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Jody M. Russon

Jody Russon, Assistant Professor

Jody Russon, Assistant Professor
Jody Russon, Assistant Professor

Department of Human Development and Family Science
840 University City Boulevard
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-4235 |

Jody Russon, Ph.D., LMFT is an assistant professor of human development and family science at Virginia Tech. She is core faculty in the marriage and family therapy program area and the principal investigator of the alliance for suicide prevention and intervention through relationship enrichment (@ASPIRE_VT).

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Name of research team: ASPIRE: The Alliance for the Study of Suicide Prevention and Intervention through Relationship Enrichment

  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Vulnerable Youth

Dr. Russon is a translational scientist, family therapist, and suicidologist focused on relational interventions and prevention strategies for youth suicide and associated mental health concerns. Her current trajectory of research at Virginia Tech is focused on the adaptation, dissemination, and implementation (AD&I) of relational suicide interventions and prevention strategies. AD&I research examines how empirically-supported approaches can be modified to best fit within the ecologies of diverse community settings and with their associated constituent groups (e.g., patients, caregivers, providers, and administrators). Dr. Russon’s primary area of research involves adapting and testing empirically-supported, family-based suicide models, as well as discovering the best methods for disseminating these models to the organizations who serve youth with suicidal thoughts and behavior.

To further her clinical research, Dr. Russon is developing a secondary research area to understand and support the prevention needs of health and educational organizations in which those with suicidal ideation and behavior are embedded. To prevent suicide, Dr. Russon promotes systemic changes within the unique ecologies of these organizations by collaboratively examining help-seeking, service utilization, and the effectiveness of programmatic screening and referral.

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Center for Family Intervention Science, Drexel University, July 2018, Philadelphia, PA 

  • Postdoctoral research grant: Attachment-based family therapy for LGBTQ+ suicidal youth: Feasibility, acceptability and transportability 

Ph.D., Couple and Family Therapy, College of Nursing & Health Professions, Drexel University, September 2015, Philadelphia, PA 

  • Dissertation: Objectification theory and the family: The role of attachment in self objectification and disordered eating 

M.A., Counseling Psychology, College of Liberal Arts, Towson University, August 2011 Towson, MD

  • Master’s thesis: Community strengths to career capacities: Family support, authenticity and career decision-making self-efficacy in the lesbian, gay and bisexual community 

B.A., Psychology, College of Arts & Sciences, University of Delaware, May 2009, Newark, DE

Russon, J. (2022). Received recognition as a 2022 Research Associate with the Center for Humanities at Virginia Tech. Colloquium conversation with Dr. Sylvester Johnson streamed lived on November 3rd, 2022 and can be viewed on the Center for Humanities YouTube page,

Russon, J. (2021, 2022). Departmental nominee for Virginia Tech’s College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Diversity Award. Received recognition from the Diversity Committee for tangible commitments to diversity work within the department and through research.

Russon, J. (2021). Recipient of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Young Investigator Research Award. Annual award presented during the Research Award Event (Wednesday, October 27th), at the 2021 International Academy of Suicide Research/American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Summit on Suicide Research.

Russon, J., Abbott, C., Rivers, A., Jin, B., Winston-Lindeboom, P., Kobak, R., Diamond, G. (in press). Attachment-based family therapy versus family-enhanced non-directive supportive therapy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning adolescents. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. 

Manasse, S. M., Russon, J., Lampe, E. W., King, A., Abber, S. R., Trainor, C., Gillikin, L., Levy, S. & Diamond, G.S. (2023). Attachment-based family therapy to improve family functioning in adolescent binge-spectrum eating disorders: An initial evaluation via case series design. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Advance online publication.

Russon, J., Bland, K., Kryda, K., Haak, T., Ravi-Caldwell, N., Codecá, L., Darby, B., Bissett, C., Murphy, J., & Hungerford, L. (2023). Career Stage differences in mental health symptom burden and help seeking among veterinarians during COVID-19. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 261(6), 898-906. 

Russon, J., Allen, K., Few-Demo, A., Case-Pease, J. (2022). Using critical family theorizing and intersectional feminist praxis to navigate reflexive conversations on race and power in academic settings. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 14(3), 537-560. 

Frey, L., Hunt, Q., Russon, J., & Diamond, G. (2022). Review of family-based treatments from 2010 to 2019 for suicidal ideation and behavior. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 48(1), 154-177. 

Russon, J., Morrissey, J., Dellinger, J., Jin, B. & Diamond, G. (2022). Implementing attachment-based family therapy for depressed and suicidal adolescents and young adults in LGBTQ+ services: Feasibility, acceptability and preliminary effectiveness. The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 43(6), 500-507.

Russon, J., Smithee, L., Simpson, S., Levy, S., & Diamond, G. (2022). Demonstrating attachment-based family therapy for transgender and gender diverse youth with suicidal thoughts and behavior: A case study. Family Process, 61(1), 230-245. 

Levy, S., Scott, S., Russon, J., & Diamond, G. (2021). Attachment-based family therapy in the age of telehealth and COVID-19. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 47(2), 440-454. 

Russon, J., Washington, R., Machado, A., Smithee, L., & *Dellinger, J. (2021). Suicide among LGBTQIA+ Youth: review of the treatment literature. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 64. 

Russon, J., Mensinger, J., Herres, J., Shearer, A., Vaughan, K., Wang, S. B., & Diamond, G. S. (2019). Identifying risk factors for disordered eating among female youth in primary care. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 50(5), 727-737.

Virginia Tech Daily News (2023, Jan). “Research team to study mental health accessibility and suicide prevention among LGBTQ+ youth.”

Choosing Therapy (2022, Jul). Expert consultant for “Stonewalling: How it damages relationships & 6 tips for overcoming.” 

Virginia Tech Daily News (2020, Apr). “Shifting routines, new work spaces, WiFi overload- Hokie parents, students adjust to life under one roof.” utm_source=cmpgn_news&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=vtUnirelNewsStudentCMP_student-041320 

Virginia Tech Daily News (2019, Dec). “Wellness initiatives at veterinary college care for students, clients, and practitioners.” 

College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences News (2019, Dec). “Human development specialist teams up with veterinary college to create mental health screening tool for veterinarians.” 

CollegiateTimes (2018, Oct). “Acceptance of transgender identities necessary to support gender-questioning Youth,” Virginia Tech.

 NBC Philadelphia (2017, May). “‘There Are Other Options': LGBTQ+ Community Battles Staggering Suicide Rates.”

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