Faculty Experts - Elizabeth Burgess Dowdell, PhD, RN, FAAN

Elizabeth Burgess Dowdell, PhD, RN

Elizabeth Burgess Dowdell, PhD, RN, FAAN

Area of Expertise:

  • Child Internet Safety
  • Health Risk Behaviors in Children and Adolescents
  • Violence and Victimology


The use of social media across the globe is expanding exponentially as the number of social media outlets, applications, and access continue to increase. Along with this growth in connectivity come concerns about child Internet victimization as well as new phenomena associated with technology.  Dr. Dowdell is an expert in the use of social media by teens and the health risks posed by their online behaviors. She can address how risky online behaviors endanger vulnerable children, how technology affects a child’s and family’s everyday life and the emergence of new technology-related behaviors like sleep texting.


  • Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
  • M.S., Boston College
  • B.S., Vanderbilt University

Selected Publications

  • Dowdell, E.B., Posner, M. & Hutchinson, M.K. (2011). Cigarette smoking and alcohol use among adolescents and young adults with asthma.  Nursing Research and Practice.
  • Dowdell, E.B. (2011).  Use of the Internet by parents of middle school students: Internet rules, risky behaviors, and online concerns. Journal of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing.
  • Dowdell, E.B., Burgess, A.W., & Flores, J.R. (2011).  Social networking patterns of adolescents, young adults, and offenders.  AJN: American Journal of Nursing. 
  • Dowdell, E.B. (2011).  Middle school students and risky Internet behaviors: Communication with online strangers and offline contact. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing.
  • Dowdell, E.B., Cavanaugh, D.J., Burgess, A.W., and Prentky, R, "Children in the Foster Care System: Vulnerable Girls and Foster Care Placement Instability." MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing.

Selected Professional Experience

  • U.S. Department of Justice, The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Consultant +Journal of Forensic Nursing, Editorial Review Board

Selected Research

  • Principle Investigator:  Dowdell, E.B. “Self-Exploitation and Electronic Aggression: High Risk Internet Behaviors in Adolescents.”  U.S. Department of Justice, OJJDP.
  • Principle Investigator: Robert Prentky; Co-Principle Investigator: Dowdell, E.B., "A Multi-prong Approach to Child Internet Safety", U.S. Department of Justice, OJJDP.
  • Principle Investigator: Dowdell, E.B., "Promoting Internet Child Safety: High School Students and Focus Groups", Villanova University College of Nursing Center for Nursing Research Mini-Grant.
  • Principle Investigator: Robert Prentky; Co-Principle Investigator: Dowdell, E.B., "Internet Related Techniques used by Offenders in Crimes Against Children", U.S. Department of Justice, OJJDP.

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