Alice Cepeda, PhD

Title(s)Associate Professor of Social Work
SchoolSchool of Social Work
AddressATT T1400
Off Campus
Los Angeles CA 90089-1400
Phone+1 213 821 6464
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    Alice Cepeda is currently an assistant professor in the School of Social Work. She was previously in the Department of Sociology and associate director of the Center for Drug and Social Policy Research at the University of Houston. She received her doctoral degree from the City University of New York, Graduate Center.

    Her work has focused on the social epidemiology of drug use and the related health risk behaviors that disproportionately affect urban Mexican-origin minority populations, including violence, HIV/STI infection risks and mental health conditions. Cepeda’s research has also highlighted the unique gendered experiences encountered by females within this cultural context. Her research publications have explored the complex of social determinants, including familial, neighborhood and socio-ecological factors that contribute to drug use and negative social and health outcomes among vulnerable minority populations.

    Cepeda has been a recipient of several federal National Institutes of Health grants. She is currently principal investigator and co-investigator, respectively, on two National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded studies: one examining the long-term health consequences of adolescent gang membership and one on the emergence and diffusion of crack use in Mexico City. Cepeda has also been a multiple recipient and scholar of the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities Loan Repayment Program.

    She received the 2010 National Award of Excellence in Research by a New Investigator from the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse based on her outstanding research and publication in the field of Hispanic drug abuse. She was also a recipient of the 2010 Junior Scholar Award presented by the Drinking and Drugs Division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Cepeda is currently chair of the Early Career Leadership Committee for the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse.
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    Disparities in Health among Floating Immigrant Populations
    NIH R01MD013628Apr 10, 2019 - Dec 31, 2023
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    Health Consequences of Drug Use and IPV Trajectories for Young Latinas
    NIH R01DA039269Jul 1, 2015 - Nov 30, 2020
    Role: Principal Investigator
    At Risk Hispanic Gangs: Long-Term Consequences for Hiv, Hepatitis and STI
    NIH R01DA023857Sep 30, 2008 - Aug 31, 2013
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator

