Jessica Liddell

Assistant Professor


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Personal Summary

Dr. Jessica Liddell is an Assistant Professor at the University of Montana School of Social Work. Her work focuses on pregnancy and childbirth, reproductive justice issues, community-engagement, and making healthcare systems more equitable. Her recent research explores the use of doulas to address rural health disparities. Originally from Logan, Utah, Jessica completed her PhD at Tulane University, in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the interdisciplinary City, Culture and Community doctoral program. She also completed a Masters in Public Health, with a focus on program design and implementation, and a Masters in Social Work, with a focus on disaster mental health at Tulane University. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Reed College, in Portland, Oregon.


You can see a complete list of her published work here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/jessica.liddell.2/bibliography/public/


Tulane University Interdisciplinary Program in Social Work, Urban Studies & Sociology. New  Orleans, LA. 

Doctoral CandidateCity, Culture and Community: Social Work track. (August 2014-May 2021). 

Dissertation: Women’s Reproductive and Sexual Health Experiences Among a Gulf Coast Indigenous Tribe. (Graduation May 2021). Dissertation Chair: Dr. Catherine McKinley.   

Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. New Orleans, LA   

Master of Public HealthGlobal Health Systems and Development; G.P.A.: 3.8 (August 2013)  

Concentration: Program Design and Implementation.   

Public Health Analysis. Hepatitis C and Risk Behavior. This research utilized data collected from the   

NHBS (National HIV Behavioral Surveillance) project to investigate the association between knowledge of one’s Hepatitis C status and injection drug, and sexual risk behavior.   

Tulane University School of Social Work. New Orleans, LA   

Master of Social WorkCertificate in Disaster Mental Health; G.P.A.: 3.8 (December 2012)   

Capstone Professional Project. Community Practice Learning at Tulane School of Social Work: A Needs Assessment. Explored the perceived need for increased community practice learning opportunities at Tulane University and included both qualitative and quantitative data. Presented findings at a social work graduate professional project poster session and made recommendations based on our findings to faculty and staff.    

Reed College, Portland, OR. 

Bachelor of Art, Psychology; G.P.A.:3.2 (May 2009)  

Senior Thesis. The Black Hole of Motherhood:  A Decrease in Perceived Competence and Hireability for Female Physics Job Candidates with Children. Reed theses included an oral presentation and defense. Investigated gender role stereotyping in academia and perceived competence and warmth of job candidates with children, and conducted an experiment exploring these issues.   

Research Interests

Reproductive and sexual health; reproductive justice; doulas; midwives; Indigenous populations; community-engaged research and public scholarship; harm reduction approaches; injection drug use; healthcare equity and access; disaster preparedness and recovery. 


