Susan Kools, RN, PhD, FAAN

Professor Emerita


As a child and adolescent psychiatric nurse scientist, I have studied vulnerable adolescents for almost 30 years. I am an international expert in adolescence and qualitative research methods. The focus of my program of research is the mental health and development of adolescents. My aim is to promote a greater understanding of developmentally appropriate interventions and contexts for care for young people. I have primarily studied adolescents in foster care and its influence on health and well being. I have explored adolescent illness experiences, including pediatric hyperlipidemia, congenital heart disease, hospitalization in Hong Kong and China, and HIV prevention in Malawi, Africa.


Honors and Awards

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, University of California, San Francisco, 2012
Fellow, American Academy of Nursing, 2007


Calculus formation: nurses' decision-making in abortion-related care. Res Nurs Health. 2015 Jun; 38(3):222-31.
Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Parent Education Discharge Instruction (PEDI) Program: A Pilot Study. World J Pediatr Congenit Heart Surg. 2015 Jan; 6(1):18-25.
Hospital nurses working wounded: Motivations and obstacles to return to work as experienced by nurses with injuries. Work. 2015 Jan 1; 50(2):295-304.
Differences in caregiver-reported health problems and health care use in maltreated adolescents and a comparison group from the same urban environment. Res Nurs Health. 2015 Feb; 38(1):60-70.
Cultural humility and working with marginalized populations in developing countries. Glob Health Promot. 2015 Mar; 22(1):52-9.
Correlates of emotional distress in out-of-home youth. J Child Adolesc Psychiatr Nurs. 2013 May; 26(2):110-8.
Separation and reunification: the experiences of adolescents living in transnational families. Curr Probl Pediatr Adolesc Health Care. 2013 Mar; 43(3):48-68.
Adolescent fathers in the justice system: hoping for a boy and making him a man. Qual Health Res. 2013 Apr; 23(4):435-49.
Dancing around death: hospitalist-patient communication about serious illness. Qual Health Res. 2013 Jan; 23(1):3-13.
Health profiles of adolescents in foster care. J Pediatr Nurs. 2013 May-Jun; 28(3):213-22.
Asian American adolescents' willingness to donate organs and engage in family discussion about organ donation and transplantation. Prog Transplant. 2012 Mar; 22(1):33-40, 70.
Asian-American adolescents' willingness to donate organs and engage in family discussion about organ donation and transplantation. Progress in Transplantation. 2012; 22(1):1-10.
Choosing fatherhood: how teens in the justice system embrace or reject a father identity. J Community Health Nurs. 2012; 29(2):91-105.
Misconceptions about missed conceptions: the meanings of emergency contraceptive pills use among young adult couples. J Fam Nurs. 2011 Nov; 17(4):463-84.
A conceptual model of incarcerated adolescent fatherhood: adolescent identity development and the concept of intersectionality. J Child Adolesc Psychiatr Nurs. 2011 May; 24(2):98-104.
Young adult couples' decision making regarding emergency contraceptive pills. J Nurs Scholarsh. 2011 Mar; 43(1):41-8.
Cultural competencies for graduate nursing education. Journal of Professional Nursing. 2011; 27(3):133-139.
'The wind of openness': Religious organizations, Malawi youth and HIV. International Journal of Child and Adolescent Health. 2011; 4(3):141-153.
Development of the Organ Donation and Transplantation Knowledge Survey for use in Asian American adolescents. Transplant Proc. 2010 Jun; 42(5):1427-31.
Health risk behavior of youth in foster care. J Child Adolesc Psychiatr Nurs. 2009 May; 22(2):77-85.
Dimensions of health in young people in foster care. Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2009 Apr-Jun; 21(2):221-33.
The condom divide: disenfranchisement of Malawi women by church and state. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2008 Sep-Oct; 37(5):596-604; quiz 604-6.
