Christopher Salas-Wright is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin and a Faculty Affiliate at the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) at the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests include: substance use prevention; youth violence and delinquency; HIV risk behavior; high-risk and gang-involved Latino youth; and the role of spirituality and religiosity in positive youth development. His research has appeared in a variety of scholarly journals, including: Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Annals of Epidemiology, Criminal Justice and Behavior, Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, and Substance Use & Misuse.
Dr. Salas-Wright received his PhD in Social Work from the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. After his doctoral studies, he completed an NIH (T32) Postdoctoral Fellowship at Brown University’s Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies (CAAS) and was also a cross-training fellow at Brown University’s Alcohol Research Center on HIV (ARCH). In addition to his research training, Dr. Salas-Wright received graduate training as a Clinical Social Worker from the University of Washington School of Social Work and as a Pastoral Minister from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. In these capacities, he gained field experience as a mental health counselor, addictions therapist, and hospital chaplain.
Prior to his graduate training, Dr. Salas-Wright lived and worked in El Salvador, Central America for several years and traveled during that time throughout Central and South America. While living in Latin America, he worked in the fields of youth development, addictions treatment, and international higher education. Dr. Salas-Wright is currently working to develop preventative interventions for substance use and HIV risk behavior among adolescents residing in high-violence communities in El Salvador and across the Americas.