  1. Liddell, J. L., *Kington, S. G., & McKinley, C. E. (2022). “You Got to Drive 30 Miles to Get an Apple”: Indigenous Food Sovereignty, Food Deserts, and Changing Subsistence Practices in the Gulf Coast. SN Social Science. 1-22. https://doi.org/10.1007/s43545-022-00530-5
  2. *Carlson, T., & Liddell, J. L. (2022). The Importance of Community Support for Women in a Gulf Coast Indigenous Tribe. International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHRH-06-2022-0060
  3. Liddell, J. L. & *Meyer, S. (2022). Healthcare needs and infrastructure obstacles for a state-recognized Indigenous tribe in the United States. Health & Social Care in the Community. https://doi.org/10.1111/hsc.14031
  4. Liddell, J. L. (2022). “Treat Me Like Your Family”: Positive Factors that Influence Patient-Provider Relationships for Native American Women. Social Work in Public Health. https://doi.org/10.1080/19371918.2022.2127434
  5. Liddell, J. L. & Lilly, J. M. (2022). “There’s So Much They Don’t Cover:” Limitations of Healthcare Coverage for Indigenous Women. SSM-Research in Qualitative Health. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssmqr.2022.100134
  6. McKinley, C. E., & Liddell, J. (2022). “Why I stayed in that relationship”: Barriers to Indigenous women’s ability to leave violent relationships. Violence Against Women.  https://doi.org/10.1177/10778012221104507
  7. Liddell, J. L. & *Herzberg, J. (2022). “They Didn’t Talk About Stuff Like That”: Sexual Health Education Experiences of a Native American Tribe in the Gulf Coast. American Journal of Sexuality Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/15546128.2022.2087815
  8. Liddell, J. L., & McKinley, C. E. (2022). The Development of the Framework of Integrated Reproductive and Sexual Health Theories (FIRSHT) to Contextualize Indigenous Women’s Health Experiences. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-022-00693-z
  9. Liddell, J. L. & *Doria, C. (2022). Barriers to Reproductive Justice for an Indigenous Gulf Coast Tribe. Affilia: Feminist Inquiry in Social Work, 37(3), 1-18. doi: 10.1177/08861099221083029
  10. Liddell, J. L. & Lilly, J. M. (2022). Healthcare Experiences of Uninsured and Under-Insured American Indian Women in the United States. Global Health Policy and Research, 7(5), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41256-022-00236-4
  11. Johnson, K. M., Liddell, J. L., Lederer, A.M., & *Sheffield, S. (2021). Does Instructional Mode Alter the Effectiveness of a Curricular Response to Campus Sexual Violence? Pedagogy in Health Promotion, 8(3), 199-206.  https://doi.org/10.1177/23733799211057531
  12. Lederer, A.M., Johnson, K.M., Liddell, J.L., & *Sheffield, S. (2021). The multi-method evaluation of a curricular intervention intended to reduce sexual violence on a college campus: A synthesis of findings and lessons learned. Health Promotion Practice, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1177/15248399211050349
  13. McKinley, C. E., Miller Scarnato, Liddell, J. L. & *Knipp, H. (2021). “I have to watch them closely”: Native American parental monitoring and resilience. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-021-02116-w
  14. McKinley, C. E. & Miller Scarnato, J., Liddell, & *Knipp, H. (2021). “A dad can get the money and the mom stays at home”: Patriarchal gender roles, historical oppression, intimate partner violence, and resilience among Indigenous peoples. Sex Roles, 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-021-01232-7
  15. McKinley, C. E., Liddell, J., & Lilly, J. (2021). All Work and No Play: Indigenous Women “Pulling the Weight” in Home Life. Social Service Review, 95(2), 278-311. https://doi.org/10.1086/714551
  16. Liddell, J. L., McKinley, C. E., & Lilly, J. M. (2021). Historic and Contemporary Environmental Justice Issues among Native Americans in the Gulf Coast Region of the United States. Studies in Social Justice, 15(1), 1-24. https://doi.org/10.26522/ssj.v15i1.2297
  17. Liddell, J. L., & *Kington, S. G. (2021). “Something was attacking them and their reproductive organs”: Environmental Reproductive Justice in an Indigenous tribe in the United States Gulf Coast. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(2), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020666
  18. Lilly, J., McKinley, C. E., *Knipp, H., & Liddell, J. L. (2021). “When You Come Together and Do Everything, It’ll be Better for Everybody”: Exploring Gender Relations Among Two Southeastern Native American Tribes. Journal of Family Issues, 43(8), 2111–2133. https://doi.org/10.1177/0192513X211030059
  19. Liddell, L. J., McKinley, C. E., Knipp, H., & Miller Scarnato, J. (2020). She’s the center of my life, the one that keeps my heart open”: Roles and expectations of Native American women. Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work, 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886109920954409
  20. Johnson, K., Lederer, A., Liddell, J. L., Sheffield, S., McCraw, A. (2020). Teaching to impact sexual violence? Evaluating a curricular intervention for first-year college students. American Journal of Health Promotion, 1-4. https://doi.org/10.1177/0890117120967604
