Jamie Johnston is the research and evaluation lead for the Stanford Center for Health Education's Digital MEdIC initiative and a postdoctoral fellow in the Stanford School of Medicine. Her work focuses on the use of technology to improve educational access and instructional quality in under-resourced areas, as well as how new teaching technologies can improve learning outcomes in medical education. Jamie completed her PhD in Economics of Education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education in 2017, where she was an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) doctoral fellow. Jamie also received a B.S. in Social Policy from Northwestern University, an M.P.P from the University of Chicago, and an M.A. in Economics from Stanford University.

Institute Affiliations

  • Member, Maternal & Child Health Research Institute (MCHRI)

Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Stanford University, ED-PHD (2017)
  • Master of Public Policy, University of Chicago, Public Policy (2009)
  • Master of Arts, Stanford University, ECON-MA (2017)
  • Bachelor of Science, Northwestern University, Education and Social Policy (2003)

All Publications

  • The Philani MOVIE study: a cluster-randomized controlled trial of a mobile video entertainment-education intervention to promote exclusive breastfeeding in South Africa. BMC health services research Adam, M., Tomlinson, M., Le Roux, I., LeFevre, A. E., McMahon, S. A., Johnston, J., Kirton, A., Mbewu, N., Strydom, S., Prober, C., Barnighausen, T. 2019; 19 (1): 211


    BACKGROUND: In South Africa, rates of exclusive breastfeeding remain low and breastfeeding promotion is a national health priority. Mobile health and narrative entertainment-education are recognized strategies for health promotion. In-home counseling by community health workers (CHWs) is a proven breastfeeding promotion strategy. This protocol outlines a cluster-randomized controlled trial with a nested mixed-methods evaluation of the MObile Video Intervention for Exclusive breastfeeding (MOVIE) program. The evaluation will quantify the causal effect of the MOVIE program and generate a detailed understanding of the context in which the intervention took place and the mechanisms through which it enacted change. Findings from the study will inform the anticipated scale-up of mobile video health interventions in South Africa and the wider sub-Saharan region.METHODS: We will conduct a stratified cluster-randomized controlled trial in urban communities of the Western Cape, to measure the effect of the MOVIE intervention on exclusive breastfeeding and other infant feeding practices. Eighty-four mentor-mothers (CHWs employed by the Philani Maternal Child Health and Nutrition Trust) will be randomized 1:1 into intervention and control arms, stratified by neighborhood type. Mentor-mothers in the control arm will provide standard of care (SoC) perinatal in-home counseling. Mentor-mothers in the intervention arm will provide SoC plus the MOVIE intervention. At least 1008 pregnant participants will be enrolled in the study and mother-child pairs will be followed until 5months post-delivery. The primary outcomes of the study are exclusive breastfeeding at 1 and 5months of age. Secondary outcomes are other infant feeding practices and maternal knowledge. In order to capture human-centered underpinnings of the intervention, we will conduct interviews with stakeholders engaged in the intervention design. To contextualize quantitative findings and understand the mechanisms through which the intervention enacted change, end-line focus groups with mentor-mothers will be conducted.DISCUSSION: This trial will be among the first to explore a video-based, entertainment-education intervention delivered by CHWs and created using a community-based, human-centered design approach. As such, it could inform health policy, with regards to both the routine adoption of this intervention and, more broadly, the development of other entertainment-education interventions for health promotion in under-resourced settings.TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study and its outcomes were registered at ( #NCT03688217 ) on September 27th, 2018.

    View details for PubMedID 30940132

  • The Effects of Blended Online Learning in Higher Education STEM Courses: Experimental Evidence from Mongolia Johnston, J. Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis. 2018 ; Stanford CEPA Working Papers (18-11):
  • Effectiveness of Interactive Satellite-Transmitted Instruction: Experimental Evidence from Ghanaian Primary Schools Johnston, J., Ksoll, C. Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis. 2017 ; Stanford CEPA Working Papers (17-08):
  • The Impact of Vocational Teachers on Student Learning in Developing Countries: Does Enterprise Experience Matter? COMPARATIVE EDUCATION REVIEW Johnston, J., Loyalka, P., Chu, J., Song, Y., Yi, H., Huang, X. 2016; 60 (1): 131-150
  • Authoritarian Parenting and Asian Adolescent School Performance: Insights from the US and Taiwan INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL DEVELOPMENT Pong, S., Johnston, J., Chen, V. 2010; 34 (1): 62–72


    Our study re-examines the relationship between parenting and school performance among Asian students. We use two sources of data: wave I of the Adolescent Health Longitudinal Survey (Add Health), and waves I and II of the Taiwan Educational Panel Survey (TEPS). Analysis using Add Health reveals that the Asian-American/European-American difference in the parenting-school performance relationship is due largely to differential sample sizes. When we select a random sample of European-American students comparable to the sample size of Asian-American students, authoritarian parenting also shows no effect for European-American students. Furthermore, analysis of TEPS shows that authoritarian parenting is negatively associated with children's school achievement, while authoritative parenting is positively associated. This result for Taiwanese Chinese students is similar to previous results for European-American students in the US.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0165025409345073

    View details for Web of Science ID 000272872000007

    View details for PubMedID 24850978

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4026298

  • Marriage, Money, and African American Mothers' Self-Esteem JOURNAL OF MARRIAGE AND FAMILY Mandara, J., Johnston, J. S., Murray, C. B., Varner, F. 2008; 70 (5): 1188–99