Cleopatra M. Abdou, PhD

Title(s)Associate Professor of Social Work
SchoolSchool of Social Work
AddressUSC Building 1420
University Park Campus
Los Angeles CA 90089-1400
Phone+1 213 740 6678
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    What factors allow individuals, families, communities, and societies to be positive outliers; that is, to be healthy, happy, and successful against the odds? This is the question at the heart of Dr. Abdou’s global health and human flourishing research program.

    Dr. Abdou’s interdisciplinary research highlights cultural and psychosocial resources which promote flourishing and buffer stress. She investigates how these effects are reflected in the body, brain, and behavior to improve mental and physical health during critical lifespan developmental phases, including pregnancy and early childhood, thereby reducing social status-based health disparities within the U.S. and health inequity globally. Dr. Abdou currently pursues two lines of inquiry in her global health and human flourishing research: 1) Maternal-child-family/intergenerational health as a function of socioecological change, as in rapid political change and migration and 2) Health care-related stereotype threat. Alongside her collaborator, Dr. Adam Fingherhut, Dr. Abdou was the first to develop experimental methods to examine stereotype threat—a threat to important aspects of the self, including ethnic and gender identity—as a social barrier that contributes to different patterns in health care decision-making and utilization among different populations. As a product of these two intersecting lines of research, Dr. Abdou developed the Culture and Social Identity Health Theory.

    Dr. Abdou’s work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Michigan Center for Integrative Approaches to Health Disparities, and is published in scientific journals in psychology, public health, and medicine. Dr. Abdou is engaged in multiple international collaborations, including with the American University in Cairo.

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    Maternal Exposure to Vicarious Structural Racism and Newborn Health Disparities in Michigan: The Flint Water Crisis
    NIH R21MD012683Sep 1, 2018 - Mar 31, 2021
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    Healthcare stereotype threat, health disparities, and minority aging
    NIH K01AG051756Aug 15, 2017 - Mar 31, 2022
    Role: Principal Investigator

