John Petraitis

Office: SSB 353
Phone: (907) 786-1651
Email: jmpetraitis@uaa.alaska.edu


Ph.D., Loyola University of Chicago, 1990

Teaching Responsibilities

  • General Psychology
  • Statistics for Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Foundations of Modern Psychology

Professional and Departmental Service

  • Associate Dean for Social Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Reviewer for various peer-review professional journals

Research Interests

  • Factors that contribute to the onset of substance use among adolescents
  • Evolutionary influences on risk-taking behaviors by adolescents and young adults


Petraitis, J., Lampman, C., Boeckmann, R., & Falconer, E. (2014). "Sex Differences in the Attractiveness of Hunter-Gatherer and Modern Risks." Journal of Applied Social Psychology (in press).

Flay, B. R., Petraitis, J. & Snyder, F. (2009). The theory of triadic influence. In DiClement, R. J., Kegler, M. C. & Crosby, R. A. (Eds.), Emerging theories in health promotion practice and research (2nd edition), pp 451-510. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Petraitis, J., Lampman, C., & Falconer, E. (May, 2007). Sex and drugs: Substance use as a means of attracting mates. To be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Psychological Association, Vancouver, BC.

Petraitis, J., Lampman, C., Wesolowski, V., Trimble, E., & Falconer, E. (2006, April). Evolution of Risk for Mate Attraction. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Psychological Association, Palm Springs, CA.

Renner, C., Patton, C., Enoch, C., Petraitis, J., Offord, K. P., Angstman, B., Garrison, A., Nevak, C., Croghan, I. T., & Hurd, R. D. (2004). Focus groups of Y-K Delta Alaska Natives: Attitudes toward tobacco use and tobacco dependence interventions. Preventive Medicine.

Petraitis, J. & Flay, B. R. (2002). How can theory be used in substance use prevention?: Bridging the gap between theory and practice. In Z. Sloboda & W. J. Bukoski (Eds.), Handbook for drug abuse prevention: Theory, science, and practice. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plemum Publishers.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (March, 2001). Tobacco Use Among Women: A Report of the Surgeon General. Washington, D. C.: Office of the U.S. Surgeon General. Contributing author (with B. R. Flay & F. B. Hu) to Chapter 4, Section B, "Factors that influence initiation of smoking."

Heath, L. & Petraitis J. (1987/2000). Television viewing and fear of crime: Where is the "Mean World." Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 8, 97-123. Reprinted in Ditton, J. & Farrall, S. (2000) (Eds.) The fear of crime. Ashgate: Dartmouth, VT.

Petraitis, J., Flay, B. R., Miller, T. Q., Torpy, E. J. & Greiner, B. (1998). Illicit substance use among adolescents: A matrix of predictors. Substance Use and Misuse, 33 (13) 2561-2605.

Flay, B. R., & Petraitis, J. (1997). Methodological issues in drug use prevention research: Theoretical foundations. Substance Use & Misuse, 32, 1643-1648. (Translated into French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Japanese, Russian, and Arabic.)

Hedeker, D., Flay, B. R., & Petraitis, J. (1996). Estimating individual influences of behavioral intentions: An application of random-effects modeling to Fishbein's theory of reasoned action. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64, 109-120.

Flay, B. R., Petraitis, J., & Hu, F. B. (1995). The theory of triadic influence: Preliminary evidence related to alcohol and tobacco use. In Research monograph no. 30: Alcohol and tobacco: From basic science to clinical practice. Washington, D. C.: National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Addiction.

Petraitis, J., Flay, B. R., & Miller, T. (1995). Reviewing theories of adolescent substance use: Organizing pieces in the puzzle. Psychological Bulletin, 117, 67-86.

Flay, B. R., Hu, B., Petraitis, J., Hedeker, D., Siddiqui, O., Day, L. E., Richardson, J., & Sussman, S. (1994). Differential influence of parental smoking and friends' smoking on adolescent initiation and escalation of smoking, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 35 (3), 248-265.

Flay, B. R., & Petraitis, J. (1994). The theory of triadic influence: A new theory of health behavior with implications for preventive interventions. In G. Albrecht (Ed.), Advances in Medical Sociology (Vol. 4), (pp. 19-44.), Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

Flay, B. R., & Petraitis, J. (1993). Why do people engage in the identified cancer-related behavior?: A problem-solving application of the theory of triadic influence. In D. Hill (Ed.), Advances in cancer-prevention.