Atkins, Associate Professor of Nursing, College of Nursing (B.A., Brown;
BSN, Penn; MSN, Rutgers; PhD, Temple) studies children
and adolescents with a focus on how personality functioning
Atkins teaches research methods and pediatric
primary care courses
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
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 (see http://children.camden.rutgers.edu/STARR/index.htm).
STARR (Sports Teaching Adolescents Responsibility
and Resiliency) Program. With
Dan Hart, Robert Atkins founded the STARR Program,
now in its eleventh year, which combines year-round
sports, community service, camping, and homework
support in order to foster development among youth
in one of the poorest cities in America. The Camden
STARR Program is working with approx. 80-100 African
American, Latino, and Southeastern Asian adolescents,
to foster the development of responsibility and resiliency
in young teenagers through sports, community service,
fundraising activities, and education and computer
training. (Read "Citizenship
and Urban Youth" by Bob Atkins and Dan Hart)
Futures for Camden Youth (HFCY). With Dan Hart,
Robert Atkins has developed the HFCY Program (now in
its fourth year) to improve access to healthcare for
youth in Camden, New Jersey. Central to the program
is the door-to-door canvassing of neighborhoods throughout
the city in order to enroll low income and immigrant
families in the health insurance programs that are
prerequisite to obtaining care. HFCY has targeted health
concerns related to children and teens. With Nancy
Southerland and Dan Hart, Robert Atkins interviewed
parents who enrolled in NJ's
Family Care Program. The researchers found that
the health insurance program dramatically improves
children's access to health care.
The report: "Does Health Insurance Improve
Children's Lives? A Study of New Jersey's Family Care Program" is
available in PDF:
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.
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.
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.
R. (2007). The association of personality type in early
childhood with violence in adolescence. Research
in Nursing and Health. 30, 308-319.
D., Donnelly, T., Youniss, J. & Atkins, R. (2007).
High School Community Service as a Predictor of Adult
Voting and Volunteering. American Educational Research
Journal, 44, 107-219.
K., Hart, D. & Atkins, R. (2007). Psychological and
Social-Structural Influences on Commitment to Volunteering. Journal
of Research in Personality. 41, 889-907.
D., Atkins, R., & Tursi, N. (2006). Origins
and developmental influences on
self-esteem. In M. Kernis (Ed.) Self-esteem:
Issues and answers (pp. 157-162). London:
R., Hart, D., & Donnelly, T. (2005). The association
of childhood personality type with volunteering during
adolescence. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 51, 145-162.
D., Atkins, R., & Youniss, J. (2005). Knowledge,
youth bulges, and rebellion. Psychological
Science, 16, 661-662.
D., Burock, D., London, B., Atkins, R & Bonilla-Santiago,
G. (2005). The Relation of Personality Type to
Salivary Cortisol, Classroom Behavior, and Academic Achievement. The
European Journal of Personality, 19, 391-407.
D., Atkins, R., & Watson, N. C. (2005). How
to start your own youth development micro-program. SRA
Newsletter, Spring, 1.
T., Matsuba, K., Atkins, R. & Hart, D. (2005). The
relationship between spiritual development and
civic development. P.L. Benson, E.C. Roehlkepartain,
P. Ebstyne, & L.M. Wagener’s (Eds.),
Handbook of Spiritual Development in Childhood and Adolescence,
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
Atkins, R. (Principal Investigator) Busch Biomedical
Award: An Exploration of the Neighborhood Characteristics
Associated with Violence in Camden, NJ (July, 2005).
R. (Principal Investigator) Center for Children and Childhood
Studies Associates Award, An Investigation of the
Neighborhood Characteristics Associated with Assault
and Criminal Violence in the City of Camden, NJ (October,
R. (Principal Investigator) Busch Biomedical Award, An
Exploration of the Neighborhood Characteristics Associated
with Violence in Camden, NJ (July, 2005);
R. (Principal Investigator) Cornwall Center Research
Award, An Investigation of the Association between
Neighborhood Stress and the Development of Violent Behavior
in Urban Youth (June, 2005);
R. (Principal Investigator) College of Nursing Office
of Research Faculty Award, An Exploratory Investigation
of Urban Neighborhoods and Youth Violence (June,
Campbell Soup Foundation, "The Camden STARR Program" (2000-2006);
Ameri*Corp, National Civilian Conservation Crop,
Healthy Futures for Camden Youth (2000-2003);
Ameri*Corp, National Civilian Conservation Crop,
Healthy Futures for Camden Youth (2002);
Camden Empowerment Zone Corporation, The Camden STARR Program