  21. Roh, S., Burnette, C. E., & Lee., Y., Liddell, J., Lee, Y. & Lee., H. Y. (2020). American Indian women cancer survivor’s experiences of community support in a context of historical oppression. Journal of Community Practice, 28(3), 265-279. https://doi.org/10.1080/10705422.2020.1798833
  22. McKinley, C. E., Roh, S., Lee, Y. S., & Liddell, J. (2020). Family: The bedrock of support for American Indian women cancer survivors. Family & Community Health43(3), 246-254. doi: 10.1097/FCH.0000000000000263
  23. Burnette, C. E., Ka’apu, K., Miller Scarnato, J., & Liddell, J. (2020). Cardiovascular health among U.S. Indigenous peoples: A holistic and sex-specific systematic review. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, 17(1), 24-48. https://doi.org/10.1080/26408066.2019.1617817
  24. Liddell, J.L., Saltzman, L. Y., Ferreira, R. J., & Lesen, A. E. (2019). Cumulative disaster exposure, gender and the PADM. Progress in Disaster Science, 5, 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pdisas.2019.100042
  25. Liddell, J. L., & Lass, K. (2019). Where’s the community practice? Gaps in community practice education in a clinical-community social work program. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 39(1), 42-59. https://doi.org/10.1080/08841233.2018.1548408
  26. McKinley, C.E., Figley, C.R., Woodward, S., Liddell, J., Billiot, S., Comby, N., & Sanders, S. (2019). Community-engaged and culturally relevant research to develop mental and behavioral health interventions with American Indian and Alaska Natives. American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research, 26(3), 79-103. doi: 10.5820/aian.2603.2019.79
  27. Burnette, C. E. Miller Scarnato, J., Liddell, J., Knipp, H., & Billiot. S. (2019). Hurricanes and Indigenous families: Understanding connections with discrimination, social support, and violence on PTSD. Journal of Family Strengths, 19(1), 1-95. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7059777/
  28. Burnette, C. E., Roh, S., Liddell, J., & Lee., Y. (2019). The resilience of Indigenous women of the U.S. who experience cancer: Transcending adversity. Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1080/15313204.2019.1628680
  29. Burnette, C. E., Roh, S., Liddell, J., & Lee, Y. S. (2019). American Indian women cancer survivor’s needs and preferences: Community support for cancer experiences. Journal of Cancer Education34(3), 592-599. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13187-018-1346-4
  30. Liddell, J. (2019). From the editor. Women Leading Change, 4(1), 2-3.
  31. Burnette, C. E., Roh, S., Liddell, J., & Lee, Y. S. (2018). American Indian women cancer survivors’ coping with depressive symptoms. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology37(4), 494-508. https://doi.org/10.1080/07347332.2018.1525467
  32. Liddell, J. L. (2018). Reproductive justice and the social work profession: Common grounds and current trends. Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work, 34(1), 99-115. 10.1177/0886109918803646
  33. Liddell, J. L., Burnette, C.E., Roh, S., & Lee, Y. (2018). Healthcare barriers and supports for American Indian women with cancer. Social Work in Health Care, 57(8), 656-673. https://doi.org/10.1080/00981389.2018.1474837
  34. Liddell, J., & R. Ferreira. (2018). Predictors of individual resilience characteristics among individuals aged 65 and older in post-disaster settings. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 13(2), 256-264. 10.1017/dmp.2018.52
  35. Lee, Y., Burnette, C. E., Liddell, J., & Roh, S. (2018). Understanding the social and community support networks of American Indian women cancer survivors. Journal of Evidenced Informed Social Work, 15(5) 481-493. https://doi.org/10.1080/23761407.2018.1455162
  36. Burnette, C. E., Liddell, J., Roh, S., Lee, Y. & Lee., Y. L. (2018). American Indian women cancer survivors’ perceptions and experiences with conventional and non-conventional mental health care for depressive symptoms. Ethnicity & Health, 1-20. https://doi.org/10.1080/13557858.2018.1493439
  37. Liddell, J. (2018). From the editor. Women Leading Change, 3(1), 2-3.
  38. Patel, M. M., Liddell, J. L., & Ferreira, R. J. (2018). An evaluation of the Positive Action program for youth violence prevention: From schools to summer camps. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 35(5), 519-530. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10560-018-0536-6
  39. Liddell, J., & Burnette, C. E. (2017). Culturally-informed interventions for substance abuse among Indigenous youth in the United States: A Review. Journal of Evidence-Informed Social Work, 14(5), 329-359. https://doi.org/10.1080/23761407.2017.1335631
  40. Simon, R. M., Johnson, K. M., & Liddell, J. (2016). Amount, source, and quality of support as predictors of women's birth evaluations. Birth43(3), 226-232. https://doi.org/10.1111/birt.12227



