Ph.D., Sociology, Mississippi State University
M.A., Clinical Psychology, East Carolina University
Associate Director and Research Professor, Social Science Research Center, Mississippi State University
Adjunct Professor, Department of Sociology, Mississippi State University
Coordinator of Research and Development for the Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education Program (MASEP), Mississippi State University
Dr. Robertson has been conducting research on issues of adolescent deviance and health, i.e., delinquency, substance abuse and mental disorders, and STD/HIV risk behavior, since 1994. She has received funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) five times to conduct studies of sexual risk behavior among substance abusing juvenile offenders and drug court participants and to develop and test behavioral interventions for these populations. In related work, she conducted research on barriers to HIV testing among clients of publically funded alcohol and drug treatment programs and collaborated with the University of Mississippi Medical Center and community-based health and mental health agencies to integrate HIV testing and prevention services into three alcohol and drug treatment programs in the Mississippi Delta. She has also conducted research on the impact of Hurricane Katrina and other adverse life events on the mental health substance use, sexual risk behavior and delinquency of girls involved in the juvenile justice system. Currently Dr. Robertson is collaborated with state juvenile justice agencies to collect, analysis, and report information on juvenile crime and the processing of youth by the juvenile justice system. Her analysis and reports has been instrumental in assisting the Mississippi Department of Public Safety in monitoring compliance with federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention mandates.
MASEP is Mississippi’s statewide driver improvement program for first-time offenders convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or another substance which has impaired their ability to operate a motor vehicle. As Coordinator for Research and Development, she is evaluating the effectiveness of the intervention in reducing DUI recidivism and working with the program staff to improve the program.
Before coming to Mississippi State University, Dr. Robertson was involved experience in the delivery of community mental health and substance abuse treatment services for 16 years. She developed and directed the ARK, the first state funded residential substance abuse treatment program for adolescents in Mississippi. In 2001, she documented the high prevalence of psychiatric disorders among incarcerated youth in Mississippi. Her research and testimony to the Juvenile Justice Committee of the Mississippi House of Representatives was instrumental in the passage of legislation requiring mental health screening of youth entering juvenile detention center. She has also provided technical assistance to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety on minimum standards for juvenile detention facilities.