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405-7 Cooper Street
Camden, NJ 08102
(856) 225-6741

Department Chair
Dr. Daniel T. Cook

Director of Graduate Studies
Dr. Sarada Balagopalan

Undergraduate Program Coordinator
Dr. Susan Miller

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Spring 2016 Newsletters

Home » Faculty » Robert Atkins, PhD, RN

Robert Atkins, PhD, RN

NurseMath-105Bob Atkins, PhD, RN
Director of New Jersey Health Initiatives of RWJF
Associate Professor
Rutgers University-Camden 
323 Cooper Street
Camden, NJ 08102
Phone:  856-225-6734

Dr. Atkins has conducted research with nationally representative longitudinal survey data and qualitative data collected in Camden explores the effects of urban poverty on child and adolescent health and development. Atkins’ work explored three questions about the health and development of youth living in high-poverty neighborhoods: 1) What social and institutional processes mediate the relationship of high-poverty neighborhoods to the health and well-being of youth living in those neighborhoods? 2)  How does childhood personality influence the emergence of health-damaging behaviors in adolescence? 3) What do youth in high-poverty neighborhoods do to promote, maintain, or restore their own health?

Dr. Atkins is the co-founder and president of the Camden STARR Program, a non-profit youth development program which sought to improve the life chances of youth living in Camden


Ph.D. in Health Studies (2004) – Temple University, Department of Public Health

M.S. in Nursing (1999) – Rutgers University-Newark

B.S. in Nursing (1995) – University of Pennsylvania

B.A. in Political Science and American Civilizations (1990) – Brown University

Research Interests:
Factors affecting the life prospects of youth living in distressed, urban environments.

Courses Taught:
Not Currently Teaching

View Full CV HERE



Hart, D., Atkins, R., & Fegley, S. (2003). Personality and development in childhood: A person-centered approach. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 68(1, Serial No. 272).


Atkins, R. (2008). Getting the Most from Nursing School: A Guide to Becoming a Nurse. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Chapters in Books or Monographs

Hart, D., Matsuba, K., & Atkins, R. (2013). Civic engagement and child and adolescent well-being. In I.Ben-Arieh, F. Frones, E. Casas, J. Korbin (Eds.), Handbook of Child Well-Being,DOI 10.1007/978-90-481-9063-8_33, # Springer Science + Business Media Dordrecht 2013.

Hart, D., Matsuba, K., & Atkins, R. (2008). The moral and civic effects of learning to serve. In L. Nucci & D Narvaez (Eds.) Handbook on Moral and Character Education (pp. 484-499). New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Hart, D., Atkins, R., & Donnelly, T. (2006). Community service and moral development. In M. Killen & J.G. Smetana (Eds.) Handbook of Moral Development. Hillsdale (pp. 633-653). NJ: Erlbaum.

Hart, D., Atkins, R., & Tursi, N. (2006). Origins and developmental influences on self-esteem. In M. Kernis (Ed.) Self-esteem: Issues and answers (pp. 157-162). London: Psychology Press.

Articles in Refereed Journals

Fessele K.L., Hayat M.J., Mayer D.K., Atkins R.L. (in press). Factors Associated with Unplanned Hospitalizations among Patients with Non-Metastatic Colorectal Cancers Intended for Treatment in the Ambulatory Setting. Nursing Research.

Ayres, C., Mahat, G., & Atkins, R. (2013). Testing theoretical relationships: Factors influencing positive health practices (PHP) in Filipino College Students. Journal of American College Health, 61, 88-94.

Atkins, R., Sulik, M., & Hart, D. (2012). The association of individual characteristics and neighborhood poverty on the dental care of American adolescents. Journal of Public Health Dentistry. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-7325.2012.00340.x

Atkins, R., Sulik, M., Hart, D., Ayres, C., & Read, N. (2012). The effects of school poverty on adolescents’ sexual health knowledge. Research in Nursing and Health, 35, 231-241.

Hart, D. & Atkins, R. (2011). American sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds are ready to vote. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 633, 201-222.

Articles in Non-refereed or General Journals

Hart, D., Atkins, R., & Watson, N. C. (2005). How to start your own youth development micro-program. SRA Newsletter, Spring, 1.

Recent Honors and Awards

2013 Fellow American Academy of Nursing
2009 Greater Camden Partnership Hometown Hero Award
2009 Camden Star Awards Recipient
2008 Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Faculty Scholars Award
2008 Graduate Teaching Award-College of Nursing
2008 Hurdis Griffith Research Award


2015-2016 (Grant Amount: $1,290,000) Atkins, R. (Principal Investigator) Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Jersey Health Initiative Award: Technical Assistance and Direction for New Jersey Health Initiatives

2014-2015 (Grant Amount: $1,290,000) Atkins, R. (Principal Investigator) Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Jersey Health Initiative Award: Technical Assistance and Direction for New Jersey Health Initiatives

2013-2014 (Grant Amount: $1,290,000) Atkins, R. (Principal Investigator) Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Jersey Health Initiative Award: Technical Assistance and Direction for New Jersey Health Initiatives

2008-2011 (Grant Amount: $350,000) Atkins, R. (Principal Investigator) Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars Award: Adolescents as Health Agents and Consumers: The Knowledge, Behavior, Attitudes, and Experiences of Youth living in High-Poverty Urban Neighborhoods

View Full CV HERE