  1. Liddell, J. L., & McKinley, C. E. (2021). “They always took care of me”: The resilience, community, and family support of U.S. Indigenous women in the Gulf South in accessing healthcare. Routledge Handbook on Indigenous Resilience.  (pp. 180-194) Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge. 
  2. Liddell, J. L. (2020), "Barriers to Healthcare Access for a Native American Tribe in the Gulf Coast Region of the United States,” Kronenfeld, J.J. (Ed.) Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Other Social Characteristics as Factors in Health and Health Care Disparities (Research in the Sociology of Health Care, Vol. 38, pp. 73-94). West Yorkshire, England: Emerald Publishing Limited.
  3. Johnson, K.M., Simon, R.M., Liddell, J., & Kington, S. (2019). Feeding the cesarean cycle? Examining the role of childbirth education classes. In Advances in Medical Sociology on Reproduction, Health, and Medicine (pp. 241-260). West Yorkshire, England: Emerald Publishing Limited.
  4. Liddell, J., & Johnson, K. M. (2018). Dignity in childbirth: US women’s perceptions of respect and autonomy in hospital births. In Gender, Women’s Health Care Concerns and Other Social Factors in Health and Health Care (pp. 87-108). West Yorkshire, England: Emerald Publishing Limited.

Honors / Awards

  • 2021 Society for Social Work and Research Outstanding Social Work Doctoral Dissertation Award, Social for Social Work and Research (SSWR), Washington, D.C. (December 2021).  

  • School of Liberal Arts Doctoral Completion Fellowship, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. (August 2020-May 2021). 

  • New Orleans Center for the Gulf South and Monroe Fellowship, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. (August 2020-May 2021). 

  • Dissertation Fellowship, School of Liberal Arts, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. (August 2014-May 2021). 

  • Three Minute Thesis Grand Prize Winner, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. (November 2020).  

  • Shelley W. Coverman Memorial Award, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. (May 2021).  

  • Mellon Fellowship for Community-Engaged Scholarship, Center for Public Service, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. (January-December 2016).  

  • School of Liberal Arts Summer Merit Award, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. (June-July 2018; June-July 2019). 

  • School of Social Work Travel Award, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. (October 2019). 

  • J.E. Land Fund Travel Award, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. (January 2016, August 2017, July 2018). 

  • GSSA Travel Award, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. (November 2016, January 2018, July 2018, January 2019, January 2020). 

  • Victor C. Alvarez Spark Innovation Award Grantee, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. Developed and implemented a pilot program to distribute portable bio-hazardous waste containers to injection drug users utilizing services at the NOSAP needle exchange in New Orleans. (February-June 2016). 

  • Engaged Learning Award Grantee, New Orleans, LA. Awarded a CELT-SI grant to participate in an intensive Spanish for Social Workers course at a cooperatively run language school in Xela, Guatemala. Wrote a blog about this experience and used my Spanish skills in my volunteer work as an HIV tester at NO/AIDS Task Force. (July 2015). 

  • Tulane 34 Award Recipient, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. Granted to 34 outstanding graduate students, who are nominated by University faculty. (May 2013).