Research

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Valerie Earnshaw, PhD

Valerie Earnshaw, PhD
Department:
Medicine Research
Division
General Pediatrics Research
Hospital Title:
Associate Scientific Researcher
Academic Title:
Instructor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Research Focus Area:
StigmaHealth disparitiesHIV and viral infections
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Research Overview

Dr. Earnshaw’s work contributes to understandings of how stigma relates to health outcomes and disparities across the lifespan, and what moderates these associations in protective ways. She primarily focuses on stigma experienced by adolescents and adults at risk for or living with chronic illnesses including HIV. As examples, her research demonstrates that stigma experienced by Black and Latino socioeconomically disadvantaged middle school students is associated with greater likelihood of smoking as well as higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure, higher body mass index, and lower self-rated health. She has also found that stigma experienced by Black and Latina pregnant young women is associated with lower infant birth weight, poorer mental health, and greater engagement in sexual risk behaviors. Her research further suggests that social support protects adolescents and adults from the deleterious impact of stigma on health outcomes. Within the context of this work, she applies an advanced quantitative skillset including structural equation modeling, multilevel modeling, and psychometric evaluation techniques.

About Valerie Earnshaw, PhD

Dr. Earnshaw is Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and Associate Scientific Researcher in the Division of General Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital. She earned her PhD in Social Psychology in 2011 from the University of Connecticut, where she pursued additional training in social processes of HIV/AIDS, health psychology, and quantitative research methods. Dr. Earnshaw completed post-doctoral training via the NIMH Interdisciplinary HIV Prevention Training Program at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS at Yale University before joining Boston Children’s Hospital in 2014.

Active Projects

2012-2014 Understanding and Intervening in the Relationship between Stigma and Health Disparities

Health Disparities Research Loan Repayment Program
L60 MD007299
Principal Investigator

Program support enabled me to engage in key mentored and independent research activities designed to strengthen my foundation in health disparities and stigma, and develop transdisciplinary methodological skills.

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