Swenson's specialties include prevention research, intervention development, health disparities, and sexual health. She did her undergraduate work at Kalamazoo College in Michigan, and her doctorate in clinical psychology at the University at Albany, New York. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric psychology in the Brown University Department of Psychiatry and Human Clinical Psychology Training Consortium.
Swenson's current research interests focus on adolescent risk behavior. She is involved in several major projects funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. These projects study interventions aimed at reducing risk behaviors among adolescents with psychiatric disorders and sexual risk behavior.
Swenson has a particular interest in health disparities and the impact of culture and context on adolescent engagement in risk behaviors and healthcare-seeking among underrepresented populations of youths.
- Swenson, R. R., Rizzo, C. J., Brown, L. K., Payne, N. DiClemente, R., Salazar, L., Vanable, P., Carey, M., Valois, R., Romer, D. & Hennessey, M. (2009). Prevalence and correlates of HIV testing among sexually active African American adolescents in 4 U.S. cities. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 36, 584-591.
- Prelow, H. M., Weaver, S. R., Bowman, M. A., & Swenson, R. R. (2010). Predictors of parenting among economically disadvantaged Latina American mothers: Mediating and moderating factors. Journal of Community Psychology, 38, 858-873.
- Swenson, R. R., Rizzo, C. J., Brown, L. K., Vanable, P., Carey, M., Valois, R., DiClemente, R., & Romer, D. (2010). HIV Knowledge and its contribution to sexual health behaviors of low-income African American adolescents. Journal of the National Medical Association, 102, 1173-1182.
- Swenson, R. R., Hadley, W. S., Houck, C. D., Dance, S. K., & Brown, L. K. (2011). Who accepts a rapid HIV antibody test? The role of race/ethnicity and HIV risk behavior among community adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 48, 527-529.
- Whiteley, L. B., Brown, L. K., Swenson, R. R., et al. (in press). African American adolescent and new media: Associations with HIV/STI risk behavior and psychosocial variables. Ethnicity and Disease.