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: adolescent substance use and violence prevention; the epidemiology of high-risk and antisocial behavior; and the role of spirituality and religiosity in positive youth development.
Since 2010, Dr. Salas-Wright has authored more than 40 scholarly publications that have appeared in journals such as Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Addictive Behaviors, Journal of Substance Use Treatment, Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, and Annals of Epidemiology. He currently is the principal investigator for funded research projects on the bio × social factors related to substance use and violence among Hispanic youth as well as the prevention of substance abuse among college student veterans experiencing psychological distress. Dr. Salas-Wright serves as an ad hoc reviewer for more than 20 journals across the disciplines of Public Health, Psychiatry, Developmental Psychology, Social Work, and Criminology.
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.