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    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help. to make corrections and additions.
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    1. Syndemic Profiles for HIV, Hepatitis C, and Sextually Transmitted Infections Among Mexican American Women Formerly Affiliated with Youth Street Gangs. AIDS Behav. 2023 Feb; 27(2):388-399. Nowotny KM, Valdez A, Cepeda A. PMID: 35840855; PMCID: PMC9286305.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    2. The opioid epidemic among the Latino population in California. Drug Alcohol Depend Rep. 2022 Mar; 2:100029. Valdez A, Cepeda A, Frankeberger J, Nowotny KM. PMID: 36845892; PMCID: PMC9948808.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    3. Examination of multilevel domains of minority stress: Implications for drug use and mental and physical health among Latina women who have sex with women and men. PLoS One. 2020; 15(3):e0230437. Cepeda A, Nowotny KM, Frankeberger J, Ramirez E, Rodriguez VE, Perdue T, Valdez A. PMID: 32214323; PMCID: PMC7098621.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    4. The Role of Life Events/Contextual Factors and Cannabis Use in Patterns of Other Drug Use Among Young Adult Cannabis Users in Los Angeles: A Qualitative Inquiry. J Drug Issues. 2020 Apr; 50(2):157-172. Fedorova EV, Roth AM, Cepeda A, Wong CF, Iverson E, Lankenau SE. PMID: 32655186; PMCID: PMC7351351.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3  
    5. Trajectories of heroin use: A 15-year retrospective study of Mexican-American men who were affiliated with gangs during adolescence. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2019 11 01; 204:107505. Nowotny KM, Frankeberger J, Cepeda A, Valdez A. PMID: 31550612; PMCID: PMC6989031.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    6. Illicit drug use and prescription drug misuse among young adult medical cannabis patients and non-patient users in Los Angeles. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2019 05 01; 198:21-27. Fedorova EV, Schrager SM, Robinson LF, Cepeda A, Wong CF, Iverson E, Lankenau SE. PMID: 30861391; PMCID: PMC7336713.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 9     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    7. Safer Crack Kits and Smoking Practices: Effectiveness of a Harm Reduction Intervention among Active Crack Users in Mexico City. Subst Use Misuse. 2019; 54(4):592-600. Frankeberger J, Cepeda A, Natera-Rey G, Valdez A. PMID: 30654689.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    8. Interpersonal Partner Relationships, Bonds to Children, and Informal Social Control among Persistent Male Offenders. Soc Probl. 2019 Aug; 66(3):468-483. Valdez A, Nowotny KM, Zhao QW, Cepeda A. PMID: 31354176; PMCID: PMC6636053.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1  
    9. Biological Risk and Infection Profiles of Young Adult Male Mexican American Gang Members. Public Health Rep. 2018 Sep/Oct; 133(5):551-558. Cepeda A, Nowotny KM, Frankeberger J, Onge JMS, Valdez A. PMID: 30067450; PMCID: PMC6134568.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    10. History of child sexual abuse among women consuming illicit substances in Mexico City. J Subst Use. 2018; 23(5):520-527. Mendoza-Mel?ndez M?, Cepeda A, Frankeberger J, L?pez-Macario M, Valdez A. PMID: 30393464; PMCID: PMC6214458.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1  
    11. Behavioral, Psychological, Gender, and Health Service Correlates to Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Infection among Young Adult Mexican-American Women Living in a Disadvantaged Community. Behav Med. 2019 Jan-Mar; 45(1):52-61. Nowotny KM, Frankeberger J, Rodriguez VE, Valdez A, Cepeda A. PMID: 29558260; PMCID: PMC6148393.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    12. Mental health of heroin users with differing injection drug use histories: A non-treatment sample of Mexican American young adult men. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2017 12 01; 181:124-131. Nowotny KM, Perdue T, Cepeda A, Valdez A. PMID: 29054031; PMCID: PMC5683936.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    13. Developing scientists in Hispanic substance use and health disparities research through the creation of a national mentoring network. Mentor Tutoring. 2017; 25(2):151-165. Bazzi AR, Mogro-Wilson C, Negi NJ, Gonzalez JMR, Cano M?, Castro Y, Cepeda A. PMID: 28804254; PMCID: PMC5548141.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2  
    14. HIV and STI knowledge, testing, and risk among adult crack users in Mexico city: baseline findings from a feasibility study. AIDS Care. 2017 03; 29(3):350-354. Cepeda A, Frankeberger J, Bailey JL, Nowotny KM, Natera-Rey G, Valdez A. PMID: 27832703; PMCID: PMC6097624.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    15. Un Jal�n, Un Volte�n, y Otra Vez: High-Risk Crack Smoking Paraphernalia in M�xico City. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2016 Sep-Oct; 48(4):295-302. Valdez A, Nowotny KM, Negi N, Mora EZ, Cepeda A. PMID: 27356211; PMCID: PMC5441841.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    16. Precocious transitions and long-term heroin use outcomes: A longitudinal study of gang-affiliated Mexican-American males. Addict Behav. 2016 09; 60:48-52. Cepeda A, Nowotny KM, Frankeberger J, Valdez A. PMID: 27092995; PMCID: PMC4884489.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    17. Growing Old Behind Bars: Health Profiles of the Older Male Inmate Population in the United States. J Aging Health. 2016 09; 28(6):935-56. Nowotny KM, Cepeda A, James-Hawkins L, Boardman JD. PMID: 26553724; PMCID: PMC5929998.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    18. Injecting Drug Use Among Mexican Female Sex Workers on the US-Mexico Border. J Ethn Subst Abuse. 2015 Oct-Dec; 14(4):351-63. Cepeda A, Nowotny KM, Valdez A. PMID: 26211392; PMCID: PMC5441837.