Matthew C. Aalsma, PhD, HSPP

Matthew C. Aalsma, PhD, HSPP

Professor of Pediatrics & Psychology

Phone: (t) 317.274.8812 (f) 317.274.0133
Email: maalsma@iu.edu
Address: 410 West 10th Street, Suite 1001, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5140



Adolescent Health & Psychology

Areas of Interest

Clinical: mental health care of delinquent youth. Currently, Dr. Aalsma leads a forensic evaluation team that conducts psychological evaluations with youth at various points in the juvenile justice system.

Research: Research with vulnerable populations, including youth in the mental health and juvenile justice systems. 

Dr. Aalsma is a trained pediatric psychologist and focuses his research with vulnerable populations, including youth in the mental health and juvenile justice systems. His current research agenda includes exploring system-wide and individual efforts to improve the utilization of mental and physical health care for children and adolescents. He has been involved in research and public efforts to improve the health of children, adolescents and adults through public health care collaboration and transformation in the public sector, including criminal justice, mental health, and public policy. He is a member of the Medicaid Medical Advisory Council (organization that informs policy decisions for Indiana Medicaid) and involved in several efforts to improve the care of youth including state and community collaborations to develop screening and diversion programming for mentally ill offenders. Dr. Aalsma's current research projects include research focused on the utilization of medical and mental health care upon community reentry for detained youth and a national evaluation of a comprehensive sexuality curriculum within junior high church groups (Co-PI Ott).


1995 B.A., Psychology, Taylor University, Upland, Indiana
2000 Ph.D., School Psychology, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
2000 Child Clinical & Pediatric Psychology Resident University of Washington School of Medicine Seattle, Washington
2000-01 Leadership in Adolescent Health, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana
2001-02 STD Research Fellow, National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, Indiana University School of Medicine Indianapolis, Indiana


Honors & Awards

  Benjamin V. Cohen Peace Studies Research Fellowship Recipient- 1998
  Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine- New Investigator Award Finalist- 2002
  IUPUI- Psychology Practicum Supervisor Award- 2017


Provider Clinics

Marion County Juvenile Detention Center


Phone: (t) 317.274.8812 (f) 317.274.0133
Email: maalsma@iu.edu
Address: 410 West 10th Street, Suite 1001

Research & Grants

Improving adolescent health outcomes through preventive care transformation

Role:                Primary Investigator

Agency:           AHRQ RO1

Period:             September, 2013 – October, 2016

The project will modify an existing computer decision support system to include an Adolescent Preventive Care Module made up of developmentally appropriate adolescent screening tools and clinical management algorithms specific to adolescent health. A matched cohort design will be utilized to evaluate the impact of this system on the identification of specific adolescent health problems and key provider-influenced treatment outcomes including sexually transmitted infection (STI), depression, substance use and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) immunization.


Arrested youth: Epidemiological, mental health care, and cost-effectiveness research to guide public health partnerships

Role:                Primary Investigator

Agency:           HRSA/MCHB

Period:             February, 2011 – January, 2014

The project will evaluate the health care needs and utilization rates of arrested youth. Additionally, we will seek to assess how mental health diagnosis and care relates to initial involvement in and recidivism with the juvenile justice system. 

Representative PublicationsView All Publications

Aalsma, M. C., Gilbert, A. L., Xiao, S., & Rickert, V. I. (2016). Parent and Adolescent Views on Barriers to Adolescent Preventive Health Care Utilization. J Pediatr, 169, 140-145. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2015.10.090

Aalsma, M. C., Lau, K. S., Perkins, A. J., Schwartz, K., Tu, W., Wiehe, S. E., . . . Rosenman, M. B. (2016). Mortality of Youth Offenders Along a Continuum of Justice System Involvement. Am J Prev Med, 50(3), 303-310. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2015.08.030

Goddard, A. W., Schwartz, K., Hendrix, K., Aalsma, M. C., Slaven, J., Hancock, E. F., . . . Rosenman, M. (2016). Trends in Use and Cost of Second-Generation Antipsychotics Among Children and Teens in Indiana Medicaid, 2004-2012. Psychiatr Serv, appips201500061. doi:10.1176/appi.ps.201500061

Hershberger, A., Zapolski, T., & Aalsma, M. C. (2016). Social support as a buffer between discrimination and cigarette use in juvenile offenders. Addict Behav, 59, 7-11. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.03.003

Holloway, E. D., Cruise, K. R., Downs, S. M., Monahan, P. O., & Aalsma, M. C. (2016). Juvenile Probation Officer Self-Assessed Mental Health Competency as a Predictor of Case Management Practices. Adm Policy Ment Health. doi:10.1007/s10488-016-0734-5

Lau, K. S., Aalsma, M. C., Holloway, E. D., Wiehe, S. E., & Vachon, D. D. (2015). The effects of racial heterogeneity on mental health: A study of detained youth across multiple counties. Am J Orthopsychiatry, 85(5), 421-430. doi:10.1037/ort0000100

Taylor, J. L., Aalsma, M. C., Gilbert, A. L., Hensel, D. J., & Rickert, V. I. (2016). Perspectives of family medicine physicians on the importance of adolescent preventive care: a multivariate analysis. BMC Fam Pract, 17, 4. doi:10.1186/s12875-016-0402-6