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Stress and Health Disparities Lab

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Stress & Health Disparities Lab

Who are we?

We are a group of interdisciplinary researchers committed to investigating how chronic stressors rooted in social and structural inequities (e.g., discrimination, race and gender ideologies, ageism) get “under the skin” to generate disparities in chronic disease among older U.S. adults. We have a specific emphasis on Black-White health disparities and health outcomes such as diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, cancers, and multimorbidity. The underlying motivation for this work is to develop innovative, evidence-based interventions to reduce disparities in chronic diseases among older adults. 

What do we do?

  1. Investigate the complex relationships between contextual, psychosocial, biological, and behavioral factors involved in stress and coping processes that contribute to health disparities. This work provides insight on mechanisms (and key leverage points) through which social marginalization contributes to accelerated biological aging, increased risk for chronic disease, premature mortality, and associated health disparities.
  2. Conduct quantitative and qualitative studies involving a mix of survey, health record, physiological, stress-sensitive biomarker (e.g., cortisol, inflammatory markers), and interview/focus group data.
  3. Develop, refine, and evaluate contextually and culturally specific health promotion interventions in collaboration with community partners that are informed by stress and coping health research. 






Experiences of Aging in Society 

Diurnal Cortisol Changes
Following Cardiac Rehab

Stress & Coping Mechanisms of
Black-White Health Disparities Among Older U.S. Men 

African American Man

(recently completed)

Everyday Ageism and Health 

Biobehavioral Stress Processes & Cardiometabolic Risk

Engaging Underserved
Groups in Diabetes Control 


Dr. Julie Ober Allen

Julie Ober Allen,
Ph.D., MPH, Director

Nadine Sikora

Nadine Sikora

Ph.D. student

in Health Promotion

Pratit Sharma

MS Student

in Health & Exercise Science



SHD Lab Group Photo



SHD Lab Group Photo


Krissy Taylor, MS Health Promotion
Mikala Kiefer, BS
Kaelen Cunnyngham, BS
Sammie Hopper, BPH
Valerie MoÏse, MS Health Promotion
C. J. White, MS Health Promotion
Lauren Elias, BS
Isaac Rosales, current BS student
Josie Greenwood, BS
Saryu Onishi, BS, Ph.D. student in Sports Data Analytics

Contact Us

For more information about the lab, contact us:

Interested in contributing to the lab, contact Dr. Allen directly:

  • Potential doctoral and master’s students interested in training under Dr. Allen

  • Student research assistant, intern, and independent study opportunities (limited availability)


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