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    19. Associations Between Long-Term Gang Membership and Informal Social Control Processes, Drug Use, and Delinquent Behavior Among Mexican American Youth. Int J Offender Ther Comp Criminol. 2016 Oct; 60(13):1532-48. Cepeda A, Saint Onge JM, Nowotny KM, Valdez A. PMID: 25979430; PMCID: PMC5919194.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    20. Trajectories of Aging Long-Term Mexican American Heroin Injectors: The "Maturing Out" Paradox. J Aging Health. 2016 Feb; 28(1):19-39. Cepeda A, Nowotny KM, Valdez A. PMID: 25953814; PMCID: PMC5926175.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    21. Emerging patterns of crack use in Mexico City. Int J Drug Policy. 2015 Aug; 26(8):739-45. Valdez A, Kaplan C, Nowotny KM, Natera-Rey G, Cepeda A. PMID: 26003928; PMCID: PMC4499486.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    22. A border context of violence: Mexican female sex workers on the U.S.-Mexico border. Violence Against Women. 2014 Dec; 20(12):1506-31. Cepeda A, Nowotny KM. PMID: 25409891; PMCID: PMC5933926.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    23. The relationship between trajectories of family/cultural stressors and depression and suicidal ideation among substance using Mexican-American adults. Am J Community Psychol. 2013 Dec; 52(3-4):263-72. Saint Onge JM, Cepeda A, Lee King PA, Valdez A. PMID: 23904175.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    24. Drug-scene familiarity and exposure to gang violence among residents in a rural farming community in Baja California, Mexico. Glob Public Health. 2013; 8(1):65-78. Volkmann T, Fraga MA, Brodine SK, Iñiguez-Stevens E, Cepeda A, Elder JP, Garfein RS, VIIDAI Team. PMID: 23072623; PMCID: PMC3549003.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    25. Injecting transition risk and depression among Mexican American non-injecting heroin users. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2012 Sep; 125 Suppl 1:S12-7. Cepeda A, Kaplan C, Neaigus A, Cano M?, Villarreal Y, Valdez A. PMID: 22749681; PMCID: PMC4451197.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    26. Disparities in completion of substance abuse treatment among Latino subgroups in Los Angeles County, CA. Addict Behav. 2012 Oct; 37(10):1162-6. Guerrero EG, Cepeda A, Duan L, Kim T. PMID: 22658303.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 20     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    27. High rates of transitions to injecting drug use among Mexican American non-injecting heroin users in San Antonio, Texas (never and former injectors). Drug Alcohol Depend. 2011 Apr 01; 114(2-3):233-6. Valdez A, Neaigus A, Kaplan C, Cepeda A. PMID: 21075561; PMCID: PMC3060287.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 12     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    28. Fumando la piedra: emerging patterns of crack use among Latino immigrant day laborers in New Orleans. J Immigr Minor Health. 2010 Oct; 12(5):737-42. Valdez A, Cepeda A, Negi NJ, Kaplan C. PMID: 19924538; PMCID: PMC3001040.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 9     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    29. Ethnographic strategies in the tracking and retention of street-recruited community-based samples of substance using hidden populations in longitudinal studies. Subst Use Misuse. 2010 Apr; 45(5):700-16. Cepeda A, Valdez A. PMID: 20222780; PMCID: PMC3003425.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 10     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    30. The association between disaster-related experiences and mental health outcomes among drug using African American Hurricane Katrina evacuees. Community Ment Health J. 2010 Dec; 46(6):612-20. Cepeda A, Saint Onge JM, Kaplan C, Valdez A. PMID: 20091228; PMCID: PMC2919598.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    31. Patterns of substance use among hurricane Katrina evacuees in Houston, Texas. Disasters. 2010 Apr; 34(2):426-46. Cepeda A, Valdez A, Kaplan C, Hill LE. PMID: 19863564; PMCID: PMC3008163.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 30     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    32. Homicidal Events Among Mexican American Street Gangs: A Situational Analysis. Homicide Stud. 2009 Sep 01; 13(3):288-306. Valdez A, Cepeda A, Kaplan C. PMID: 21218188; PMCID: PMC3016850.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    33. Heroin transition risk among daily and non-daily cannabis users who are non-injectors of heroin. Int J Drug Policy. 2008 Dec; 19(6):442-9. Valdez A, Cepeda A, Neaigus A, Russell A. PMID: 19038723; PMCID: PMC3008164.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 10     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    34. Potential risk factors for injecting among Mexican American non-injecting heroin users. J Ethn Subst Abuse. 2007; 6(2):49-73. Valdez A, Neaigus A, Cepeda A. PMID: 18192204; PMCID: PMC2621113.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    35. The drugs-violence nexus among Mexican-American gang members. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2006 Jun; 38(2):109-21. Valdez A, Kaplan CD, Cepeda A. PMID: 16903450; PMCID: PMC3015236.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    36. Risk Behaviors Among Young Mexican American Gang-Associated Females: Sexual Relations, Partying, Substance Use, and Crime. J Adolesc Res. 2003 Jan 01; 18(1):90-106. Cepeda A, Valdez A. PMID: 21218177; PMCID: PMC3016046.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 8  
    37. The process of paradoxical autonomy and survival in the heroin careers of Mexican American women. Contemp Drug Probl. 2000; 27:189. Valdez A, Kaplan CD, Cepeda A. PMID: 21057594; PMCID: PMC2971679.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 10  
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