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College of Human Environmental Sciences

Jennifer First

Jennifer M. First

Jennifer M. First
PhD Student

Download CV (pdf)


  • Master of Social Work, University of Missouri
  • Master of Arts, Regent College
  • Bachelor of Arts, Judson University

Research Interests

  • Disasters and community crisis
  • Stress and trauma
  • Resilience and coping
  • Intervention research

Articles and Publications

  • First, J, First, NL, Houston, JB. (accepted). Intimate partner violence and disasters: A framework for empowering women experiencing violence in disaster settings. Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work.
  • Houston, JB, Spialek, ML, First, J, Stevens, J, First, NL. (accepted). Individual perceptions of community resilience following the 2011 Joplin tornado. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management
  • First, J, First, NL, Stevens, J, Mieseler, VL, Houston, JB (accepted). Post-traumatic growth 2.5 years after the 2011 Joplin, Missouri tornado. Journal of Family Social Work.
  • First, J, First NL, Houston, JB (2017). Resilience and Coping Intervention (RCI): A group intervention to foster college student resilience. Social Work with Groups. doi: 10.1080/01609513.2016.1272032.
  • Houston, JB, First, J, Spialek, ML, Sorenson, M, Mills-Sandoval, T, Lockett, M, and First, N. Nitiéma P, Allen, SF, Pfefferbaum, B. (2017). Randomized control trial of the Resilience and Coping Intervention (RCI) with undergraduate university students. Journal of American College Health. 65:1, 1-9, doi: 10.1080/07448481.2016.1227826
  • First, J, Cheak-Zamora, NC, and Teti, M. (2016). A qualitative study of stress and coping when transitioning to adulthood with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Family Social Work, 19(3): 220-236. doi 10.1080/10522158.2016.1185074.
  • Houston, JB, First, J, Spialek, M, Sorenson, M, Koch, M. (2016). Public disaster communication and child and family disaster mental health: A review of theoretical frameworks and empirical evidence. Current Psychiatry Reports, 18(6) doi: 10.1007/s11920-016-0690-5.
  • Houston JB, Spialek ML, Stevens J, First J, Mieseler VL, Pfefferbaum B. (2015). 2011 Joplin, Missouri tornado experience, mental health reactions, and service utilization: Cross-sectional assessments at approximately 6 months and 2.5 years post-event. PLOS Currents Disasters, 26(1) doi:10.1371/currents.dis.18ca227647291525ce3415bec1406aa5.
  • Houston, J.B., Spialek, M.L., Cox, J., Greenwood, M., & First, J. (2015). The centrality of media and communication in fostering community resilience: A framework for assessment and intervention. American Behavioral Scientist, 59(2), 270-283. doi: 10.1177/0002764214548563
  • Cheak-Zamora, NC, Teti, M and First, J. (2015). “Transitions are scary for our kids, and they're scary for us”: Family member and youth perspectives on the challenges of transitioning to adulthood with autism. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities. doi:10.1111/jar.12150