Melissa L Walls

Assistant Professor

MED - IMAGE - size 3 - Melissa WallsDepartment of Biobehavioral Health & Population Sciences

U of MN Experts Link-Melissa L Walls

My work focuses on doing community-based participatory research with American Indian and First Nations communities. A key theme in our research is to understand the historical and contemporary social determinants of health/mental health for Indigenous individuals and families.


  • 2007 Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D), Sociology. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dissertation: “A Mixed Methods Approach toward Understanding Indigenous Youth Suicide.” Adviser: Dr. Les B. Whitbeck
  • 2004 Master of Arts (M.A), Sociology. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
  • Thesis: “Early Onset Alcohol Use among Native American Adolescents: An Examination of Caretaker Influence.” Adviser: Dr. Les B. Whitbeck
  • 2002 Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.), Psychology; Minor, Human Resource Management. University of Minnesota-Duluth. Honor: Magna Cum Laude

Selected Publications
Walls, Melissa and Les Whitbeck. 2011. Distress among Indigenous North Americans: Generalized and Culturally Relevant Stressors. Society and Mental Health, 1(2).

Walls, Melissa and Les Whitbeck. 2010. Maturation, Peer Context, and Indigenous Girls' Early-Onset Substance Use. Journal of Early Adolescence, 30(4).

Whitbeck, Les, Melissa Walls, Kurt Johnson, Allan Morrisseau, and Cindy McDougall. 2009. Depressed Affect and Historical Losses among North American Indigenous Adolescents. American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research: The Journal of the National Center, 16(3).

Whitbeck, Les, Dan Hoyt, ManSoo Yu, and Melissa Walls. 2008. Diagnostic Prevalence Rates from Early to Mid-Adolescence among Indigenous Adolescents: First Results from a Longitudinal Study. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 47.

Walls, Melissa. 2008. Trajectories of American Indian Alcohol and Marijuana Use Across the Middle School Years. Journal of Drug Issues, 38(4).

Walls, Melissa, Constance Chapple, and Kurt Johnson. 2007. Strain, Emotion, and Suicide among American Indian Youth. Deviant Behavior, 28(3).

Walls, Melissa, Les Whitbeck, Dan Hoyt and Kurt Johnson 2007. Early-Onset Alcohol Use among Native American Youth: Examining Female Caretaker Influence. Journal of Marriage and Family, 69(2).

Whitbeck, Les, Kurt Johnson, Dan Hoyt, and Melissa Walls. 2006. Prevalence and Comorbidity of Mental Health Disorders Among American Indian Children in the Northern Midwest. Journal of Adolescent Health, 39.

Walls, Melissa, Kurt Johnson, Les Whitbeck, and Dan Hoyt. 2006. Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Preferences and Utilization Patterns among American Indian People of the Northern Midwest. Community Mental Health Journal, 42(6).

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  • Last modified on December 5, 2013