My research focuses on the role that social factors play in driving racial disparities in physical and mental health. In one stream of research, I focus on the role of stress and coping resources in explaining Black-White differences in mental health. In a second stream of research, I complicate how race is used as a variable in health disparities research by considering how different specifications of race (such as skin tone or disaggregated multiracial status) can influence how we understand race-health relationships. Currently, I am using a cross-national comparative approach to understand how race as a social status plays out across countries with different racial compositions, race and migration histories, and social welfare systems. This project advances the study of racism as a social determinant of health by examining the meaning as well as the implications of race as a system of social stratification across nation states.
My research has been published in journals such as the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Social Science and Medicine, Social Psychology Quarterly, and American Journal of Epidemiology. To date, I have received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council ($105,000), the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research, and the Canadian Sociological Association.
My article, “Do Racial Differences in Coping Resources Explain the Black–White Paradox in Mental Health? A Test of Multiple Mechanisms”, was selected as the co-winner of the 2022 Best Publication Award from the ASA’s Section on Sociology of Mental Health.