g., alcohol, cannabis, opioids). She has expertise in harnessing technology (e.g., web, text messaging, social media, telehealth, smartphone apps) for assessment and intervention delivery, including mobile health research and micro-randomized trials.

For example, Dr. Walton and colleagues have demonstrated the efficacy of a single session intervention (SafERteens) in reducing youth violence and alcohol misuse (published in JAMA), which uses technology to structure the therapy. Her team has ongoing work integrating the SafERteens intervention into routine clinical care in the emergency department and in primary care, which includes text messaging boosters. More recently, she is testing adaptive interventions (delivered by peer coaches or text messages) to reduce risky drinking and violence using a SMART design.

In addition, Dr. Walton and colleagues have developed evidenced-based single session interventions to reduce substance use (e.g., alcohol, cannabis, prescription drug misuse) among patients in medical settings. More recent lines of work in this area include testing remotely delivered interventions (i.e., telehealth session, messaging platform) to prevent opioid misuse among young people in the emergency department, as well as the efficacy of social media delivered interventions to reduce risky substance use among adolescents and emerging adults.