Here are some highlights of current work our faculty is working on:
Ronica N. Rooks is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver. She has a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Maryland at College Park, with postdoctoral training in Geriatric Epidemiology and Health Disparities. Her research examines social determinants and chronic conditions particularly focused on racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic health disparities in cardiovascular diseases and the scholarship of teaching and learning. She is currently working on the relationships between social disadvantage (e.g., lower socioeconomic and racial/ethnic minority statuses), community environments, particularly gentrification, and prevalent chronic conditions and management among seniors.
Dr. Yeatman’s current research focuses on the causes and consequences of unintended fertility and HIV in sub-Saharan Africa and the United States. With data from Tsogolo la Thanzi, her 10-year longitudinal study of young adults in southern Malawi, she is using mixed methods to understand the drivers of unintended fertility and its consequences for women and their children. She is also collaborating with researchers at CUPC to examine how expanded access to contraception impacts women’s lives in the United States. A final project (with graduate student Marisa Westbrook) seeks to understand how school-based health centers shape teens’ reproductive and educational experiences.
His recent work focuses on the distribution of health within and between populations. He often examines the determinants of race/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in health, health behaviors, and mortality. His training is in demography, so he often uses large, national data sets and advanced statistical techniques for observational data in his research.
PhD students he is working on research with: Melanie Tran, Ryan O'Connell, Stephanie Chamberlin, Shawna Guttman
My research examines patterns in social and behavioral networks that promote or constrain the diffusion of information, behaviors, and/or diseases through populations. Much of this work has focused on HIV/AIDS in "high risk" populations in the US and Sub-Saharan Africa. Recently, this work has increasingly focused on examining the integrative patterns and processes in problem-focused areas of science that draw from many academic disciplines (e.g., HIV/AIDS, demography, the environment).
Dr. Devine conducts evaluation research of federally funded programs that address STD and HIV/AIDS prevention programs and reduction in teen pregnancy. She also serves as the chair of the social and behavioral panel and chair of expedited/exempt submissions for the Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board (COMIRB).
She has also conducted formative research on antibiotic resistance in Mongolia and examined the potential savings associated with reducing deficiencies in micronutirents and increasing breastfeeding in Mongolia. She is co-author of a paper on the effects of experiential training of STD clinicians, "Can Experiential-Didactic Training Improve Clinical STD Practices?", which is in press with the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Her dissertation critiqued the existence of the so-called Hispanic paradox and theories used to explain it as applied to weight-related birth outcomes of mothers of Hispanic origin in Colorado.
Dr. Main's current research involves a large-scale, five-neighborhood community based participatory research (CBPR) initiative in the Denver metropolitan area, called Taking Neighborhood Health to Heart. Through funding from National Institutes of Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Colorado Health Foundation and others, Dr. Main and her community and academic collaborators have collected and analyzed comprehensive data on the health of people and neighborhoods, contributing new theoretical and methodological knowledge on the influence of built and social environments on health and health disparities, and disseminating in-depth information throughout communities to identify contextually relevant programs, policies and environmental changes to improve neighborhood health.
As a health psychologist, my research addresses the ways in which psychological factors engender resilience and protect against health risks associated with disadvantaged social status (low socioeconomic standing, racial minority). This work utilizes multiple methodologies, including national longitudinal survey data, biological assessments of cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors, and laboratory assessments of emotion regulation and physiological reactivity and recovery to stress.
My research is on clinical decision making, patient-provider relationships, patient adherence, and health disparities, studied from both qualitative and quantitative perspectives. I have examined these issues across various medical and psychiatric conditions such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, schizophrenia, and depression. My current work is focused on the social context of end-of-life decision making, including hospice decision making trajectories and the ways in which healthcare systems, providers, and families influence utilization patterns; HBS graduate student Emily Hammad Mrig has collaborated with me on the latter.