and engaging people with behavior change programming. Quickly, however, we discovered that just
because we built it didn’t mean they would come. While designing engaging programming is the
cornerstone to affecting public health outcomes in mHealth programs, it often is a black box that is
incompletely described. Additional challenges can be lurking in the recruitment of young people on social
media, particularly as both the app preferences of youth and advertising policies are evolving. In this
session, we will talk about designing for and recruiting young people into mHealth behavior change
programs, and that outcomes of such programs.
Dr. Ybarra is a recognized public health researcher with a focus on technology-related health issues for
young people. She has led the development and evaluation of multiple text messaging-based behavior
change programs on myriad topics including smoking cessation, healthy sexuality, and bullying.
Harnessing the full potential of technology-mediated interventions, Dr. Ybarra had led evaluations of
mHealth programs at the national level in the United States, as well as in Turkey and Uganda. She also is
known for her contributions in the area of youth violence, particularly those which are technology-
mediated. Dr. Ybarra is the President and Research Director of the Center for Innovative Public Health
Research, a non-profit research incubator located in Orange County, California, where she has led 12
federally funded research projects and co-led an additional three. She earned her doctorate in child mental
health services research from the Department of Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins School of Public
Health, where she is currently an Adjunct Professor.