Christopher Salas-Wright is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin where he is also a Faculty Affiliate at the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) and a Faculty Research Associate with the Population Research Center (PRC). Dr. Salas-Wright is currently a Research Fellow with the National Hispanic Science Network’s (NHSN) Early Stage Career Mentoring for NIDA Research program. His research interests include: adolescent substance use and violence prevention; immigration and the role of cultural processes in the development of Latino youth; and the epidemiology of high-risk and antisocial behavior.
Since 2012, Dr. Salas-Wright has authored more than 90 scholarly publications that have appeared in journals such as Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Addictive Behaviors, Journal of Substance Use Treatment, Journal of Adolescent Health, Developmental Psychology, Journal of Psychiatric Research, Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, and Annals of Epidemiology. He recently completed funded research projects on the bio × social factors related to substance use and violence among Hispanic youth as well as the development of a substance use prevention program for college student veterans. Dr. Salas-Wright serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Journal of Criminal Justice, and Research on Social Work Practice and serves as a reviewer for more than 40 journals and publishers across the disciplines of Public Health, Psychiatry, Developmental Psychology, Social Work, and Criminology. His research has appeared in numerous television and print sources, including: MSNBC/NBS News, USA TODAY, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star Telegram, Fox News, Fox News Latino, Fox Business, Cosmopolitan, Yahoo!, Teen Vogue, New York Magazine, New York Daily News, La Opinión, and Conan as well as numerous academic and science outlets.
Dr. Salas-Wright received his PhD in Social Work from the Boston College 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). He completed a NIDA-funded research training fellowship with the National Hispanic Science Network’s Interdisciplinary Research Training Institute on Hispanic Drug Abuse as well. 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 as well as training 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.