Rural Institute Staff

Rosemary Hughes, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist and Research Professor, Psychology


(406) 243-2898

Personal Summary

Dr. Rosemary Hughes is a Senior Research Scientist at the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities and a Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Montana in Missoula. Dr. Hughes is a licensed psychologist with clinical, teaching, and research experience on the health and mental health of people with disabilities. She has been the principal investigator of several federally-funded disability-related research projects addressing interpersonal violence, depression, stress, unintended pregnancy, self-esteem, and other issues. Dr. Hughes has served as principal investigator on three NIH-funded studies, multiple studies funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, and two CDC-funded studies. She is currently one of the principal investigators on a project designed to develop a health information website for women with physical disabilities. Dr. Hughes is also a co-investigator on the Texas Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems project in which she serves as a co-facilitator of a psychological health intervention for women with spinal cord injury. As with her other collaborative studies, this program is delivered in the virtual world of Second Life. In close partnership with people of the intellectual disability, the independent living communities, and colleagues, Dr. Hughes recently directed a national study on the development and evaluation of a safety awareness group intervention for people with intellectual disabilities called The Safety Project. With colleagues, she has published several recent articles on violence in the context of intellectual and developmental disability. Dr. Hughes is widely published and has presented nationally and internationally on issues related to the health and safety of people with disabilities. 

Originally from Butte, Rosemary has returned to Montana after living and working in several other states for many years.  Rosemary and Mick (husband) moved to Missoula in the fall of 2006 so that Rosemary could focus her research activities on rural health and disability. They are excited to live near many other close family members who reside in Missoula and other parts of the state.


St. Mary College, Leavenworth, KS – BS
University of Houston at Clear Lake, Texas – MA
University of Houston – PhD

Field of Study

Interpersonal violence

Reproductive health

Health promotion

Health information seeking

Psychological health