Robert L. Atkins, PhD, RN
Associate Professor of
Childhood Studies and Nursing
325 Cooper Street
Camden, NJ 08102
Factors affecting the life prospects of youth living in distressed, urban environments.
For more information about Dr. Atkins’ research and his full CV, please visit
Dr. Atkins’ 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’ current work explores 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 seeks to improve the life chances of youth living in Camden.
Atkins, R., Bluebond-Langner, M., Read, N., Pittsley, J., & Hart, D. (2010). Adolescents as health agents and consumers: Results of a pilot study of the health and health-related behaviors of adolescents living in a high-poverty, urban neighborhood. Journal of Pediatric Nursing.
Atkins, R. & Matsuba, M.K. (2008). The association of personality and the likelihood of serious unintentional injury during childhood. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 23, 451-459.
Atkins, R. & Hart, D. (2008). The under-controlled do it first: Childhood personality and sexual debut. Research in Nursing and Health, 31, 626-639.
Atkins, R. (2008). The association of childhood personality on risky sexual behaviors during adolescence.Journal of School Health, 78, 594-600.
2008-2011 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.
2005-2007: Atkins, R. (Principal Investigator) Busch Biomedical Award: An Exploration of the Neighborhood Characteristics Associated with Violence in Camden, NJ (July, 2005)