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    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    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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    Altmetrics Details PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Experiences of the Flint Water Crisis Among Reproductive-Age Michigan Women in Communities Outside of Flint: Differences by Race and Ethnicity. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2022 Mar 23. Kilpatrick SK, Bauer KW, Heard-Garris N, Malone AM, Abdou CM, Weeks HM, Clayson M, Allgood KL, Dokshina D, Needham BL. PMID: 35320509; PMCID: PMC8941828.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    2. Healthcare Stereotype Threat and Health Outcomes Among LGB Individuals. Ann Behav Med. 2021 Jul 09. Fingerhut AW, Martos AJ, Choi SK, Abdou CM. PMID: 34244716.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
    3. Discrimination and Depressive Symptoms Among African American Men Across the Adult Lifecourse. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2018 01 11; 73(2):208-218. Wheaton FV, Thomas CS, Roman C, Abdou CM. PMID: 28977662; PMCID: PMC5927120.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    4. Age-Based Reproductive Healthcare Stereotype Threat (HCST) as a Stressor Affecting Prenatal Mental Health in Pregnant Women of Advanced Maternal Age: Measurement, Process, Outcomes, and Interactions with Ethnicity/Race, SES, and Other Social Identities. Curr Epidemiol Rep. 2017 Jun; 4(2):133-144. Abdou CM. PMID: 30345220; PMCID: PMC6191845.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1  
    5. Stress, self-regulation, and context: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Survey. SSM Popul Health. 2017 Dec; 3:455-463. Mezuk B, Ratliff S, Concha JB, Abdou CM, Rafferty J, Lee H, Jackson JS. PMID: 29130063; PMCID: PMC5679482.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 11  
    6. Maternal Social Disadvantage and Newborn Telomere Length in Archived Dried Blood Spots from the Michigan Neonatal Biobank. Biodemography Soc Biol. 2017; 63(3):221-235. Needham BL, Hicken MT, Govia IO, Mitchell C, Abdou CM. PMID: 29035107.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    7. Healthcare Stereotype Threat in Older Adults in the Health and Retirement Study. Am J Prev Med. 2016 Feb; 50(2):191-8. Abdou CM, Fingerhut AW, Jackson JS, Wheaton F. PMID: 26497263; PMCID: PMC4755717.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 16     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    8. Stereotype threat among black and white women in health care settings. Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol. 2014 Jul; 20(3):316-23. Abdou CM, Fingerhut AW. PMID: 25045944; PMCID: PMC5449200.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 12     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    9. A comparison of skin tone discrimination among African American men: 1995 and 2003. Psychol Men Masc. 2014 Apr 01; 15(2):201-212. Uzogara EE, Lee H, Abdou CM, Jackson JS. PMID: 25798076; PMCID: PMC4365794.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7  
    10. Race and socioeconomic differences in obesity and depression among Black and non-Hispanic White Americans. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2014 Feb; 25(1):257-75. Lincoln KD, Abdou CM, Lloyd D. PMID: 24509025; PMCID: PMC4830390.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 12     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    11. "White Box" Epidemiology and the Social Neuroscience of Health Behaviors: The Environmental Affordances Model. Soc Ment Health. 2013 Jul 01; 3(2). Mezuk B, Abdou CM, Hudson D, Kershaw KN, Rafferty JA, Lee H, Jackson JS. PMID: 24224131; PMCID: PMC3820104.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 73  
    12. Cardiovascular disease among Black Americans: comparisons between the U.S. Virgin Islands and the 50 U.S. states. Public Health Rep. 2013 May-Jun; 128(3):170-8. Lee H, Kershaw KN, Hicken MT, Abdou CM, Williams ES, Rivera-O'Reilly N, Jackson JS. PMID: 23633732; PMCID: PMC3610069.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 9     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    13. Is ignorance bliss? Depression, antidepressants, and the diagnosis of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Health Psychol. 2013 Mar; 32(3):254-63. Mezuk B, Johnson-Lawrence V, Lee H, Rafferty JA, Abdou CM, Uzogara EE, Jackson JS. PMID: 23437855; PMCID: PMC3725143.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 25     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    14. Maternal familism predicts birthweight and asthma symptoms three years later. Soc Sci Med. 2013 Jan; 76(1):28-38. Abdou CM, Dominguez TP, Myers HF. PMID: 23142569.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    15. Neighborhood socioeconomic context and cognitive decline among older Mexican Americans: results from the Sacramento Area Latino Study on Aging. Am J Epidemiol. 2011 Aug 15; 174(4):423-31. Zeki Al Hazzouri A, Haan MN, Osypuk T, Abdou C, Hinton L, Aiello AE. PMID: 21715645; PMCID: PMC3159426.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 31     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    16. Reconsidering the role of social disadvantage in physical and mental health: stressful life events, health behaviors, race, and depression. Am J Epidemiol. 2010 Dec 01; 172(11):1238-49. Mezuk B, Rafferty JA, Kershaw KN, Hudson D, Abdou CM, Lee H, Eaton WW, Jackson JS. PMID: 20884682; PMCID: PMC3025628.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 90     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    17. Communalism predicts prenatal affect, stress, and physiology better than ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol. 2010 Jul; 16(3):395-403. Abdou CM, Dunkel Schetter C, Campos B, Hilmert CJ, Dominguez TP, Hobel CJ, Glynn LM, Sandman C. PMID: 20658883; PMCID: PMC2911647.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 11     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    18. Socioeconomic position, health behaviors, and C-reactive protein: a moderated-mediation analysis. Health Psychol. 2010 May; 29(3):307-16. Kershaw KN, Mezuk B, Abdou CM, Rafferty JA, Jackson JS. PMID: 20496985; PMCID: PMC2881158.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 24     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    19. Racial identity and depression among African American women. Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol. 2010 Apr; 16(2):248-55. Settles IH, Navarrete CD, Pagano SJ, Abdou CM, Sidanius J. PMID: 20438163.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 10     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    20. Community perspectives: mixed-methods investigation of culture, stress, resilience, and health. Ethn Dis. 2010; 20(1 Suppl 2):S2-41-8. Abdou CM, Schetter CD, Jones F, Roubinov D, Tsai S, Jones L, Lu M, Hobel C. PMID: 20629246; PMCID: PMC5370162.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 13     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    21. Familialism, social support, and stress: positive implications for pregnant Latinas. Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol. 2008 Apr; 14(2):155-62. Campos B, Schetter CD, Abdou CM, Hobel CJ, Glynn LM, Sandman CA. PMID: 18426288; PMCID: PMC2859297.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 71     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    22. Stress and blood pressure during pregnancy: racial differences and associations with birthweight. Psychosom Med. 2008 Jan; 70(1):57-64. Hilmert CJ, Schetter CD, Dominguez TP, Abdou C, Hobel CJ, Glynn L, Sandman C. PMID: 18158373; PMCID: PMC3736981.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 18     Fields:    Translation:Humans
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