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Nancy Jo Kepple

Assistant Professor
Primary office:
785-864-0147
Twente Hall
Room 115


Dr. Kepple earned her PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research broadly examines the social consequences of the availability, distribution, and use of psychoactive substances. Her current research focuses on the interplay between parent substance use, neuropsychological functioning, and social environment and their relationship to child maltreatment behaviors.

Teaching Interests

  • Social work practice
  • Child Welfare Practice
  • Substance Use & Abuse
  • Mental Health & Psychopathology

Research Interests

  • Social consequences of the availability, distribution, and use of psychoactive substances
  • Substance use behaviors among parenting populations
  • Child welfare decision-making
  • Racial/ethnic disparities within the child welfare system

Selected Publications

Dennis, M. Kate, Kepple, N. Jo, & Brewer, J. P (in press). Grandparents of the community: Lakota elders’ view of intergenerational care. Grandfamilies.

Wolf, J. P., Freisthler, B., Kepple, N. J., & Chavez, R. (n.d.). The Places Parents Go: Understanding the Breadth, Scope, and Experiences of Activity Spaces for Parents. Geojournal. DOI:10.1007/s10708-015-9690-y

Kepple, N. J. (2017). The complex nature of parental substance use: Examining past year and prior use behaviors as correlates of child maltreatment frequency. Substance Use & Misuse.

Wolf, J. P, & Kepple, N. J (2016). Individual and county-level religious participation, corporal punishment, and physical abuse of children: An exploratory study. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Kobulsky, J., Kepple, N. Jo, Holmes, M., & Hussey, D. (2016). Concordance of parent and child reported physical abuse among children investigated by the child welfare system. Child Maltreatment.

Wolf, J. P, Ponicki, B., Kepple, N. J, & Gaidus, A. (2016). Are community level prescription drug overdoses associated with child harm? A spatial analysis of California zip codes, 2001-2011. Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Friedline, T., & Kepple, N. J (2016). Does Community Access to Alternative Financial Services Relate to Individuals’ Use of These Services? Beyond Individual Explanations. Journal of Consumer Policy. DOI:10.1007/s10603-016-9331-y

Kepple, N. J., Mulholland, E., Freisthler, B., & Schaper, E. (2016). Correlates of amount spent on medical marijuana during a discrete purchase: Results from a pilot study. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 48(1), 50-55. DOI:10.1080/02791072.2015.1116719

Freisthler, B., Johnson-Motoyama, M., & Kepple, N. J. (2014). Inadequate child supervision: The role of alcohol outlet density, parent drinking behaviors, and social support. Children & Youth Services Review. DOI:10.1016/j.childyouth.2014.05.002

Kepple, N. J., Freisthler, B., & Johnson-Motoyama, M. (2014). Non-response bias in child maltreatment self-reports using interactive voice response. Child Abuse & Neglect. DOI:10.1016/j.chiabu.2014.04.001

Freisthler, B., Kepple, N. J., Simms, R., & Martin, S. (2013). Evaluating Medical Marijuana Dispensary Policies: Spatial Methods for the Study of Environmentally-Based Interventions. American Journal of Community Psychology, 51(1-2), 278-288. DOI:10.1007/s10464-012-9542-6

Kepple, N. J., & Freisthler, B. (2012). Exploring the ecological association between medical marijuana dispensaries and crime. Journal of Studies on alcohol and Drugs, 73(4), 523-530.

Freisthler, B., Kepple, N. J., & Holmes, M. (2012). The geography of drug market activities and child maltreatment. Child Maltreatment, 17(2), 144-152. DOI:10.1177/1077559512443124

Selected Presentations

Wolf, J. & Kepple, N. (01/31/2016). A Space-Time Bayesian Analysis of Non-Medical Prescription Drug Overdoses and Child Harm in California: 2001-2011. 20th Annual Conference Anniversary Celebration of the Society for Social Work and Research. Washington, D.C.

Kepple, N. (01/31/2016). Does Parental Substance Use Always Engender Risk for Children? Decomposing Substance Use By Behavior Patterns. 20th Annual Conference Anniversary Celebration of the Society for Social Work and Research. Washington, D.C.

Lloyd, M. & Kepple, N. (01/31/2016). Pathways from Parental Alcohol Use to Supervisory Neglect: Understanding the Roles of Poverty, Depression and Low Social Support. 20th Annual Conference Anniversary Celebration of the Society for Social Work and Research. Washington, D.C.

Kepple, N. (01/31/2016). The Complex Reality of Social Connections: Examining the Moderating Role of Social Companionship on Parent Substance Use and Neglect Frequencies. 20th Annual Conference Anniversary Celebration of the Society for Social Work and Research. Washington, D.C.

Kepple, N., Freisthler, B. & Price Wolf, J. (01/31/2015). Bias in Survey Completion by Alcohol and Drug Users when Using Interactive Voice Response. 19th Annual Conference for the Society for Social Work and Research. New Orleans, LA

Kepple, N. (01/31/2015). Exploring the Effects of Neighborhood Economic Clustering on Child Maltreatment Rates. 19th Annual Conference for the Society for Social Work and Research. New Orleans, LA

Williams, N., Freisthler, B. & Johnson, M. (09/30/2011). Rethinking local neighborhood indicators of child maltreatment: Ethnic Heterogeneity and Economic Isolation. Poster, 16th International Conference on Violence, Abuse & Trauma. San Diego, CA

Freisthler, B. & Williams, N. (07/31/2011). The geography of drug market activities and child maltreatment. Poster, 19th Annual APSAC Colloquium. Philadelphia, PA

Williams, N. & Freisthler, B. (05/31/2011). A study of the ecological relationship between medical cannabis dispensaries and crime activities. Presentation, in B. Freisthler (Chair), Drug Market Activities and Social Problems: Emerging Topics and Avenues for Prevention, Symposium at the meeting of the Society for Prevention Research. Washington, DC


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