Bruce Gordon Simons Morton, M.P.H.,Ed.D.

Senior Investigator

Social and Behavioral Sciences Branch


6710B 3166


Research Topics

Adolescent Health Behavior

My research team investigates adolescent health behavior, including longitudinal trajectories and determinants of substance use, diet, obesity, physical activity, and adherence to medical regimens of adolescents through early adulthood. The NEXT Generation Health Study examines these behaviors in a national sample recruited in the 10th grade and followed into emerging adulthood with annual surveys and periodic home visits.

In addition we have developed a comprehensive program of research on the causes and prevention of teenage motor vehicle crashes (MVC), the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among U.S. adolescents and young adults. We employ a range of research methods, including roadside observations, test track experiments, driving simulation studies, instrumented vehicle (naturalistic) studies, and surveys. We conducted the largest naturalistic study of teenage drivers, following for a period of 18 months a sample of newly licensed teenagers and their parents driving vehicles instrumented with accelerometers, GPS, and multiple cameras, provding a trove of driving data. In other research we are condcuting a series of randomized trials evaluating the effects of teenage passengers on teenage simulated risky driving. In another area of research, we have developeda and evaluated in several randomized trials the Checkpoints Program for improving parental management of novice teen driving.


Dr. Simons-Morton was trained at the University of California at Santa Barbara, San Diego State University, Unitersity of Northern Colorado, and the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. He is the author of over 200 scientific papers and three books, including the 2012 publication, Behavioral Science Theory and Health Promotion: Multi-level Applications. His current research focuses on the causes and prevention of motor vehicle crashes among teenage drivers and trajectories and determinants of health behavior from adolescence through emerging adulthood.

Selected Publications

  1. Simons-Morton BG, Bingham CR, Falk EB, Li K, Pradhan AK, Ouimet MC, Almani F, Shope JT. Experimental effects of injunctive norms on simulated risky driving among teenage males. Health Psychol. 2014;33(7):616-27.

  2. Klauer SG, Guo F, Simons-Morton BG, Ouimet MC, Lee SE, Dingus TA. Distracted driving and risk of road crashes among novice and experienced drivers. N Engl J Med. 2014;370(1):54-9.

  3. Simons-Morton BG, Bingham CR, Ouimet MC, Pradhan AK, Chen R, Barretto A, Shope JT. The effect on teenage risky driving of feedback from a safety monitoring system: a randomized controlled trial. J Adolesc Health. 2013;53(1):21-6.

  4. O'Brien F, Bible J, Liu D, Simons-Morton BG. Do Young Drivers Become Safer After Being Involved in a Collision? Psychol Sci. 2017;28(4):407-413.

  5. Simons-Morton BG, Klauer SG, Ouimet MC, Guo F, Albert PS, Lee SE, Ehsani JP, Pradhan AK, Dingus TA. Naturalistic teenage driving study: Findings and lessons learned. J Safety Res. 2015;54:41-4.

This page was last updated on August 8th, 2017