Melissa K. Holt

Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs
Associate Professor

Dr. Melissa K. Holt is the associate dean for faculty affairs and an associate professor in counseling psychology at BU Wheelock. Her research focuses on adolescents’ experiences with victimization and identity-based harassment in school, the home, and community, with a particular emphasis on peer victimization. Within this line of research, she has evaluated the overlap among violence exposures, factors that promote resilience among youth exposed to violence, disparities in victimization and its correlates, and the efficacy of school-based prevention programs. Dr. Holt’s recent research has emphasized victimization based on identity, specifically with respect to gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, and race/ethnicity. Dr. Holt is a licensed psychologist, with expertise in counseling clients with histories of trauma and in treating individuals diagnosed with eating disorders.

Previously, Dr. Holt was the chair for Counseling Psychology & Applied Human Development Department. Prior to joining BU Wheelock, she was a behavioral scientist in the Division of Violence Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

PhD in Counseling Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2002

MS in Counseling Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1999

BS in Psychology, Tufts University, 1997

American Educational Research Association Education Research Service Projects Initiative (Role: PI, with Dr. Green) 2020-2021 “The ADL’s Peer Training Program: Developing a Sustainable Method for Ongoing Program Evaluation and Report Generation”

The Boston University Initiative on Cities (Role: PI) 2019-2020 “Reducing Identity-based Harassment for Marginalized Youth: An Evaluation of the Anti-Defamation League’s Peer Leader Program among Youth”

The Sports Museum of New England (Role: PI, with Dr. Green)  2017-2018 “Evaluation of Boston vs. Bullies”

National Institute of Justice (2013-VA-CX-0008) (Role: Co-PI) 2013-2016 “Effects of a Middle School Social-Emotional Learning Program on Teen Dating Violence, Sexual Violence, and Substance Use in High School”

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Visit the Social Adjustment & Bullying Prevention Laboratory's Website

Green, J.G., Holt, M., Oblath, R., Robinson, E., Storey, K., & Merrin, G.J. (in press). Engaging professional sports to reduce bullying: An evaluation of the Boston vs. Bullies Program. Journal of School Violence.

Gini, G., Holt, M., Pozzoli, T., & Marino, C. (2020). Peer victimization and somatic problems: The role of class victimization levels. Journal of School Health, 90, 39-46.

Holt, M., Espelage, D., Van Ryzin, M., & Bowman, C. (2018). Peer victimization and sexual risk taking among adolescents. Journal of School Health, 88, 903-909.

Holt, M., & Gini, G. (2017). Complexities in the association between bullying victimization and weapon-carrying. Pediatrics, 140 (6):e20173033

Holt, M., Felix, E., Grimm, R., Nylund-Gibson, K., Greif Green, J., Poteat, V.P., & Zhang, C. (2016). A latent class analysis of past victimization exposures as predictors of college mental health. Psychology of Violence, 74, 521-532.

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