Ph.D. candidates & students

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Leah Bouchard portrait

Leah M. Bouchard

Ph.D. candidate

Email: bouchardlm@vcu.edu

CV »

 

Pronouns: She/her

A.M., University of Chicago
B.S.W., Appalachian State University

Leah M. Bouchard (she/her) is a doctoral candidate. She draws on learning, control and life course theories to inform her interests in the well-being of youth in rural geographic areas. Her research focuses on drug experimentation, substance misuse and criminalized drug-related behaviors and how these issues are affected by elements of the rural environment. Further, she studies how rural youth with marginalized identities, particularly LGBTQ+ rural youth, differently experience substance use and misuse and its related consequences. These interests stem from a long-standing passion for identifying ways to support the healthy development of rural youth and their families. Currently, her dissertation research is focused on understanding how rural parents/caregivers of youth interact with opioid misuse prevention tools.

Prior to beginning the doctoral program, Bouchard was a senior therapist with Youth Villages in East Tennessee. She provided Multisystemic Therapy (MST) to juvenile justice-involved youth and their families with a goal of rehabilitation over punitive corrections. She holds a Master of Arts from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration (now Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice), concentrating in policy and advocacy for children and youth. As a student, she served on the Curriculum Policy Committee to advocate for a geographically-inclusive curriculum to bring rural strengths and struggles into consideration in social work education. While in Chicago, she worked with the Center for Policy, Practice & Innovation (now Ahlquist Center for Policy, Practice & Innovation) at Children’s Home + Aid to leverage resources and advocate for policy change to benefit Illinois children and youth. Bouchard and her teammates garnered support from legislators, partnered with community organizations to widen the impact of their advocacy, and made evidence-based recommendations for drafting and implementing state and federal legislation.

Bouchard received her B.S.W. from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, in December 2015. Originally from rural Western North Carolina, she completed multiple internships with children and youth in her community during her college years. Most notably, she held a year-long internship in positive youth development with 4-H designing summer programming for youth in rural North Carolina.

Bouchard is an advocate for self-care and spends as much of her time outdoors as possible. She enjoys reading, running and dabbling in the arts. 

Scholarship

Publications

Wike, T. L., Bouchard, L. M., Kemmerer, A., & Yabar, M. P. (in press). Bullying and resilience: Experiences of rural LGBTQ+ youth across multiple contexts. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Bouchard, L. M., Shin, S. H., & Chartier, K. G. (2021). Alcohol use in adolescence across U.S. race/ethnicity: Considering cultural factors in prevention and interventions. In D. Frings &  I. P. Albery (Eds.), The handbook for alcohol use and abuse: Understanding from synapse to society. Elsevier.

Bouchard, L. M., Price, S. K., & Swan, L. E. T. (2020). The role of the contemporary Christian Church in the rural American South: Philosophical approaches to operationalizing religion in research. Social Work & Christianity. 47(2). 47-64.

Hitti, S. A., McDonald, S. E., Green, K., Bouchard, L. M., & Sullivan, T. (2020). Evaluation of the self-report Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits in a sample of urban middle school students: A multidimensional Rasch analysis. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment

Under Review 

Bouchard, L. M. & Wike, T. L. Good as gone: Narratives of rural youth who intend to leave their communities. [Submitted for review].

Bouchard, L. M. & Murphy, J. L. Happiness, hope, and hopelessness: Substance use among high school seniors by geographic location. [Submitted for review].

Yabar, M. P., Bouchard, L. M., & Wike, T. L. Understanding the relationship between homophobic bullying and age of sexual onset in gay, bisexual, and transgender Latine youth. [Submitted for review].

Shin, S. H., Montemayor, B., & Bouchard, L. M. An exploration of service providers’ perceptions and beliefs about trauma-informed youth drug prevention programs: A qualitative study. [Submitted for review].

Ogbonnaya, I. N., Wike, T. L., Bouchard, L. M., & Carver, A. T. Looks matter: Are schools of social work representing diversity and inclusion on their websites? [Submitted for review].

Peer-reviewed presentations

Bouchard, L. M. & Murphy, J. L. (2021). Happiness, hope, & hopelessness: Substance use among high school seniors. Poster presentation for the Society of Social Work and Research 25th Annual Conference, January, 2021. Virtual due to COVID-19.

Bouchard, L. M. & Shin, S. H. (2021) A systematic review of universal to indicated prevention approaches to rural opioid use. Poster presentation for the Society of Social Work and Research 25th Annual Conference, January, 2021. Virtual due to COVID-19.

Wike, T. L., Bouchard, L. M., Kemmerer, A., & Yabar, M. P. (2021). Rural LGBTQ youth school and community experiences with bullying, victimization, and social support. Oral presentation for the Society of Social Work and Research 25th Annual Conference, January, 2021. Virtual due to COVID-19. 

Ogbonnaya, I. N., Wike, T. L., Bouchard, L. M., Kemmerer, A., & Yabar, M. P. (2021). Looks matter: Are schools of social work representing diversity and inclusion on their websites? Poster presentation for the Society of Social Work and Research 25th Annual Conference, January, 2021. Virtual due to COVID-19.

Yabar, M. P. & Bouchard, L. M. (2020). Exploring the relationship between bullying victimization and sexual onset among Latino gay, bisexual, and transgender men. Oral presentation for the Global Sex Research Conference, November, 2020. Virtual due to COVID-19.

Bouchard, L. M., Dick, D. M., & Chartier, K. G. (2020). Peers and stressful events in the college years: How social support can protect against alcohol use. Poster presentation for the Society of Social Work and Research 24th Annual Conference, January 2020. Washington, DC.

Bouchard, L. M. & Kim, K. M. (2020). Longitudinal study of substance use, the parent-adolescent relationship, and socioeconomic status amongst rural youth. Poster presentation for the Society of Social Work and Research 24th Annual Conference, January, 2020. Washington, DC.

Bouchard, L. M. & Price, S. K. (2019). The role of the contemporary Christian Church in the rural American South: Philosophical approaches to operationalizing religion in research. Oral presentation for the Rural Sociological Society 82nd Annual Meeting, August, 2019. Richmond, VA.

Bouchard, L. M. & Wike, T. L. (2019). Gone for now or gone for good: The need for narratives of rural high school seniors who intend to leave their communities following graduation. Oral presentation for the 44th National Institute on Social Work and Human Services in Rural Areas, July, 2019. Paducah, KY.

Wike, T. L., Bouchard, L. M., Stim, H., Hodges, J. C. (2019). A systematic review of the relationship between cyberbullying and mental health outcomes. Poster presentation for the World Anti-Bullying Forum, June, 2019. Dublin, Ireland.

Farmer, E. M. Z. & Bouchard, L. M. (2019). Rural-urban differences in outcomes from group home treatment for youth. Poster presentation for the Society of Social Work and Research 23rd Annual Conference, January, 2019. San Francisco, CA.