Pediatric hyperlipidemia: child and adolescent disease understandings and perceptions about dietary adherence. J Spec Pediatr Nurs. 2008 Jul; 13(3):168-79.
From heritage to postmodern grounded theorizing: 40 years of grounded theory. Studies in Symbolic Interaction. 2008; 32:71-84.
Adolescents' pain experiences following acute blunt traumatic injury: struggle for internal control. J Spec Pediatr Nurs. 2007 Oct; 12(4):224-37.
Consequences of frequenting the lesbian bar. Women Health. 2006; 44(2):103-20.
Risk factors for childhood obesity in elementary school-age Taiwanese children. Prog Cardiovasc Nurs. 2005; 20(3):96-103.
Parents' refusal of medical treatment for cultural or religious beliefs: an ethnographic study of health care professionals' experiences. J Pediatr Oncol Nurs. 2005 Jan-Feb; 22(1):48-57.
Health care transitions for adolescents with congenital heart disease: patient and family perspectives. Nurs Clin North Am. 2004 Dec; 39(4):727-40.
Parents' refusal of medical treatment based on religious and/or cultural beliefs: the law, ethical principles, and clinical implications. J Pediatr Nurs. 2004 Oct; 19(5):351-6.
The symptom experience of hospitalised Chinese children and adolescents and relationship to pre-hospital factors and behaviour problems. Int J Nurs Stud. 2004 Aug; 41(6):661-9.
Psychosocial functioning of hospitalized Chinese adolescents and their families. J Pediatr Nurs. 2004 Apr; 19(2):95-103.
Behavioural, emotional and family functioning of hospitalized children in China and Hong Kong. Int Nurs Rev. 2004 Mar; 51(1):34-46.
Parents' perceptions of their infant's pain experience in the NICU. Int J Nurs Stud. 2004 Jan; 41(1):51-8.
Construction managers' perceptions of construction safety practices in small and large firms: a qualitative investigation. Work. 2004; 23(3):233-43.
Construction workers' perceptions of management safety practices: a qualitative investigation. Work. 2004; 23(3):245-56.
Culturally appropriate family assessment: analysis of the Family Assessment Device in a pediatric Chinese population. J Nurs Meas. 2003 Spring-Summer; 11(1):41-60.
A model of recovery from substance abuse and dependence for Korean adolescents. J Child Adolesc Psychiatr Nurs. 2003 Jan-Mar; 16(1):25-34.
Issue brief: Mental health and developmental needs of transitioning adolescents in foster care. California Partnership for Children. 2003.
Foster child health and development: implications for primary care. Pediatr Nurs. 2003 Jan-Feb; 29(1):39-41, 44-6.
Caregiver understanding of adolescent development in residential treatment. J Child Adolesc Psychiatr Nurs. 2002 Oct-Dec; 15(4):151-62.
The pain experience of adolescents after acute blunt traumatic injury. Pain Manag Nurs. 2002 Sep; 3(3):104-14.
Child sexual abuse treatment: misinterpretation and mismanagement of child sexual behavior. Child Care Health Dev. 2002 May; 28(3):211-8.
Hospital experiences of young adults with congenital heart disease: divergence in expectations and dissonance in care. Am J Crit Care. 2002 Mar; 11(2):115-25; quiz 126-7.
Children's perceptions of TV and health behavior effects. J Nurs Scholarsh. 2002; 34(3):289-94.
Methodological considerations in children's focus groups. Nurs Res. 2001 May-Jun; 50(3):184-7.
Self-protection in adolescents in foster care. J Child Adolesc Psychiatr Nurs. 1999 Oct-Dec; 12(4):139-52.
Developmental issues in adolescent health. Asian Journal of Nursing Studies. 1999; 4(3):11-23.
Family transitions in congenital heart disease management: The impact of hospitalization in early adulthood. Journal of Family Nursing. 1999; 5(4):427-448.
Prevention of mental health problems in adolescence. Annu Rev Nurs Res. 1998; 16:83-116.
Adolescent identity development in foster care. Family Relations. 1997; 46(3):1-9.
Dimensional analysis: Broadening the conception of grounded theory. Qualitative Health Research. 1996; 6(3):312-330.
Position paper on foster care reform. J Child Adolesc Psychiatr Nurs. 1994 Apr-Jun; 7(2):41-3.
Susan Kools
+1 415 476-4040
2 Koret Way, Nursing, Rm 431H
UCSF Box 0606
San Francisco, CA 94143
United States
United States