Gregory A. Aarons, Ph.D. 



Contact Information

Child & Adolescent Services
Research Center
3020 Children's Way MC-5033
San Diego, CA 92123
T: (858) 966-7703 x3550
F: (858) 966-7704


Dr. Aarons received his PhD in Clinical Psychology with minors in Organizational Psychology and Research Methods from the University of South Florida. He completed his pre-doctoral internship at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and a postdoctoral fellowship in substance abuse and health services research at UC San Diego and the Child & Adolescent Services Research Center at Rady Children’s Hospital. Dr. Aarons completed a NIMH Mentored Career Development grant focusing on organizational factors and evidence-based practice in mental health service settings. Dr. Aarons' current research is funded by NIMH grants and examines factors affecting statewide evidence-based practice implementation and organizational readiness to implement evidence-based practices. Dr. Aarons is a faculty member in the UC San Diego/SDSU Joint Doctoral Program in Psychology and has leadership roles at the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center and the UC San Diego Geropsychiatry Advanced Center for Innovation in Services and Intervention Research.

Research Interests

Research Focus

Dr. Aarons' current research focuses on identifying and improving organizational factors that impact quality of mental health services and implementation of evidence-based practice in real-world practice settings. Dr. Aarons is a collaborative investigator on a study of implementation of clinical reminders to improve HIV screening and treatment for at-risk patients in primary care. He also studies of implementation of parent-mediated interventions to decrease childhood disruptive behavior problems. Dr. Aarons’ most recent work focuses on the role of leadership in evidence-based practice implementation.

Clinical and Teaching Focus

Dr. Aarons gives seminars and presentations on theory and practical application of research findings to improve implementation of evidence-based practice. He was an invited speaker at two recent National Institutes of Health sponsored conferences on dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practice. His teaching activities focus on organizational, provider, and patient factors that impact effective implementation of evidence-based practice.


  • Aarons, G. A. (2004). Mental health provider attitudes toward adoption of evidence-based practice: The Evidence-Based Practice Attitude Scale (EBPAS). Mental Health Services Research 6(2), 61-74.
  • Aarons, G. A. (2005). Measuring provider attitudes toward adoption of evidence-based practice: Consideration of organizational context and individual differences. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America. [Special Issue] Evidence-Based Practice, Part II: Effecting Change. Burns, B. J., & Hoagwood, K. E. (Eds.) 14(2), 255-271.
  • Aarons, G. A., & Sawitzky, A. C. (2006). Organizational culture and climate and mental health provider attitudes toward evidence-based practice. Psychological Services 3(1), 61-72.
  • Aarons, G. A., & Sawitzky, A. C. (2006). Organizational climate partially mediates the effect of culture on work attitudes and turnover. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research 33(3), 289-301.
  • Aarons, G. A. (2006). Transformational and transactional leadership: Association with attitudes toward evidence-based practice in mental health services. Psychiatric Services 57(8), 1162-1169.