COVID-19 Updates

Visit UC San Diego's Coronavirus portal for the latest information for the campus community.

Danielle L. Fettes, Ph.D.

Danielle L. Fettes, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, UC San Diego, Department of Psychiatry

Contact Information

UC San Diego
Department of Psychiatry
9500 Gilman Drive (MC 0812)
La Jolla, CA 92093-0812
T: (858) 966-7703 x3555
F: (858) 966-7704


Danielle L. Fettes, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and an investigator with the Child & Adolescent Services Research Center (CASRC). Currently PI of three research studies, Dr. Fettes’ work focuses on vulnerable populations of youth and families, mental health and substance use, family violence and child trauma, and the implementation of social services designed to support youth and family outcomes. Dr. Fettes is Co-PI of a four-year William T. Grant Foundation-funded project which employs a mixed-methods research design to examine the processes by which instantiating community-academic partnerships increase the use of research evidence in child welfare system policy, program, and practice. This work parallels Dr. Fettes’ research and evaluation study examining the fidelity, quality, and outcomes of child welfare programs for participating youth and families. This collaborative effort with the child welfare service system employs innovative data collection approaches and has direct implications for understanding program effectiveness. Dr. Fettes also functions as the Outcomes Lead for Developmental Services at Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego. Dr. Fettes is committed to engaging in bi-directional research by harnessing community-academic collaborations to address questions that are meaningful to system partners and to increase uptake in research evidence use, with downstream outcomes of improving social service response, addressing pressing issues such as economic, racial, and ethnic disproportionality in system involvement, and ultimately improving lives of youths and families.

Research Interests

  • Child & adolescent mental health & substance use
  • Child welfare/At-risk populations
  • Implementation Science
  • Medical Sociology
  • Methods & Statistics

Research Focus

Dr. Fettes’ research focuses on the emotional and behavioral health of underprivileged populations of children and youth. She has published several studies comparing child-welfare involved populations of youth (using NSCAW data) with community samples of youth (using AddHealth data) on substance use. Currently, Dr. Fettes collaborates on two federally funded research studies which examine a system-wide implementation of an evidence-based, in-home parenting intervention designed to reduce child neglect and prevent recidivism. These longitudinal, mixed-methods studies focus on identifying and improving system, organizational, and individual factors surrounding the implementation of evidence-based practices into public sector settings. In addition, expansions of the implementation are focused specifically and uniquely on addressing issues of domestic violence among Latino families with histories of child welfare involvement.


  • McLeod, J. D. and Fettes, D.L. (2007). Trajectories of Failure: The Educational Careers of Children with Mental Health Problems. American Journal of Sociology, 113(3): 653-701.
  • Fettes, D.L. and Aarons, G.A. (2011) Youth Smoking Behavior: A Comparison of Youths in the Child Welfare System and with Youths in the Community Population. American Journal of Public Health, 101: 2342-2348
  • Fettes, D.L., Aarons, G.A., & Green, A.E. (2013). Higher Rates of Adolescent Substance Use in Child Welfare Versus Community Populations in the United States. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 74:825-834.
  • Aarons, G.A., Hurlburt, M., Willging, C., Fettes, D.L., Gunderson, L., Chaffin, M., & Palinkas, L. (2014). Collaboration, Negotiation, and Coalescence for Interagency-Collaborative Teams to Scale-up Evidence-Based Practice. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 43(6), 915-928. 
  • Chaffin, M., Hecht, D., Aarons, G.A., Fettes, D.L., Hurlburt, M., & Ledesma, K. (2015). EBT fidelity trajectories across training cohorts using the Interagency Collaborative Team strategy. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 1-13.