Institute for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Research (IPR), University of Southern California University of Southern California
Thomas Valente, Ph.D.
Professor of Preventive Medicine
Interim Chair of Preventive Medicine

Phone: 3234428238
Location: 2001 N. Soto St, SSB 302W Los Angeles, CA

About Dr. Valente
About Dr. Valente

Thomas W. Valente, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine, Institute for Prevention Research, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. He is author of Social Networks and Health: Models, Methods, and Applications (2010, Oxford University Press); Evaluating Health Promotion Programs (2002, Oxford University Press); Network Models of the Diffusion of Innovations (1995, Hampton Press); and over 140 articles and chapters on social networks, behavior change, and program evaluation. Valente uses social network analysis, health communication, and mathematical models to implement and evaluate health promotion programs designed to prevent tobacco and substance abuse, unintended fertility, and STD/HIV infections. He is also engaged in mapping community coalitions and collaborations to improve health care delivery and reduce healthcare disparities. Valente received his BS in Mathematics from the University of Mary Washington, his MS in Mass Communication from San Diego State University, and his PhD from the Annenberg School for Communication at USC. In 2008, he was a visiting senior scientist at NIH (NHGRI) for 6 months; and in 2010-2011 he was a visiting Professor at the École des Haute Études en Santé Publique (Paris/Rennes).

Dr. Valente’s Research Interests

I have over 20 years experience studying social networks and behavior change and have conducted several studies examining network influences on tobacco, alcohol, substance use, fertility preferences, and many other behaviors. I have written computer programs to construct social network diffusion models useful for understanding how social networks channel the flow of ideas and practices.  I have evaluated many media and health communication programs designed to improve individual, community, and population health; and pioneered the use of social network analysis for behavior change interventions. My expertise collecting and analyzing social network data at both the individual and organizational level; and understanding social media influence processes will be useful to CePIM scientists and collaborators. My exposure and use of other system science methodologies, especially agent based models, will also be essential to directing the Methods Core of CePIM.

Recent Publications

Gotsis,M., Wang, H., Spruijt-Metz, D., Jordan-Marsh, M., & Valente, T. W. (in press). Evaluation of a Web-Based Physical Activity Diary with Social Networking and Game Features for Adults: AnInterventional Pilot Study. Journalof Internet Medical Research – Research Protocols, 00, PMCID#

Brown,C. H., Kellam, S., Kaupert, S., PoVey, C. L., Cady, R., & Valente, T. W. (in press). Partnerships for the Design, Conduct, andAnalysis of Effectiveness, and Implementation Research: Experiences of thePrevention Science and Methodology Group.Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health ServicesResearch, 39, 301-316. PMCID# 22160786

Hether, H. J., Murphy, S., & Valente, T. W. (in press). It is better to give than receive: The role of social support, trust, and participation onhealth-related social networking sites, Journal of Health Communication,

Gisele, S., Barkin, S., & Valente, T. W.. (in press). Social networkdiagnostics: A tool for monitoring group interventions. ImplementationScience, 00, . PCID#

Selected Publications

Valente, T. W. (2010). Social Networks and Health: Models, Methods,and Applications. OxfordUniversity Press.(Reviewed in American Journal ofEpidemiology, Science, Contemporary Sociology, InternationalJournal of Epidemiology, Journal of the American Medical Association)

Valente,T. W. (1995). Network Modelsof the Diffusion of Innovations.Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.(Reviewed in Computational andMathematical Organizational Theory, Journalof Marketing)

Professional History
Education History
Mary Washington
1977 — 1981
Mass Communication
1983 — 1986
1987 — 1991
Courses Taught

PM 542 Social Network Analysis

PM 536 Program Research & Evaluation

PM 501 Health Education & Behavior

JHU Contemporary Issues in Health Communication

JHU Program Evaluation

JHU Communication Network Analysis


1980 Chi Beta Phi (Mathematics Honor Society)

1997-1998 Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health Advising, Mentoring & Teaching Award.

2000-2002 Member, IOM Panel. Assuring the Health of the Public in the 21st Century.

2004- 2007, Member, UC Office of the President, California Health Benefits Review Panel.

2006 -2008, Member Mayor's Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Council.

2007 Everett Rogers Public Health Communication Award, Public Health Education and Health Promotion (PHEHP) Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA).

2013 USC Mellon Mentoring Award (Faculty to Graduate Students)

Institute for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Research, University of Southern California • 2001 N Soto Street, 3rd Floor, MC 9239, Los Angeles, CA 90032 • (323) 442-8200